Friday, July 11, 2014

Time by Louise Erdrich

A Hawk and A Squirrel Playing Hide & Seek in a New York City Park.
Photo from, named one of the essential New York City neighborhood blogs.

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:  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.) 

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:

I began with a lime green "Smash Journal" and transformed it with paint, glue, stickers, cut-outs from magazines, fake jewels, papers and the 'Net.

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. 

This fabulous book, "Indigo" by Graham Joyce is a super read and quite unique (and the reason I became obsessed with the color Indigo).  Indigo is a color the human eye cannot truly see, a slice of the spectrum imbued with the promise of invisibility...and thus begins an intriguing, page-turner of a book.  Who wouldn't love to be invisible for a day or two?  This book inspired me to name my journal "Indigo".


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)

Story collections:

  • The Red Convertible: Collected and New Stories 1978-2008 (2009)

Children's literature:


  • 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)


Wine and Words said...

I, of course, WILL be in Nashville by tomorrow night. And I hope to be swigging some grassy wine by the bottle...and I brought my wig. So we will be together in spirit my BFF! Sent you something for your birthday next week. Hope it is delivered in time, but if's coming. You won't be a year older, you will be a year closer to our next visit :)

erin said...

just YESTERDAY!! i was talking to james about reading alice munro short stories. i've been reading so many short stories by men and loving them, MacLeod, Sartre, Faulker, but feeling a void in terms of a woman's voice.

the Erdich poem - ohhh, it is such a strange and uncanny thing to age as we do, except that it is neither strange nor uncanny in that we do it every day since and from our inception, only it feels unusual, doesn't it? as though we are always trying to catch up to something which existed in the past, or is intangibly in the future.

60 years old, marion))) 60 beautiful years))) happy birthday. indigo indeed:)


Marion said...

Annie, you're going to LOVE Nashville. It's a gorgeous, amazing city. I may live there in the future. It's a magical place. The creativity just crackles in the air. I also love McKay's Used Books...several floors of used books on the cheap...a book-lover's dream!! Have a blast and drink some wine for me. xo

Erin, we've been mentally linked the past few days. The minute I began reading Alice Munro I thought of you. Her stories are just mind-blowing. I'm totally obsessed with her and I've never really been a short-story person, but she's magnificent...the female superior to Chekhov or Raymond Carver, for sure. Yes, we're all headed like an out-of-control freight train toward death every single day, yet most don't want to acknowledge it. That's why I love that poem so much: it tells the truth. xo

Kelly said...

Why am I not surprised you were born under a full moon? ;) Perfect!

As much as I struggle with a full moon, I always smile and think of you when I see one.

Marion said...

I know, Kelly, right? I was up most of last night. I woke up at 3 a.m. and got up. Truly, I thought it was morning, the moonlight was shining so brightly through the window. I laughed at myself when I looked at the clock. Between my dragonfly & moon-loves, I have lots of people thinking of me. ;-) Thanks for stopping by. Love & hugs. xo