Friday, August 29

After sushi and shopping I am tired, but I have to wait for the white load to be done so I can put the clothes in the dryer. I am happy to have moved two projects from the shameful unfinished list. Someday all of those will be moved. Then maybe I won't need lists. I hope to finish more soon. It's just that I can't start anything new without feeling bad about it unless I finish some of that stuff, and I really like starting things.

I am not so happy that they are putting brick sidewalks down on Main Street. I like bricks, don't get me wrong, but the old sidewalks had a pattern of lines that were a big part of my childhood. Once upon a time it took two steps to get across one of the rectangles. Careful not to step on cracks. Now I can do it in one step, but if I don't pay attention I can fall behind and end up on a crack. With bricks it is too hard. The whole things is cracks. I don't know how long the current sidewalk has been there, but I remember at least 22 years of avoiding those cracks (or walking distinctly down them, or keeping up some pattern). Maybe I'm wrong. I think I can remember them at 5....
My fun day of work yesterday turned into a day of dirty cleaning jobs. I can't blame my boss so much, he is in PA somewhere drinking whiskey and researching his next book proposal. It is my own fault for noticing. And today is another day of it. I wrote a grumpy post yesterday about it which was eaten by the post gods. It may be best that way.

I like the way Jordan is saying things lately. I've been thinking that sure isn't spelled the way I think it sounds lately. Other words, too. Sometimes I want to write the way it sounds, but that is sooo tricky. Could come out sounding like Vincent Ferrini instead of Kellman. I don't think it is a risk I can take.

My head hurts from dust etc. I think I will go home for lunch to let things settle before I finish. I'm trying to decide whether I should go to New York for a book fair the first weekend of September.

Salad and gazpacho are calling me, I'm off for a bit.

Thursday, August 28

Thursday morning, time for work. The weather is great today. I have a few shelves of rare stuff to work on, I am putting it off until 10:30. It's nice to be here in the office.

Shin Yu asked about red food. I bought a lot more red food than I served. When people started bailing I decided not to make so much. Here is the comprehensive list of red and mars-related foods I had in the house just in case mobs of people showed up:

red globe grapes * strawberry frosting, a jar of cherries and pink sno balls to decorate a cake I didn't make (don't you think sno balls make good craters?) * lots of tomatoes * red popsicles * mangoes * fresh cherries * pepperoni * milky way bars, big and small, and midnight * plums * nectarines * apples * red hot dots * sun-dried tomato tortillas * fruit punch * cranberry juice * after shock* nectarines * dinosaur egg plums, or pluots, I think they mght be called * strawberries * strawberry margarita slush (made with tequila, which keeps it a little soft) * sky bars

There may be more, I may ammend....

Wednesday, August 27

I just tried to eat a package of Sno Balls. Wow. When I was at Emerson this kids who lived in my building was attacked by squirrels in the Public Garden while he was eating Sno Balls. He had his 15 minutes of fame being interviewed on college radio stations far and wide.
Best google search today-
14 is too old for a babysitter.

Tuesday, August 26

Red Food! Red Food! Red Food!

Mars Party planning, must use tomatoes from the garden. Everything red or space related. Are you coming? Would you like to? Let me know if you are taking a train in to Gloucester so we can pick you up.

I have one room that isn't still covered in books. Looks like we'll mostly be outside.

Monday, August 25

Just back from dinner with Ariane, had a nice time...

Here goes, poets... in the words of my favorite search for this blog this week,

bug shoe OR foot "crush it".

10. Joe Torra
9. Simon Pettet
8. Mark Lamoureux
7. Mick Carr
6. Chris Rizzo
5. Gerrit Lansing
4. Aaron Tieger
3. Mike County
2. Xtina Strong
1. Joel Sloman
I give up with the books. GIVE UP.

Anybody who comes for Mars tomorrow may see piles of books all over the house. I'll call it Art.

Do you need directions? Are you coming?

I'm thinking about poets... crush list coming soon.
In organizing books I have found a number of journals and diaries I started over the years, beginning with one with a unicorn tapestry on the cover that I started at the ripe age of 6. I don't get very far in these books. There are lots of blank pages. It's a bit of a trip down memory lane. I don't know what to do with them.
I have been informed that Creeley was not on the Gloucester shelf, but that the Black Mountain and the Gloucester share a shelf. I should have noticed Duncan there. Williams was just there to make more room in general poetry.

Found the Christie's catalog for the sale of the John Quinn Draft Manuscript of the 'Circe' episode in Ulysses. That should go with the Joyce. I don't think I'll keep many other auction catalogs.

