By Louise Erdrich
My breasts are soft.
My hair is dull.
I am growing into the body
of the old woman who will bear me
toward my death,
my death which will do me no harm.
Every day the calico cat returns from the fields
with a mouse in her jaws.
After every bite of the tender lawn, the ground squirrel
jerks and flinches,
but no hawk drops out of the sky.
The fat creature continues to eat, nervously
stuffing itself with pleasure.
I watch him as I drink from a bottle of grassy wine.
Why do I long
to be devoured and to forget
in life rather than in death?
What is the difference?
Warning: Prolixity ahead along with some stream-of-consciousness rants. I've been reading an entire stack of Alice Munro books for weeks now. I've only just discovered her (although I had read a few of her stories in the distant past in "The New Yorker") and I'm obsessively reading everything she's written. I'm a thousand percent smitten. Yet another Canadian author I love to love.
FYI: The July full moon tonight is a supermoon. It's had me up every night this week, shimmering & conversing about night flowers, night moths and the night sky. (From Wikipedia: "A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth.)
I've adored Louise Erdrich since I read her book "Love Medicine" in the 1990's. My friend, Angie Comer, who also introduced me to Tom Robbins, (bless her heart x's 100!!!) told me about Louise Erdrich and I became intrigued with her stories. I've since read every book she's written. I especially love her poetry, of course. "Original Fire" is a poetic masterpiece with every poem an enlightening, burning ember. I highly recommend all of her novels and her poetry. (You may notice she co-wrote a few books with Michael Dorris, who was her husband for many years. Michael Dorris wrote a book that I love, "A Yellow Raft in Blue Water" which I highly recommend. They had a soul-searing divorce involving serious child abuse allegations and Dorris later hanging himself...such a horrid tragedy...).
I find it utterly cool that she owns a book store in the city where she lives, 'Birchbark Books' in Minneapolis, MN, USA. Here's her site: http://birchbarkbooks.com/. If I'm ever that far north, I'll be sure to stop in. I love Independent Book Stores.
(Another author I love, Ann Patchett, owns her own bookstore in Nashville, TN, USA: 'Parnassus Books'. I've been there and it's an amazing place. She has a good poetry section, too. Stop by if you're ever in Nashville.) http://www.parnassusbooks.net/about-us
Ms. Erdrich and I share the same birth year and were born a little over a month apart. I was born under the full moon in the sign of Moonchild. I didn't stand a chance to NOT be a typical Cancerian. I'm a by-the-astrological-chart kinda girl. It was only a few years ago that I looked up the phase of the moon at my birth. I wasn't really surprised that it was full that day.
I've decorated a new journal, named it "Indigo" and it's almost ready to be scribbled in starting on my birthday. I make a new one every year. It's unbelievable how much stuff you forget just from one year to the next...or in my case, one day to the next. MENopause does that to a woman's brain. I also cull out bits and pieces of poems and sometimes put an entire poem or two or three together from my journal-hunts at the end of every year. Here's a photo of "Indigo", my new journal:
Well, TGIF, and read some poetry this weekend, y'all. I hear it's gonna be a cool one up north...Summer Polar Vortex indeed!! Think of us down here with the weather in the 90's and mosquitoes chewing up our pretty ankles.
PS: Listed below are Louise Erdrich's writings, from Wikipedia.
- Love Medicine (1984)
- The Beet Queen (1986)
- Tracks (1988)
- The Crown of Columbus [coauthored with Michael Dorris] (1991)
- The Bingo Palace (1994)
- Tales of Burning Love (1997)
- The Antelope Wife (1998)
- The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001)
- The Master Butchers Singing Club (2003)
- Four Souls (2004)
- The Painted Drum (2005)
- The Plague of Doves (Harper, 2008)
- Shadow Tag (Harper, 2010)
- The Round House (2012)
- The Red Convertible: Collected and New Stories 1978-2008 (2009)
- Grandmother's Pigeon (1996)
- The Birchbark House (1999)
- The Range Eternal (2002)
- The Game of Silence (2005)
- The Porcupine Year (2008)
- Chickadee (2012)
- Jacklight (1984)
- Baptism of Desire (1989)
- Original Fire: Selected and New Poems (2003)
- Route Two [coauthored with Michael Dorris] (1990)
- The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birthyear (1995)
- Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (2003)