Saturday, June 27, 2009

day trip

sometimes you need escape

get away from the crowd
away from the same old same old
to a new scene, new sights

with exotic vegetation and animal life

you crave new landscape you are tired of green

when you hit the road

you see things differently

see different things

get out of your own head
which is sick of dawn/light/mist/sky

you take off and then you're back
and there is refreshment

which is good enough for now

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Spent a rainy Saturday wandering among ancient Greek and Roman artifacts with W & S. The Metropolitan Museum was packed. We looked and talked. It was a good good day. Later I thought of this poem.

          Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head 
with eyes like ripening fruit.  And yet his torso 
is still suffused with brilliance from inside, 
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power.  Otherwise 
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could 
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs 
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced 
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders 
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself, 
burst like a star: for here there is no place 
that does not see you. You must change your life.

Rainer Marie Rilke, trans. by Stephen Mitchell

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Happy Molly Bloom's Day
and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009




I think I know what sort of person I am. But then I

think, But this stranger will imagine me quite otherwise

when he or she hears this or that to my credit, for

instance that I have a position at the university: the

fact that I have a position at the university will appear

to mean that I must be the sort of person who has a

position at the university. But then I have to admit,

with surprise, that, after all, it is true that I have a

position at the university. And if it is true, then perhaps

I really am the sort of person you imagine when you

hear that a person has a position at the university. But,

on the other hand, I know I am not the sort of person

I imagine when I hear that a person has a position at

the university.  Then I see what the problem is: when

others describe me this way, they appear to describe

me completely, whereas in fact they do not describe

me completely, and a complete description of me

would include truths that seem quite incompatible with

the fact that I have a position at the university.

NB: I don't in fact have a position at a university, well, maybe sometimes, in that I teach every other semester or so, on occasion, a writing course so does this make me someone with a position at a university because in fact it is a university and I do on occasion teach there so perhaps I am, like the prose poem character, a person with a position at a university although my position comes and goes but perhaps that doesn't matter in the definition of a person with a position at a university. Indeed, I could be considered by some such a person and this is what happens when you run and listen to poetry and poets talking about poems you come back and write stuff like this.  I like the poem though because it pokes fun at people with positions in the university as well as people without positions in the university.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Because these will be gone soon, ruined
by the wet weather and because then their
smell will be gone and the honeysuckle
will soon follow, the days to grow shorter
and I can already sense the end of summer,
saying the word
August today was wrong.

Field of Vision

And if the bee, half-drunk
on the nectar of the columbine,
could think of the dying queen, the buzz
of chaos in the hive, the agitation
of the workers in their cells, the veiled
figure come again to rob the combs --
then would the summer fields
grow still, the hum of propagation
cease, the flowers spread
bright petals to no avail -- as if
a plug were drawn from a socket
in the sun, the light that flowed into
the growing field would fail;
for how should the bee make honey then,
afraid to look, afraid to look away?

By Eleanor Wilner
from her book The Girl with Bees in Her Hair

PS You should check out qarrtsiluni. 
Some pretty good reading. Go there now.

Monday, June 8, 2009


I know, I know. I shouldn't write about wild roses, much less 
honeysuckle. Aren't we so over roses and honeysuckle? 
But when I run their scent gets me high.  
Especially in this morning's humidity. Drunk on flower scent. 
All along the roads that are part of my loop. 
This won't last. I'm not complaining. 

Summer reading is on my mind. A partial list:

Song of Myself
Biography of Whitman
Anthology of contemporary poems inspired by Whitman
(In preparation for fall exhibition at the Museum where I work)
Bosworth"s biography of Diane Arbus
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

I think these will get me some mileage. There are more.