I am not having fun with this anymore, but every room is covered in books and I can't stop now. There just isn't enough space on the shelves.
Music and art come next. Music is bigger than I thought and needs to stay in the study. Poetry needs more room. It all needs more room. Gloucester, Latin American literature, Ireland and Irish Lit. China? No idea where that is going yet. Fiction is growing and now seems to have more than fiction in it.
My pet authors have moved to the little shelf near my side of the bed. Mayakovsky, D. H. Lawrence and Jean Rhys. I'm leaving Book Design of the Russian Avan-Garde: Editiong of Mayakovsky, bound with a bit of one of the plates, on the top of the big shelf, along with Russian grammer books. Next step, the gathering of Olson.
Snow White and Rose Red, When the Sun Rose. My own copy of The Lonely Doll, ex. lib. but sturdy in a buckram binding. No Flying in the House. Pierre, a Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue, which Noah likes to read several times before going to bed. Harold y el Lapiz Color Marado. So many Richard Scarry books! Steig with the kid's books, Thurber is not, even though I make a point of reading The Last Flower to the boys sometimes. Antique Golden Books. The Poop Book. (Whodunnit?) Read Aloud Poetry for Children. Best Poetry for Children. My First Book of Poetry. And always, always, always, Lear.
I am getting ready to organize books. Move them around, try to find homes on shelves... I am starting by gathering all of the books for children. They have been spread around the house. Once they are all together there may be some space somewhere that inspires my next move.

We talked about this a bit this weekend. Do all the books go together? Different spots for people you know? Do essays by poets go with poetry or essays? Why does my Gloucester shelf include not just Olson, but Creeley and Williams? Should books of music be in the living room, near the instruments, and musical history in the study?

What have you done with your books?

Saturday, August 23

So here goes...


Tuesday night, at my house in Gloucester. Let me know if you are coming and then I'll see what kind of party it will be. It will start at dusk. I may make food, I mau not, depends on who and how many. Make the trip out to Gloucester, bring your bathing suit, be ready for some lookin' up at the sky.

Friday, August 22

Friday night storms roll in. I sew the seams of sweaters watching the sky change lights. Just buttons left to put on sweaters for Aiden, 2, and her little brother, Cole, born yesterday. Working with wool is nicer after the warm weather broke.

So this is summer, and it is almost over. Tomorrow will be spent in Allston then Keene, for a big Hill Dinner. Should have talked to Aaron about Keene first. Oh well.

It is good to finish something. I am always setting rules for myself. One I set often is not to start any more projects until I finish the ones I already have going. It never sticks. It takes so long to finish things that the impulse to create is over before they are done.

I like to give things to people. I have someone in mind now that I am gathering little things for, although I probably won't end up giving them to her. A sheet of stickers, a book, a bracelet. I make care packages all the time. I don't always give them. All sorts of wonders inside. When I think about people I do things like that. Silly things. That's why I should always have your address.

We're of to Gerrit's now, to see Rob Norris. Fun fun!
Friday night storms roll in. I sew the seams of sweaters watching the sky change lights. Just buttons left to put on sweaters for Aiden, 2, and her little brother, Cole, born yesterday. Working with wool is nicer after the warm weather broke.

So this is summer, and it is almost over. Tomorrow will be spent in Allston then Keene, for a big Hill Dinner. Should have talked to aaron about Keene first. Oh well.

It is good to finish something. I am always setting rules for myself. One I set often is not to start any more projects until I finish the ones I already have going. It never sticks. It takes so long to finish things that the impulse to create is over before they are done.

I like to gove things to people. I have someone in mind now that I am gathering little things for, although I probably won't end up giving them to her. A sheet of stickers, a book, a bracelet. I make care packages all the time. I don't always give them. All sorts of wonders inside. When I think about people I do things like that. Silly things. That's why I should always have your address.

We're of to Gerrit's now, to see Rob Norris. Fun fun!
It is Friday morning and my car is still at Linsky's. I want to go somewhere, anywhere, but with these two feet it would take a long time. I may still after a bath. I wonder when my car will come home. I sort of need it.

Thursday, August 21

The Book of Forms. Tiny rubber alphabet stamps. Tassle reaction. Baby spoon, s-hook, star wars stickers. Sonic Youth ticket stub. Sailor's stripes. Pumpkin Pez dispenser. Embroidered Greek hand towel. Christmas card receipts modern library 100 best list. Urban Dream Capsule Gnome adoption papers. Poems and Antipoems. Engagement card. Onionskin letter.
Ribbon and candle wicks, matches and butterflies. I sometimes put hardware in my jewelry box. A bowl of erasers shaped like animals, a small square of embroidered silk. Torsten Kehler's address. Paperclip, paperclip, paperclip. Mass Health. Candle snuffer. Picture of Emily.

Am I the only one who thinks life will be more complete with a power drill?
Oh, I am sad to have missed Shin Yu on Sunday! Maybe I should have a Mars party. Would anybody come?
In St. John, bowling means candlepin. No questions asked. A sign near Sackville: Bowling + Beer = Fun. At the diner along the highway a Brando Burger and a shake will get you a free pass to the drive-in.

Sitting on rocks ina river, figuring things out. Frogs crossing paths, trees creaking, berries blue and other. I have things to say to people, but Ican't get them to listen. I have things to ask people but I can't find them. The river makes a perfect place to get this kind of work done. I would have needed a bus to get everyone there. No, it was perfect as it was: too much would be too much. Us. Alone.

Last week was crazy for body and family and friends and lines. Chris, I should have taken a train home after we parted on Wednesday. By Friday I was ready to run away and that's just what we did. Two moose on the road!

James has what we did in lists. Sometimes my list would be different. Not by much, though.

I am in a Hallmark stage.
Wednesday Night.

I gathered tomatoes in a long gauze skirt. Yellow and green and red. Cherry and ripe and fallen from the vine. Banished a horned tomato worm. Little, still, but dangerous.

I am caramelizing onions for dinner. Pizza-type things with fresh tomatoes, onions and goat cheese. Salad with garbanzos and tonno in olive oil and fresh herbs.

It is just past seven and I am determined to get something done by 8. This day can’t be a complete waste. If it weren’t so warm I would make fortune cookies. Speak Chinese. Grey.

Wednesday, August 20

It is Wednesday and it feels like it may be Wednesday forever.

I have things to say about my trip but I can't get online upstairs and it doesn't fel right to write on my grandfather's computer. Tomorrow, I promise.

This sun and heat make me want to close my eyes and just be still. There is salt drying on my skin and there will be more before I know it. I am good with tequila.

There is so much that could be done and I have no energy. The drive from St. John yesterday was a bit long. I get tired from sitting for so long. What can a girl do?
I'm back from Canada, but can't seem to get online... grrr...

Friday, August 15

We're off for a few days... should be back next week, unless we defect.

Thursday, August 14

Going in on the train, finding Moon Palace was actually Leviathan. Curt words from the conductor the alone inside the book. Off the platform walking along when Joshua! 7-year-old tug at my skirt, gentle smile and Hello Amanda with the magic of seeing someone in an unexpected place. He being of at least two worlds, on a trip to Boston with his mother seeing me. I only know his dad and he only knows me there.

To exist no matter which parent you are with—that your whole being isn’t tied to them—the crossing of worlds makes your self more than just a mirror but a place of its own. Growing up there were two worlds. Different friends different clothes different toys different books different food and none of it really passing over to the next part of the week. Each time we changed placed (Mom to Dad, and back again) was a devaluation of the place we had just left. Finding something in one world that belongs to the other blurs the separation, starts to make your whole life your own.

Joshua’s mum quickly called him back, not knowing who I was. But how happy I was to see him!

Tuesday, August 12

My mother came back. I figured she would when the sunflowers were big.

I am considering going to Boston tomorrow. The boys are going to Radiohead. I could go to a match at the Kinvara in the afternoon. Is there any fun to be had tomorrow night? Anybody?
The morning is muggy as mornings are. Filled with financial planners and watering cans, laundry still to be done and cofee is lukewarm. Wilco on the stereo-thank Mike-o. Gata got tuna this morning, the market is in my future.

Last week my sister said she was a dark cloud hanging over everything. When a dark cloud did roll over us she felt the burden lifted. Alex told me not to get all vesty on him. War sang Low Rider on Regis and Kelly. Dubble Bubble blew LL Cool J away on Today. Rain comes down in sheets and my spedometer is acting up.

My father's anxiety is about breathing, not space, and the wall oxygen helps. I might have read your poems in Gerrit's birthday box last night. Ken Irby colored pencils! Brenda in pink! Corbett grandchild!

This summer the sun pours down like watered-down orange drink, not honey. Something is always a mess, inside or out. Name dropping could be nothing more than love.

Poem for My Father

We have a bell
curve, inverted, between us.

Those years of childhood I can barely remember,
mostly lost on me but the rows of peas along the fence.

The middle we needn’t speak of
and at this end holding each other up.

