Thursday, November 30, 2023

Tint, and roses and falling (and he fell).


Dear Inchoate,

Sharp definition shadows, above the valley's bowl of fog.  I catch my breath each time, then descend into the shadowless mist, the damp, under the quiet wholeness.

I have words.
I crossed out the hard, sharp poem.

The poem, the words, the story, of being, of Cleopatra, of waiting,
in museums, behind large urns, waiting to trap you.  To consume you.  To destroy you.

There was an exhilarating rush of sliding down sheet ice- it was fun, while it lasted.  But,
at the bottom of the mountain, after all the speed and the money was gone; I did not rail any longer.
I did not care to eat you up.
I did not need to hear these things.

I went home; drew a field of flowers.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Two Thousand.


Dear Celebrants,

Here it is, Day 2,000!  I skated away, I skated in, I skated out, I skated with Covid, I skated at home, and now these days have accumulated into a biggish pile of 2,000!  

These last 100 days I have spent pretty much working exclusively on trying to do this; a thing that is inexplicably called a 'manual.'  I could use another hundred days working on it, but, I am here to report that if you spend a small amount of time on a thing everyday for 100 days, you can get better at it!  

Let's have some pie to celebrate!  

Bonus track.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023



Dear Others,

I fell into a space, a largeish one, filled with unimaginable sadness.  I thought I might have read it in the calligraphy of clouds, which is very readable this time of year, even in the shorter daylight, or maybe because of it.  It holds, this time, for sure, the coming gloom, the chill, the end of at least the year, and maybe many other things that we daren't consider.  But, as I said, the clouds might give us the message even while we bustle around trying to avoid it.

Maybe sadness isn't the word, isn't the place.  Maybe the place is pathos.  Or my favorite, abject melancholia.  To be sure, I was reading about a case of the AMs.  An author that is now dead and gone.  

Now another thing I read or heard, Laurie Anderson saying that we must not be sad, only feel sad.  It was a distinction I hadn't kenned before, and sometimes I still don't.  She said, I think, that it was a tenet of Buddhism.  Or perhaps I imagined that she said it and I read it in the clouds?

I try to maintain these two separately; the feeling and the being, I really do, but the gaping hugeness of what I think must be everyone's sadness, is sometimes unavoidable. If you are like, or like I have been, you will micro analyze your blue snit, your dark brow, until you fear actual madness.  What we are supposed to do, say the sages, is to make space even for this, this yawning horror, to feel it, not to scrutinize it silly.  

Ah but, you still may try to; you are clever, you are smart, you will outfox this feeling.  You might, perhaps, suffer from anhedonia; a word I am obsessed with since I read it a few years ago.  Anhedonia, anhedonia, my country 'tis of thee!  If you Google it, chances are you will see that you have it too.  

But again, you are smart; you know, because of your monkey cleverness, that people don't really respond to your work, to that which is your messy self, they just like the outward you; and of course they do, because you are endlessly seeing to their comfort, feeling for them, telling them what you'd like to hear:  you are fine, you are well, you are acceptable by every metric!  You are good.

Sticky wickets all around.  Try out this concept:  Beautiful Mess Effect.

It's a balm, for certain, but, it doesn't take away the cavern of sorrows.  It's like a missing limb, you learn to live with, next door to, around, the cavern, I guess.  Because of our really serious case of anhedonia.  Because of the calligraphy of the clouds.  Because of the light.  Because of time.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Culture Consumer Princess


Dear Quiz Takers,

Or, is that Quizzlings?  Quizzettes?  Crepes Quizettes?  In any case, discover who you are by taking this handy Culture Consumer Princess Quiz!  Brought to you, free of charge, by the good folks at the Dodo!

The Smiths or The Cure?

Raspberry Ripple or Black Cherry?

Flannel or T Shirt?

Money or Love?   

If you answered an even mix of first and second choices you are: Princess DoubleCherryBerry!

If you answered all seconds, you are:  Princess CherryHeart!

If you answered all firsts, you are:  Princess GoldBerry!

If you answered another princess quiz entirely, you are:  Princess InAnotherCastle!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

long felt want


Untitled (Banjo Player and Dancing Woman), 1920's, e. e. cummings.

Dear Beloved Reader,

I have been treasuring this little trio of words for about a year now; long felt want.  Let's look at them this way:




So much of it is the sound, things that poets and academics would know what to call- vowel sounds, meters, stressed syllables, a bunch of stuff we don't need to discuss.  Except, and this is a big exception, if it helps us to love this phrase more deeply.  In that case, have at it, English Majors, Creative Writing Folks, Scholars of all kinds.

I have been waiting, I suppose, for the moment to be right to bring it to you, but that's not quite it either.  I have been waiting to tell you about it through the lens of Another Thing.  A Like Thing.  I often want to bundle the greatness into a larger package; to send you not one great thing, but two, or even three or more.

So, I wait for Another Thing.  Sometimes it is a long wait.

I have been working on some projects that are kind of odd, they kind of don't have beginnings, or even ends.  The projects are for the long time- do a little one day, then leave it for a week or so.  That kind of pace.  The project I will begin soon is changing my address book.  I have sewn a new cover for a new book, and it is time to transfer in all the names and locations of the people that are not dead (physically or metaphorically- it was a tough couple of years, mind you; many old acquaintances and objects have moved from the category of Why Do I Still Have This to I Threw That Out.  Don't worry, not your name, of course!).* 

This project (and others like it: example: painting the closet doors a new color) are Long Felt Wants.  I do worry a little, because, well, I think I might be lonely if I never worried at all, that the Want may not end when the projects do.  

As usual, I am telling you all this, so that I can figure out what I might mean by all of it.  Have I told you lately how much you mean to me?  I thought not.  Please try to remember it!

But, back to the phrase.  I lifted it from e. e. cummings' book The Enormous Room.  I am trying not to read old white men, as you know, but this book and perhaps all of e. e. cummings' work shall have to be an exception- let us think of  him/them as an honorary non-white brown/black non-binary kind of a they author, because, ooh, it's a book recording a great beauty and love for humans.

* Don't you just love that we can put !). down like that and no one to correct us??  Writing is the best, just like painting or drawing, because we are always building another world to reign as Queen in.

Monday, November 13, 2023

what is it made of?


Dear Everyone Occupying Space at This Moment,

Are objects made of poetry?  Without doubt.  What else is inside a thing?  What other potentiality could there be?  What would there be that will not rust, combust, or decompose?  If you counter they are made of atoms, I say; there is your proof!  Little things we cannot see, tiny theoretical impulses are poetry itself!

Here is a poem on some small, un-identified cut brass chips that came to me.

You gave me tiny shiny squares of golden light.
I sent you back a sewn order of gold.
I had to cheat, too, with glue, but I'll never tell.

And they were so crooked and poorly aligned; Agnes Martin
would have died again, even as I thought of her when I arranged them in their

that's life grid.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

you know him


X-Ray of Peach in Dish, 1973, William Wegman.

Dear Shutterbugs,

Today I'd like to sing the praises of Wm. Wegman.  You know him, of course, as the photographer of dogs; luscious, velvety & lustrous skinned Weimaraners; they are funny, they are cute.  No one is saying they aren't.  However, however, however, there is more to this photographer.  Take these hilarious photographs; funny, smart, all about ideas and absences.  While you are on his site, check out his work on paper, and his interesting mixed media paintings.

I have had the tab to his website open on my computer for over a year now; mostly because I was not sure what I wanted to say to you about these works; and I am still not overflowing with words; but, but, but, I want you to see them, and that seems like it might be more important than waiting for me to come up with 'le bon mot,' le mot juste.'

My enthusiasm for these photographs circles around austere atmosphere and elation about ideas; may you also find frisson in viewing them!

Friday, November 3, 2023