Thursday, May 31, 2007

R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts

and this one I have watched several times tonight and I am getting tired and the greens are wearing off and I don;t feel like Popeye any longer nor do I feel like Olive Oyl nor do I feel like Wonder Woman or the Green Lantern or Cat Power or Joan Baez or Bob Dylan...I just feel like lost me, lost me...

Oh lost and by the wind grieved, come back again...

I think that's what Thomas Wolfe said...

Oh lost, and by the wind grieved...ghost, come back again.

Bob Dylan - Forever Young / Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

One of my favorite Dylan songs...God, I have to go see Dylan again soon... I don't care what he sounds like now...he is Dylan...it's been 2 years since I saw him last...Wes wants to see him too...gonna look up his tour schedule...have seen him at least 15 times and hope to see him at least 15 more...

Cat Stevens - How Can I Tell You

and now here, and also thinking of Cat Steven's song The Wind

and also thinking of Dylan's Forever Young

JONI MITCHELL - Blue. 1970.

And now I am here...and have listened to this several times...and want more Joni

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez- Typing and Singing

This song won't leave me alone (Percy's Song). Bob is typing the words to The Hour That The Ship Comes In (I think) as Joan sings.

I just ate some greens. Was telling a friend not an hour ago that I was going to be sick if I didn't eat something. So I ate. Greens. Greens my mom cooked. Collards and mustards.

I wonder if folks in Boston eat collards. I know I get all uppity and do my wilted kale or spinach and that's all the rave these days, but I still love greens. Earthy, musty, iron-rich greens.

I feel like Popeye.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

sea of love

This is the song Lauren and Andy were going to perform at Jake's funeral, but it was just too hard to do. Ignore the video. Close your eyes. Listen. Lauren was going to sing

Do you remember
when we met
That's the day
I knew you were my friend

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back, sort of

Naples was beautiful. Low humidity, breezy, calm
ocean. Spent most days on the beach. My youngest
niece and I were out in the water, swimming and looking
for shells and such, and I said, "For whatever we lose,
like a you or a me, it's always ourselves, we find in the sea."

And then we talked about cummings and poetry, and we stuck
our toes into the sand, poking at what we thought was a shell
only to find out it was a crab. A patient one I might add.

"May came home with a smooth round stone
As small as a world and as large as alone," I told my other
niece as we walked the beach on a different day. And then
we talked about cummings and poetry and life and babies
and oceans and rivers and fathers and aunts and life
and life and life...

*

After the funeral, actually before the funeral, Lauren asked
if I wanted to go to Naples. She already had the time off
and was supposed to be touring for 2 weeks but was not up
to that. So I said, yes, I can go. Let's go.

And go we did. We stayed with my sister. Yesterday, as we
were getting ready to leave, my sister went up into the attic
to go through some art pieces she had to see if there were any
I wanted. She had already given me one--Monkeys in Vietnam--
can't explain it--don't think that art needs explanation per se--
but think I'll post a photo here.

She called me up into the attic to look at some paintings
and then in just one or two seconds, everything went fuzzy.
I heard a popping sound. I saw her go from standing height
to just upper chest, shoulders and head. The gravity
didn't sink in until she said, Pull me out of here!

I ran down the attic stairs (don't know why), saw her
feet dangling through the hole in the ceiling, screamed
for Lauren and ran back up the steps to try to pull my sister
up through the hole. Lauren heard me, said That's not funny
screaming like someone is hurt and I said Someone is
and she saw my sister and we got on either side and pulled
her back into the attic.

Geez. Scared the hell outta me. But she's ok. Scraped leg. Big
knot. Hole in the ceiling.

*

Lauren and I talked about going to Milledgeville (think that's
the name of the town) on our way home to see Flannery O'Connor's
place, but we were wanting to get home and it's a 14 + hour drive
from Naples home without any stops, so we didn't, but I know
where it is now and it will only take me about 6 hours to get there,
so next time I am southbound on 75, I am going off the beaten
path to Milledgeville.

*

Tired. Rested but tired. I didn't want to leave the beach
and I didn't want to stay. I wanted to come home.