I put no meaning in it but in the gesture:
Fresh peas for Father’s Day.

Monday, August 11

This week's crush list:

11 Mick Carr
10 Mark Lamoureux
9 Jim Dunn
8 Dan Bouchard
7 Chris Rizzo
6 Joel Sloman
5 Xtina Strong
4 Tim Peterson
3 Mike County
2 Gerrit Lansing
1 Simon Pettet
Monday morning brings the end of a weekend, and what a weekend. Saturday morning to Boston to watch Celtic tie Dumfermline (they should have won... grrr). Then back to Gloucester for a quick visit with my dad, home for a bit, then to Gerrit's to visit with him and Simon. Simon!

James left us to go see the Tempest. We went to the Rhumbline for cabaret. SUKEY TAWDRY were lads of fun. Went downstairs with Mike so he could smoke and we could check out the baseball game. I saw the guy I met on the train a month or so ago when I was drunk and heading home from fiesta... I had just been to a Red Sox game and The Irish Embassy.

Martinis knock a girl's socks off. Olives make her happy.

We had dinner after the show, then back to Gerrit's to find Jim Dunn! Ice cream and singing and happy to be with people I am so fond of...

Sunday at the Grand, after missing last week I was happy to see everybody. Dan Bouchard made a guest lecture on women in the scene. I worked on the neckband of the baby sweater. Joel Sloman had a fun fun poem. Mick Carr was as hip as ever. Xtina and Mark left early to Fung Wa-it to NY. Mike and James started the Panelist movement; it was quickly ended. Tim arrived and considered Immigration of Birds. Chris was quiet, but when he said something it mattered. What did I forget?

Home again for some rest. Gerrit, Simon, Mike, Patrick, Ariane, Zac, Tim, James and met at Thai Choice for dinner. So much fun after, so much fun the whole time. If only Simon Pettet would forego the glamour and convenience of NYC to move to Gloucester. It's the new New York, they say.

Friday, August 8

I have nothing to say today except this:

I bought a pair of roller skates!
I nearly got into a car accident today. It kinda shook me up. I was on my way to Knitting Night when this truck parked in front of Captain Hook’s just pulled out in front of me. No directional, no look, no nothing. The streets were wet and I nearly didn’t stop in time. The guy just pulled out, never mind the screeching tires, and just drove along, leaving me at a slight diagonal, barely out of the way of oncoming traffic.

I finished the front of Aiden’s sweater yesterday and did a sleeve today. Hopefully by Sunday I will be putting it together.

My garden looked better with all the weeds in it, but my neighbors will be happier now that all the ragweed is gone. I picked a lemon yellow tomato today. Ate my first red tomato this morning. Planted some portulaca today; this evening’s rain should help it some. My mint is still happy.

My father has some new pain. It worries me. My boss’s wife told me my mother came home. I still don’t know where she was. My parents make me sad sometimes. Not sad for me, but sad for them. I hope they are okay.

Good dinner tonight at Lobsta Land- Wild striped bass in a Cajun tomato sauce with lobster broth, littlenecks and mussels. Spicy and yummy.

The boys in the kitchen are talking about California and the governor’s race. Is it really a better place to live?

I think I am going to bed.

Thursday, August 7

I woke up this morning with this line in my head:

IQ or haiku?

Wednesday, August 6

I made a big party faux pas today by guessing a boy’s age based on his pissy attitude. He was 14; I was right. Like most kids his age he was perfectly good company once he wasn’t near his parents. We had a long conversation about Harry Potter and science fiction after; I don’t think he thinks I am a jerk now.

I probably wouldn’t have minded his attitude if I hadn’t just come from babysitting for Alex. He was great all day. He did his paper route and read without any nagging. He listened to my grandfather when we were at the pool, then gave me excalibur when we were playing pool, ‘cuz he had it last time. When I explained why I didn’t want to take his friends to jump off the bridge he understood and dropped it. Then, when his mother came home, he turned into a monster. Why do they do that? Did I do that?

I’ve decided to read Shin Yu’s blog. I’m not very good at casual reading, so I try to limit how many blogs I read. Otherwise I’d never leave the house and I would be pasty white with eyes like shiny marbles. The conversation about girls in the Boston scene made me wonder why I read mostly boy blogs. So I checked out Shin Yu’s. I think it will take the place of a boy blog to be named later, or never named.
I have done something. Not exceedingly well, mind you, but something.

My garden is proof that one should not overplant then leave a garden alone for the month of July. This morning I staked all my tomatoes, some branches are nearly broken from the weight of the fruit. I have a tremendous crop of ragweed that I am working on removing. I accidentally pulled up most of my leeks; weeds and grass were so think I forgot they were there.

I am working on making my desk in the living room a suitable place for a sewing machine. Maye then I can finish something. I am bringing the sweater I am making for Aiden with me when I babysit today; I have to finish it befor her little brother is born. I am nearly done with the front, still have the sleaves to do, and then I have to out it (and the matching sweater for the baby) together. Generally I am against matching outfits, but I think Aran sweaters for infants and two-year-olds are an exception.

This is progress, right?

Tuesday, August 5

So I am in a funk.

I am wanting to do something well, anything well. There is no part of my life that I am doing very well at. I haven't prcaticed violin or piano, my garden is a mess (although I did get two tomatoes today), the house is filled with a mess that just keeps moving from room to room. I haven't written many letters. I have two quilts that aren't done (for birthdays that have long since passed) and several more sewing projects I need to finish. Never mind all the knitting that lies on needles, waiting to be finished. I haven't been good at keeping up with friends and I have been a lackluster aunt of late. I don't even know where my mother is. Writing? Hah! I've been working lately, but even that is a little off.

I don't know what to do about it, but I have a little plan. I'm guessing that if I get afew things in order maybe I won't feel so useless. The garden will be first, since it will just keep growing out of control. Then we'll see what's next.

I have gotten better at solitaire. I won at Spider Solitaire twice last night. I don't think that is a good thing.

Monday, August 4

My crush list is like this: Chris and Joel and Xtina and Mike and Gerrit and Mark and I guess that's it.
I am amazed at how grumpy I can be at times. Maybe my usual well-adjusted self likes to concentrate all grumping into one or two evenings every so often, leaving me pleasant the rest of the time. I apologize to all who have been affected.

Alex proclaimed today that he is too old for a babysitter. I told him it was okay, I am too old to be a babysitter. Both are true. Still, we will continue. I explained that if we stopped now I wouldn’t be able to form his mind just how I like it. I have to say it is coming along well. Today, completely unprompted, he cursed SUV’s, proclaimed he hated when a Starbucks opens near a local coffee shop, recognized the Flaming Lips were on at Mystery Train, read when I asked him to, and nearly beat me at pool. The kid’s gonna be okay.

Looks like I won the Dante’s Ass award. Thanks, Chris.

I missed Sunday at the Grand this week and am feeling a little low on poetic crushes. I think I’ll wait a little bit and see if anybody woos me. Hit me with your best shot.

Saturday, August 2

Spent the day watching Celtic tie Arsenal and then helping xtina move. That's two poets in one week. Lots of moving going on.

Ben played accordian for me, sitting on the rug in the mostly-empty livingroom. Him sitting there, sun shining in through bare windows. It made me very happy. Talked with Mark (would link but how many dashes?) about jellyfish. Knit a baby hat. Ate tootootoo much at Redbones, happy to walk back to the apartment. Missed wiffleball. So it goes.

Friday, August 1

Nick says, in hisarticle in the Poetry Project Newsletter:

"I think blogging conversations and interactions allow for many levels of creative exchange and collaboration that may be harder to achieve in the competitive and necessarily restrained atmosphere of live literary events and gatherings. What frequently and naturally wins the day in those situations is conversational facility and a good strong voice. This sometimes leaves women out in an exchange. But in the blogging situation women have a chance to be heard by other women and by men also and there is a great opportunity to write and connect with each other."

I like that a lot.
I am wasting time.

I brought six volumes of Cook's Voyages home to collate, all freshly rebound in hand-tooled leather over marbled boards. Good kitchen-table work.

I am shopping online. Our connection is so slow that shopping is ridiculous-- it takes so long to see anything. There are some things I think I need, some things I know I don't need but I sure do want, and lots of things in between. I am mostly looking for cowgirl boots and window shades.

I think new bed stuff would be nice, but I would have to get something I have fabric to make a quilt to match. I found satin bedding that would look good with some of the origami-print fabrics I have, but I don't know about satin. Seems pretty girly. And maybe slimy feeling. I would love nice egyptian cotton sheets. Maybe I should paint my bedroom. No, the light hits the angles in it in a lovely way that makes shadows like in Andrew Wyeth paintings now. If I paint a room it will be the living room.

My bathroom plan: hook a rug in a huge shell shape and paint the back wall in a mural like the Birth of Venus- reeds and waves and wind blowing across. That way I could be Venus when I get out of the tub.

Maybe I should just go collate Cook. So many plates.
Gata just erased what I was posting. Grrr, Gata, grrr.