Monday, November 17, 2014

the places that change you-
memory is a canticle
informing the present with its solemn grace and cadence 
Like Lot’s 
anonymous wife, 
whose passion lay behind her,
we look back through the caul of the ever-
present consequential 
thrum of traffic and dialog.   
needs and must be. 
appointments with no consequence. 
No resonance. 
we drink from this the chalice of rotting leaves. 
makes good compost you say
always thinking of the garden
a thinning stand of trees 
a fire in the distance 
you can smell the smoke from the fire place 
where someone has bought expensive wood from the stop and shop.

I want to go there again. 
Like Lots nameless wife I am powerless 
I look back 
and am 
frozen in place.  
There is no forward. 
Cursed by a tide of unreasonable expectation and given no carriage out
I want to go there again 
To drink longingly from the river of Pieria. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The lady's perfume

The lady's perfume
On the train which speeds by faster than I could run but not really fast
causes my bronchial tubes to contract
and wheezing ensues.

She is one of the
they who carry the many bags tribe.
The second one is a Disney tote bag concoction
In the style of what someone thought was an old movie marquis
Complete with glitter. And typography.
Diagonal typography.
We exchange a glance.
a polite smile.
My wheezing is congenial.

Outside as the scenery slides by
I imagine breathing in the cool fall air.
I breathe from the bottom of my abdomen as I have been taught. I consider whether the inhaler I think I have in my single bag actually contains any magical mist to calm my bronchial passages. Not likely.

We pass a stream with an arched Monet like bridge next to parking lot and I wonder if Monet has a parking lot next to his garden at Giverney. I muse that I would like I go there someday and think that I would make a mental note the placement of the parking lot.
Perhaps we can take a train from Paris.

The buildings are closer together as the lumbering train which carries me and the perfumed one and the other worker bees into the city.
She types in her iPhone with the typing sound turned on and it annoys me inordinately. The typing sounds -
the glittery oversized second tote bag - and her aura of pernicious perfume which is choking me.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rhinebeck, aka NY sheep and Wool Festival

Rhinebeck was spectacular. The weather was appropriately changeable and autumnal
and the knitters, spinners, designers, vendors, et al, were all out in force. This year was the first year I went to the festival on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was crazy crowded and hard to really shop in the small booths.
The knitters were dressed to the teeth in hand made knitwear. Some were spectacularly overdressed and all were wondrous and beautiful, proudly attired in their handmade finery. The question of how many hand knits is it acceptable to wear simultaneously is answered gleefully with "as many as you want."
And no one will bat a dissapproving eye.
This year we hosted Tilde and Thomas, friends from Denmark, and Jen from Queens ( my daughter Jen ) who drove up on Saturday evening. We had dinner in Rhinebeck and then drove up to Chatham where I reserved a lovely farmhouse for the night via Airbnb. It was the first time I used Airbnb and it was an all round good experience. The house was really nice and there was plenty of room for the five of us to repose comfortably and the area is beautiful with grand views from every window.
On Sunday the crowds were much dispersed and shopping was a good deal more pleasant. Our friends left early and took the scenic route back home and Jen and Mike and I stayed and shopped.
And bought yarn. and some more yarn.
and it was wonderful.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

dad memories

I remember one time when I was hitching a ride ( it was the seventies. hush.) from Bloomfield to the University of Hartford campus, about three or four miles down the road. A middle aged guy in a Pacer picked me up. He was less than average looking, sporting a day old shirt, loosened tie around a five o’clock shadowed wattle and gray poly something suit
- clearly of the traveling business man ilk
- all around nondescript.
I told him I was on the way to school and he whipped out his wallet exclaiming that he had sent his son to Columbia and he lost his shirt doing it. He searched the wallet for a picture of his son (proud papa) and came up with a picture of his round hairless naked body instead. 
Get it? shirtless.

"Well now this is my stop and thanks for the ride, perv." thought I, as I exited the Pacer. 
I stopped in my dad’s office. He was a professor at the time at UHA, and told him my story 
to which he replied without missing a beat, 
“You should have said - oh is that a penis? I thought they were much larger."

Still makes me chortle. Miss him.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to read a long poem

how to read a long poem:

whisper the lines aloud
stop and perhaps reflect 

‘oh my God that is perfect’

read the line again for confirmation

I learned this from hearing the poet 
David Whyte read:
he stopped and reread the lines for emphasis
but softly 
so as not to bang you over the head with it

but to allow you the gift of the moment 
to embrace it
to breathe in its essence
to slow down 
there with the writer and 
comprehend, to hear them speak 
to hear them speak

to hear

Monday, August 18, 2014


Reading "Feeding the Hungry Ghost" while riding the train.
Asking my brother, 
"Are you a hungry ghost? "

The train lumbers through the outposts of Queens: 
Rosedale. Laurelton. Locust Manor. 

I have this scene in my mind of me pushing all my worldly goods to my dead brother, apologizing for my survival. 
He gives it all back. 

He does not require my suffering. 
His memory does not require my sacrifice. 
I read:
"Soy milk and raisins." 

Ingredients in a recipe for vegan seed cake