So, I am home. And the lillies are all blooming, and the clematis
is nearly dead from no water all week (forgot to ask husband or son
to water) and the primrose continues to thrive. And the weeds,
oh the weeds, prolifically overtook the garden beds.

Hard to completely harbor hatred for something so resilient.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bad news


first thing this morning. My daughter
called around 9 to tell me that her dear friend
(since middle school) was in a wreck last night
and has serious brain damage. He was taken
by life flight to a hospital in St. Louis.

He spent so much time here during middle school, high school
and every time Lauren came home to visit (and still when
she comes home and he's in town). He has recently been
living in Hawaii, and Lauren was going to go visit with him
there, but he got transferred back to the St. Louis area
recently. He had just bought a new car, and all I know is that
he flipped it and was ejected.

I think of him as one of my own, so I am just physically ill,
my heart is breaking, and I'm just a mess, but I'm
trying to hold it together.

Lauren is on her way to St. Louis. She spoke with his mom
and found out that the damage is so severe that they think
if he makes it, he would probably have to live the rest of his
life in a long-term care facility. Earlier this morning, his brother
told Lauren that there was no brain activity, and if that is so,
then obviously the machines are the only thing keeping him here.

I am praying for a miracle for my Jake, Jake the pillow snake.
I can see his smiling face as I type this and feel his big bear hug.
I love you big guy...hold on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Leonard Cohen -

One of my favorite Cohen songs. Tori Amos does an amazing version on Tower of Song.

Five songs that knock my socks off--I think
that's how jz put it. These are the first five off the top
of my head, but I know I'll think of five more that
mean just as much as soon as I post this.
Already I am thinking of one that is not on this
list--Janis Joplin--Ball & Chain. Save that for
another list!


Lou Reed--Perfect Day
Bob Dylan--Tangled up in Blue/Idiot Wind/ Buckets of Rain (too many Dylan favorites!)
Nina Simone--Lilac Wine
Jeff Buckley--Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen--Famous Blue Raincoat

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Inventory

Took note of my flower and herb gardens today.
Actually weeded some of the herb garden yesterday.
It's overflowing with oregano and sage, but the rosemary
didn't make it. The chives are thriving and in full bloom
The blossoms are quite good on a salad, so I've been
tossing a few in on any given night.

All of the gardens are suffering from neglect. I just
don't have the oomph to go out and weed.

The peonies bloomed for the first time this year.
Mom and Dad planted them a few years ago.
Lovely, huge pink blossoms now on the ground
after the little bit of rain we got a few days ago.

The side garden is lovely with its yellow and purple
pansies (that survived the winter). Coreopsis and bleeding
heart are also doing well. Even the ornamental cauliflower
is blooming. The lillies are thriving and the mums too.

Out back, the primrose has just gone wild around
Dad's weeping cherry and the Stella D'Oro's are loaded
with buds.

The hardy hibiscus I planted around the copper birdbath
is standing tall and proud. I thought the cold snap had gotten it.

*

Tonight's meal was yum. Roasted tuna steaks with herbed
new potatoes.

Marinated the tuna steaks in:

white wine
olive oil
fresh thyme
fresh dill
sea salt
cracked black pepper
fresh, minced garlic
onion powder
dried tarragon

Placed them inside a parchment paper pouch. Generally,
I make individual pouches, but I was not that inspired
tonight.

Place the tuna steaks in the center of the parchment
paper, cover them with asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
and chopped scallions. Pour some of the marinade over it all.
Then squeeze fresh lemon juice over that and top it with
the lemon halves. Wrap in the paper and bake at 400
for 20 minutes.

I did a little something different with the herbed potatoes
this time. As follows:

Wash and cut 10-14 new potatoes into cubes.
Chop 1 yellow onion and add to potatoes in a small
baking dish.
Chop 10 garlice cloves and add to that.
Then add fresh chopped thyme and flat leaf parsley
Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Coat with extra virgin olive oil and blend together.
Cover and bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes.
Uncover and cook 20 more minutes.
Add a three cheese Italian blend (asiago, romano,
parmesan).
Put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes to brown the potatoes
and melt the cheese.

All very good.

*

Still walking but it's not helping the depression. It's not
hurting it either, so I keep walking. I have hurt
my left foot. Don't know what's wrong but I keep walking.

*

Poison ivy on my face and neck. Now popping out on
my arms and stomach. I am severly allergic and have
always had to have steroids to get rid of it, but I am hopeful
it will go away. I don't want to take steroids again.

*

Finished reading Running with Scissors and A Million
Little Pieces. Reading the complete works of Flannery
O'Connor now. Just read The Life You Save May Be Your Own
today. Also reading Sexton and Oliver.

*

Still jobless. Still looking. The only emails I get from
my former coworkers are inane forwards that I just
delete.

*

Tired. Very. Chin up, M. Chin up.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Hurry Up Please It's Time
Anne Sexton


What is death, I ask.
What is life, you ask.
I give them both my buttocks,
my two wheels rolling off toward Nirvana.
They are neat as a wallet,
opening and closing on their coins,
the quarters, the nickels,
straight into the crapper.
Why shouldn't I pull down my pants
and moon the executioner
as well as paste raisins on my breasts?
Why shouldn't I pull down my pants
and show my little cunny to Tom
and Albert? They wee-wee funny.
I wee-wee like a squaw.
I have ink but no pen, still
I dream that I can piss in God's eye.
I dream I'm a boy with a zipper.
It's so practical, la de dah.
The trouble with being a woman, Skeezix,
is being a little girl in the first place.
Not all the books of the world will change that.
I have swallowed an orange, being woman.
You have swallowed a ruler, being man.
Yet waiting to die we are the same thing.
Jehovah pleasures himself with his axe
before we are both overthrown.
Skeezix, you are me. La de dah.
You grow a beard but our drool is identical.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

Today is November 14th, 1972.
I live in Weston, Mass., Middlesex County,
U.S.A., and it rains steadily
in the pond like white puppy eyes.
The pond is waiting for its skin.
the pond is waiting for its leather.
The pond is waiting for December and its Novocain.

It begins:

Interrogator:
What can you say of your last seven days?

Anne:
They were tired.

Interrogator:
One day is enough to perfect a man.

Anne:
I watered and fed the plant.

*

My undertaker waits for me.
he is probably twenty-three now,
learning his trade.
He'll stitch up the gren,
he'll fasten the bones down
lest they fly away.
I am flying today.
I am not tired today.
I am a motor.
I am cramming in the sugar.
I am running up the hallways.
I am squeezing out the milk.
I am dissecting the dictionary.
I am God, la de dah.
Peanut butter is the American food.
We all eat it, being patriotic.

Ms. Dog is out fighting the dollars,
rolling in a field of bucks.
You've got it made if you take the wafer,
take some wine,
take some bucks,
the green papery song of the office.
What a jello she could make with it,
the fives, the tens, the twenties,
all in a goo to feed the baby.
Andrew Jackson as an hors d'oeuvre,
la de dah.
I wish I were the U.S. Mint,
turning it all out,
turtle green
and monk black.
Who's that at the podium
in black and white,
blurting into the mike?
Ms. Dog.
Is she spilling her guts?
You bet.
Otherwise they cough...
The day is slipping away, why am I
out here, what do they want?
I am sorrowful in November...
(no they don't want that,
they want bee stings).
Toot, toot, tootsy don't cry.
Toot, toot, tootsy good-bye.
If you don't get a letter then
you'll know I'm in jail...
Remember that, Skeezix,
our first song?

Who's thinking those things?
Ms. Dog! She's out fighting the dollars.
Milk is the American drink.
Oh queens of sorrows,
oh water lady,
place me in your cup
and pull over the clouds
so no one can see.
She don't want no dollars.
She done want a mama.
The white of the white.

Anne says:
This is the rainy season.
I am sorrowful in November.
The kettle is whistling.
I must butter the toast.
And give it jam too.
My kitchen is a heart.
I must feed it oxygen once in a while
and mother the mother.

*

Say the woman is forty-four.
Say she is five seven-and-a-half.
Say her hair is stick color.
Say her eyes are chameleon.
Would you put her in a sack and bury her,
suck her down into the dumb dirt?
Some would.
If not, time will.
Ms. Dog, how much time you got left?
Ms. Dog, when you gonna feel that cold nose?
You better get straight with the Maker
cuz it's coming, it's a coming!
The cup of coffee is growing and growing
and they're gonna stick your little doll's head
into it and your lungs a gonna get paid
and your clothes a gonna melt.
Hear that, Ms. Dog!
You of the songs,
you of the classroom,
you of the pocketa-pocketa,
you hungry mother,
you spleen baby!
Them angels gonna be cut down like wheat.
Them songs gonna be sliced with a razor.
Them kitchens gonna get a boulder in the belly.
Them phones gonna be torn out at the root.
There's power in the Lord, baby,
and he's gonna turn off the moon.
He's gonna nail you up in a closet
and there'll be no more Atlantic,
no more dreams, no more seeds.
One noon as you walk out to the mailbox
He'll snatch you up --
a wopman beside the road like a red mitten.

There's a sack over my head.
I can't see. I'm blind.
The sea collapses.
The sun is a bone.
Hi-ho the derry-o,
we all fall down.
If I were a fisherman I could comprehend.
They fish right through the door
and pull eyes from the fire.
They rock upon the daybreak
and amputate the waters.
They are beating the sea,
they are hurting it,
delving down into the inscrutable salt.

*

When mother left the room
and left me in the big black
and sent away my kitty
to be fried in the camps
and took away my blanket
to wash the me out of it
I lay in the soiled cold and prayed.
It was a little jail in which
I was never slapped with kisses.
I was the engine that couldn't.
Cold wigs blew on the trees outside
and car lights flew like roosters
on the ceiling.
Cradle, you are a grave place.

Interrogator:
What color is the devil?

Anne:
Black and blue.

Interrogator:
What goes up the chimney?

Anne:
Fat Lazarus in his red suit.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

Ms. Dog prefers to sunbathe nude.
Let the indifferent sky look on.
So what!
Let Mrs. Sewal pull the curtain back,
from her second story.
So what!
Let United Parcel Service see my parcel.
La de dah.
Sun, you hammer of yellow,
you hat on fire,
you honeysuckle mama,
pour your blonde on me!
Let me laugh for an entire hour
at your supreme being, your Cadillac stuff,
because I've come a long way
from Brussels sprouts.
I've come a long way to peel off my clothes
and lay me down in the grass.
Once only my palms showed.
Once I hung around in my woolly tank suit,
drying my hair in those little meatball curls.
Now I am clothed in gold air with
one dozen halos glistening on my skin.
I am a fortunate lady.
I've gotten out of my pouch
and my teeth are glad
and my heart, that witness,
beats well at the thought.

Oh body, be glad.
You are good goods.

*

Middle-class lady,
you make me smile.
You dig a hole
and come out with a sunburn.
If someone hands you a glass of water
you start constructing a sailboat.
If someone hands you a candy wrapper,
you take it to the book binder.
Pocketa-pocketa.

Once upon a time Ms. Dog was sixty-six.
She had white hair and wrinkles deep as splinters.
her portrait was nailed up like Christ
and she said of it:
That's when I was forty-two,
down in Rockport with a hat on for the sun,
and Barbara drew a line drawing.
We were, at that moment, drinking vodka
and ginger beer and there was a chill in the air,
although it was July, and she gave me her sweater
to bundle up in. The next summer Skeezix tied
strings in that hat when we were fishing in Maine.
(It had gone into the lake twice.)
Of such moments is happiness made.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

