Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I like short stories

A friend sent me this link.
It's Miranda July's website.

I think I will look for her book.
I liked her movie.

I want to read some short story collections this summer.
Every summer I make myself an unofficial summer reading list.
I guess that's left over from school days. I like to read big fat books in the summer, the kind that take up too much space in the already overstuffed beach bag, the kind that are good to read and read when you have a stretch of time--like at the beach. So what's on my list? A mixed bag. I'm just about finished with the first book, Elaine Scarry's "On Beauty." I'm still debating whether to dive into the second volume of Hilary Spurling's biography on Matisse. I read the first book 2 summers ago. If I decide to, then that could take a chunk of time. Also on the list is Beckett's "The Unnameable." I'm looking for wildness, strangeness. Or maybe "Molloy." I probably need to read a possible text book if I teach my grad class next year. And there are a few books of poetry, including one I'll be reviewing.
I recently heard Michael Silverblatt interview author Christine Schutt on Bookworm. Her short story collection "A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer," sounded interesting. Perhaps I'll dip into some essays. Jeff Wall's "Selected Essays and Interviews" is on a table nearby. Summer's hardly here and now it seems gone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


from Waterwork

by Sarah Riggs

There are whole swabs of pigment. Colors of skin bending and blending.
Skins not separate from bodies, bodies not separate from skin, and the eyes
set free from judging, the eyes in the body, and the pigments, the pigments
nestled in, drawn from within, drawn from without. The sun, the exposure,
the wind alters our skin. We change, our skin expands contracts stretches
sags, is peeled back, cut off, pierced, heals. Skin, every human has skin,
has color. There are no colors that you don't paint, there's hair in that pigment,
and nails, teeth, corpus, the pigments swirl touch breathe speak, not the
words but the blur. They're screaming, they're exalted, joy, joy in that not
judging, in that over there, and here, closer than here, farther than there.
There are no characters in your painting.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Spoon and Tree

What gladdens her is the spoon,
with its tiny saucer of remnants,
its slender shaft, scrubbed last—
and now the kitchen's clean.
Clean are the knives and forks
all akimbo in their drying cage
at the window. The spoon
leans alone toward light,
a backyard limb reflected
in its sunken belly, so a
liquid darkness tongues
its curves and bends
along its slender neck,
making the one tidying up blush
at this bed she's come upon—
refractive, gleaming, the old
dream of coupling
here portioned out
in such a strange

When the light is gone,
the immaculate house hushed,
she puts down her book
and returns, barefooted,
waking the wood planks
to the kitchen. The cupboard,
too, sighs, its ascending note
sliding wind-clean. And even
before shaking whole grains
into her midnight bowl,
she has reached out,
across the ticking, low-watt
world, her warm mouth
clamping itself wetly
around the cooled,
hard truth
of the spoon.

Sara London

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Flowers and history and poetry

I noticed in the long time since my last post that some blogs have pictures of flowers-even gardens. So I'm adding these. The spring has been short here it seems. Snow in April, lots of rain, still some cool nights. Summer next week. School's out. Long days slipping by too fast.
And this poem.

Don't Write History as Poetry

Don't write history as poetry, because the weapon is
the historian. And the historian doesn't get fever
chills when he names his victims, and doesn't listen
to the guitar's rendition. And history is the dailiness
of weapons prescribed upon our bodies. "The
intelligent genius is the mighty one." And history
has no compassion that we can long for our
beginning, and no intention that we can know what's ahead
and what's behind ... and it has no rest stops
by the railroad tracks for us to bury the dead, for us to look
toward what time has done to us over there, and what
we've done to time. As if we were of it and outside it.
History is not logical or intuitive that we can break
what is left of our myth about happy times,
nor is it a myth that we can accept our dwelling at the doors
of judgment day. It is in us and outside us ... and a mad
repetition, from the catapult to the nuclear thunder.
Aimlessly we make it and it makes us ... Perhaps
history wasn't born as we desired, because
the Human Being never existed?
philosophers and artists passed through there ...
and the poets wrote down the dailiness of their purple flowers
then passed through there ... and the poor believed
in sayings about paradise and waited there...
and gods came to rescue nature from our divinity
and passed through there. And history has no
time for contemplation, history has no mirror
and no bare face. It is unreal reality
or unfanciful fancy, so don't write it.
Don't write it, don't write it as poetry!
Mahmoud Darwish
translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah