Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Late Hours By Lisel Mueller


By Lisel Mueller
On summer nights the world
moves within earshot
on the interstate with its swish
and growl, an occasional siren
that sends chills through us.
Sometimes, on clear, still nights,
voices float into our bedroom,
lunar and fragmented,
as if the sky had let them go
long before our birth.

In winter we close the windows
and read Chekhov,
nearly weeping for his world.

What luxury, to be so happy
that we can grieve
over imaginary lives.


Oh, the countless imaginary lives/lines I've cried over!  The beautiful words, the ink and paper characters as real as my hand in front of my face and yet.....not.  Books: sweet escape, sweet relief, sweet-healing-wounding words. 


"Girl Reading" by Canadian artist, Oliver Ray
"Medicine for the soul." ~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tom Robbins Memoir

I'm eagerly sitting on my hands awaiting this book to arrive via UPS.  This is a memoir (of sorts) by the master of the metaphor.  It came out on May 27, 2014, and I somehow missed the fact that he had a new book coming.  Shame on me!  I own all of Robbins' books and can't wait to get my grubby hands on this one in spite of a few nasty reviews at Amazon.  I don't even trust a book that doesn't get a few bad reviews.  I mean, you can't please everyone...especially if you're Tom Robbins.  Amazingly, I just realized (after counting on my fingers and toes) that he'll be 78 years young a few days after my own birthdate in July.  Mon Dieu, time, she flies!! 
If you've never read Tom Robbins, start with either "Jitterbug Perfume" or "Skinny Legs and All".  They are my co-favorites.  He's like no author I've ever read and I've read tens of thousands of books.  I can count the writers who compare to him on one finger...Tom. 
I love this writing advice (below) by Tom Robbins.  Goes great for poetry, too: 
"Write down your favorite word. Write a sentence incorporating that word. Write another sentence that hold hands with your first sentence. This is the beginning of your story."

Gotta run.  Here's my book....



PS:  A perfect book poem from "Carnival Evening" by Linda Pastan:


Just looking at them
I grow greedy, as if they were
freshly baked loaves
waiting on their shelves
to be broken open---that one
and that---and I make my choice
in a mood of exalted luck,
browsing among them
like a cow in sweetest pasture.
For life is continuous
as long as they wait
to be read---these inked paths
opening into the future, page
after page, every book
its own receding horizon,
And I hold them, one in each hand,
a curious ballast weighting me
here to the earth.
~Linda Pastan


"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." ~Jessamyn West


"There are books so alive that you’re always afraid that while you weren’t reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?" ~Marina Tsvetaeva



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hurricane Season

I don't know who wrote this, so for now, I'll credit it to "Anonymous".
Hey, y'all.  Happy hurricane season!  (June 1 till November 30).  Here's a big ole 'fuck you' to State Farm Insurance and the entire insurance industry for stealing even more money from hard-working middle class folks.  We got a letter a few months ago saying we're no longer covered if our home receives damage during a 'named hurricane'.  I cussed out everyone I could find while they hemmed and hawed.  It's yet another government scam to take our money and give us nothing in return.  I still have to pay several thousand dollars a year for insurance, but I'm just not covered pretty much half the year.  Hell, about the only time a person in Louisiana has damage to their home is during hurricane season!  And for the record, I'm nowhere near the coast.  (Phew, I feel better...steppin' off my soap box for now.....)
I have searched and searched for the origin of that poem.  I don't know where I got it or when, but found it glued into one of my old journals, so I'm sure I found it somewhere on the Internet---or not.  I do still have my trusty typewriter, but I haven't drug it out in too many moons to count.  I love, love, love this poem or beginning of a poem.  I, too, was born in the heart of hurricane season (on the full moon in the sign of Moonchild) and truly wish I had written this, but I didn't.
If you wrote it or know who did, please let me know. 
It was one of those hot, silent nights, when people sit at windows, listening for the thunder which they know will shortly break; when they recall dismal tales of hurricanes and earthquakes; and of lonely travellers on open plains, and lonely ships at sea, struck by lightning. ~Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter XLII
The wind shows us how close to the edge we are. ~Joan Didion