Once upon a time we were all born,
popped out like jelly rolls
forgetting our fishdom,
the pleasuring seas,
the country of comfort,
spanked into the oxygens of death,
Good morning life, we say when we wake,
hail mary coffee toast
and we Americans take juice,
a liquid sun going down.
Good morning life.
To wake up is to be born.
To brush your teeth is to be alive.
To make a bowel movement is also desireable.
La de dah,
it's all routine.
Often there are wars
yet the shops keep open
and sausages are still fried.
People rub someone.
People copulate
entering each other's blood,
tying each other's tendons in knots,
transplanting their lives into the bed.
It doesn't matter if there are wars,
the business of life continues
unless you're the one that gets it.
Mama, they say, as their intestines
leak out. Even without wars
life is dangerous.
Boats spring leaks.
Cigarettes explode.
The snow could be radioactive.
Cancer could ooze out of the radio.
Who knows?
Ms. Dog stands on the shore
and the sea keeps rocking in
and she wants to talk to God.

Interrogator:
Why talk to God?

Anne:
It's better than playing bridge.

*

Learning to talk is a complex business.
My daughter's first word was utta,
meaning button.
Before there are words
do you dream?
In utero
do you dream?
Who taught you to suck?
And how come?
You don't need to be taught to cry.
The soul presses a button.
Is the cry saying something?
Does it mean help?
Or hello?
The cry of a gull is beautiful
and the cry of a crow is ugly
but what I want to know
is whether they mean the same thing.
Somewhere a man sits with indigestion
and he doesn't care.
A woman is buying bracelets
and earrings and she doesn't care.
La de dah.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

There are stars and faces.
There is ketchup and guitars.
There is the hand of a small child
when you're crossing the street.
There is the old man's last words:
More light! More light!
Ms. Dog wouldn't give them her buttocks.
She wouldn't moon at them.
Just at the killers of the dream.
The bus boys of the soul.
Or at death
who wants to make her a mummy.
And you too!
Wants to stuf her in a cold shoe
and then amputate the foot.
And you too!
La de dah.
What's the point of fighting the dollars
when all you need is a warm bed?
When the dog barks you let him in.
All we need is someone to let us in.
And one other thing:
to consider the lilies in the field.
Of course earth is a stranger, we pull at its
arms and still it won't speak.
The sea is worse.
It comes in, falling to its knees
but we can't translate the language.
It is only known that they are here to worship,
to worship the terror of the rain,
the mud and all its people,
the body itself,
working like a city,
the night and its slow blood
the autumn sky, mary blue.
but more than that,
to worship the question itself,
though the buildings burn
and the big people topple over in a faint.
Bring a flashlight, Ms. Dog,
and look in every corner of the brain
and ask and ask and ask
until the kingdom,
however queer,
will come.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

John Fogerty - Fortunate Son

This is one Wes is practicing. He is making progress...good, steady. We talk about the song. He asks me about what it was like to live in the 60s, about the Vietnam war, about what I thought, about where I was and where my dad was, about how true this song still is today, about Iraq, about the mess this country is in, about where to go from here.

Dante decided


he'd had enough of Molly (he decides that every
time he comes in contact with her, but tonight
he was particularly adamant), and so he struck
her several times, but Molly kept coming back for more,


so, I grabbed Molly's paws and we started dancing.

I was already singing

I'm Henry the Eighth I am, Henry the 8th

blah, blah, blah, blah


was stuck in my head

had just watched a show on PBS about Atlantic
Records (no Herman's Hermits but somebody,
some song, some person on there got me started
on Henry)

so Molly and I danced and Dante hissed and I kept
singing and I opened the door and let Dante out
and kept dancing with Molly

and then realized I had more clothes to do
and a light bulb to replace (above the sink--high
up--I hate to do it but I asked and didn't get
any takers)

and so I changed it and Molly and I danced
some more until I had to go work

and Wes is practicing guitar--I love it, love it

I have requests all ready for him--he's working
on a few--some CCR

and I folded a load and started a load and put another
in the dryer


and damn if I didn't fix an ass-kicking good salad
tonight--a Rachael Ray 30 minute meals special

1 head romaine, washed and chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
4-5 radishes, sliced thin
2 red delicious apples, cored, seeded and sliced thin
sprinkled with the juice of one lemon

mix that stuff together

(just trying to remember here)

In a bowl, mix together:

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil--learn the lingo)

whisk that together

then add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tsp poppy seed and 2
tbsp (I think) chopped fresh dill. Mix well.

I may be wrong about some of the measurements.
Been wrong before. But I think that's right.

Pour the dressing over the salad. Mix. Serve. Eat.
And eat, and eat, and eat. It was so good!

I crashed at 7:30 last night. I can't sleep tonight.

I'll be paying for this big time tomorrow.

Yikes.
Who Am I?

Mother, wife, daughter.
Aunt, niece, cousin.
Sister, great aunt, soon to be
grandmother.

Once a student, once a teacher.
Once an employee. Once a believer.
Once a good listener. Once a young
girl. Once a water-skier, tennis player,
880 and the mile competitor, an artist,
a believer.

Who am I who watches the primrose
take over the garden beds? The woman
who walks her red dog in the evenings,
the one who watches out her windows
and screens, the one who still paints
her face every day though usually
not until half the day is past before
she realizes half the day is past.

Who am I who talks to my son
about poetry and literature, about Hugo
and Ferlinghetti, about Collins and Sexton,
about conjugating verbs and adjective
overkill. Who watches him go from
pubescence to young man overnight.

Who am I who wears the same black
skirt every day, who cooks lavish
meals every night, who drowns herself
in a bottle most nights, who can't sleep
well, who walks two miles a day, who wonders
how I got here to this place of not knowing
what to believe

Who am I that anyone should love,
should say You have the nicest smile
and beautiful eyes, whose eyes are puffy
not just in the morning but all day,
whose heart hurts and whose lungs
must endure her abuse, whose brain
got whacked somewhere along the line,
whose feet hurt every night.

Who are you that you can sit here
in the quiet of this room and entertain
who you are, as if in entertaining
you could get some slice of flavor,
cucumber or biscotti, to tempt
you to be who you are, the non-
believer in disguise.

The Who - Who Are You? - Live 8

Been this kind of day today. Just who are you? You, as in me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Can't Stop

Was on the porch and started thinking
about confessions. Not a catholic. Not anything.
Why confess anything? Why think? How to stop?
Don't want to stop.

Lucinda came to mind. This song came to mind.

*

Blue

Go find a jukebox
and see what a quarter will do
I don't wanna talk
I just wanna go back to blue
Feed's me when I'm hungry
and quenches my thirst
Loves me when I'm lonely
and thinks of me first

Blue is the color of night
When the red sun
Disappears from the sky
Raven feathers
shiny and black
A touch of blue
glistening down her back

We don't talk about heaven
and we don't talk about hell
We come to depend on one another
so damn well
So go to confession
whatever gets you through
You can count your blessings
I'll just count on blue

Blue is the color of night
When the red sun
Disappears from the sky
Raven feathers
shiny and black
A touch of blue glistening down her back
Blue
Observations


It feels slightly like mania
setting in, again, after a very long absence.

*

Billy Collins says that poets are always looking out
their windows. I think he may be right.

I do the next best thing. I sit on my porch and look
out the weathered screens.

A cardinal sits on the next door neighbor's porch
rail. A male. Vibrant red.

A man carrying a large, white bundle over his shoulders,
crosses the street and walks through the driveway next door.

Two cars pull into the driveway next door.

Primrose grows in the gardens I have planted which border
the brick walk out front. My mother gave them to me.
She says my great-grandmother planted them. She gave
them to me though this is the first year they have completely
taken off and over.

I've always thought it rude to look too much, but how can
I see if I don't look too much. So, I keep looking.

A young man with a rather large backpack pedals
past on his bike. Where is he going? What's in that
large pack on his back?

A young woman in black pants and a blue shirt
carries a blonde curly-haired baby in her arms.

Someone mows the yard next door.

Someone else picks up sticks.

What appears to be the same young man who earlier
carried the large white sack now walks back through
the yard next door, shirtless, one hand carrying a dark
shirt draped over his shoulder.

A hummingbird flits among the rhododendron blossoms.

R.E.M. - Losing My Religion

Been in an REM and Nirvana mood all morning. This is on repeat...next up--Nirvana--Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam