Friday, May 29, 2009

i love wes, and wes loves me

On Monday, May 18th, I dropped off the signed retainer letter (with the all-important checks) at the mediator's office. This is the next step in the divorce process--she will now draw up the agreement, we will each have lawyers review it, then go from there (hopefully no more changes after that).

Afterwards, I took myself out for a cocktail at my beloved Flatiron Lounge and sent text messages to any of my friends who might be remotely interested in what had just transpired. Having enjoyed a "404" (named, apparently, for the Atlanta area code, in honor of some out of town patrons) and a "Blue Moon" (so named because it is, um, blue) I headed east to Punch for a little dinner. On the way I saw two men standing on the sidewalk talking and realized that one of them looked very familiar. It was none other than Wesley Stace, aka John Wesley Harding, one of my all-time favorite musicians and now a celebrated novelist. I stopped right in front of him and declared, "I love you!" Without blinking, he replied, very matter-of-fact, "I love you, too!"

Then I went along my way, grinning and giggling. As long as Wes loves me, all must be right with the world.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

reading tonight at the bowery!

Tonight I'm reading with three fantastic Red Hen chicks--er--women authors at the world-famous Bowery Poetry Club.

Excited to share the stage with the illustrious Judy Grahn, the celebrated Sarah Goodyear, and the prodigious Erinn Batykefer, all introduced by none other than Red Hen goddess Kate Gale herself!

Just made some last-minute babysitting arrangements so I will be there for showtime at 6! (Draw me a pint, Shappy!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

for those new grads and [single] dads?

Thinking about finding a new apartment and some new furnishings (including a replacement for the found-on-the-sidewalk kitchen table with instant removable legs)...I have to admit this little power pop tune gives me a grin.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

old saint nick's

Last night I went with a couple of friends to Saint Nick's, a historic jazz club in Harlem. My friend and FIT colleague Praveen lives in the neighborhood (his apartment has the most incredible view) and is a regular at the pub. The band for African Night was large and lively, as was the crowd. Standing room only, jostling required. After awhile, I figured out how to avoid getting jostled by the bartenders shuttling six-packs back and forth to the bar. Before I knew it, it was one a.m. and time to head back downtown on the A train. Good to have a night out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

sweet girl

My 13-year-old niece Mary is a young poet. Her dad, my brother David, just sent me a link to some of her work, which she's put on her school's website. She wrote a wonderful poem about Stella and used a cute photo as background for the page. Still wringing out the kleenex...

Meanwhile, the sweet girl is home with strep (here we go again). At least it was not flu (they tested her) and will be dispatched with amoxycillin forthwith.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

love (two takes)

"Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other."
--Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
--Lao Tzu

(Thanks to Kim Addonizio for pointing these out in Ordinary Genius, a book I cannot put down!)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

craig arnold, 1967-2009

A bright bright light has gone out.Wish I had been able to spend more time with you, Craig.

Friday, May 08, 2009

poetry in sleepy hollow

I'm excited! I am reading tonight at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York (yes, there really is a Sleepy Hollow) with my dear friend, the brilliant Stephanie Strickland. We're taking the train up the river, and the Center is actually in the old train station. Can't wait can't wait can't wait! Perhaps Ichabod himself will be in the audience...if he looked like Johnny Depp, well, I wouldn't complain. See you there?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

may showers

O western wind, when will thou blow,
the small rain down can rain?
Christ! that my love were in my arms
and I in my bed again!

We're in the middle of a wet stretch. The past few days have been dreary for a number of reasons even beyond the weather. Uncertain finances everywhere. The specter of swine flu--excuse me, H1N1 flu. End-of-semester piles of ungraded, unmarked student work. Other dramas at work. Taking the kids to church a continuing challenge, even a chore. Stella's bus matron, batty and difficult as ever. Bobby's frantic hyper bedtime behavior, draining. A budding romance burst and dropped from the vine, a shower of shed petals in its wake.

But the flowers of May are here. Tonight on the way to the track (during a brief respite from the rain) I put my nose in a peony for the first time this season. It smelled like hope, like sunshine. Yes, the flowers are here. The rains will subside. This is spring. The wind blows from the west again.

Monday, May 04, 2009

find craig arnold

A friend of mine, a brilliant poet and lively light, has been missing on a small volcanic island in Japan for over a week now. Here is an article on the ABC News website about his situation. A fund has been established to make sure that the search is continued until Craig is found. Please go here for more information.

online broadside and commentary

I have probably mentioned a wonderful poet and editor, Sam Rasnake. (If I haven't, I have now, and sorry I took so long, Sam!)

Sam is the one who selected Fine Motor for the Sow's Ear Poetry Review chapbook contest, and he has also published some poems in his online journal Blue Fifth Review. He also publishes and online broadside series, and selected "Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra" for the current issue. He also asks poets to write a commentary about the composition of the poem--a deliciously torturous thing to do.

Thank you, Sam, for your efforts on behalf of poets and poetry!

Friday, May 01, 2009

wouldn't it be nice

This is where my head is at right now: the Beach Boys' classic of teenage love and longing. I don't know why, but the little toy-piano-calliope-sounding tune at the beginning always makes me want to cry. I remember the way Michael Moore used this song in Roger and Me over a montage illustrating the lost hopes and dreams of people in Flint, Michigan. Heavy irony, anyone?

I'm thinking (and writing) about the way in which, in midlife, I have become a lot like a teenager--constantly changing, prone to hormonal surges, wondering about my future, alternately exuberant and discouraged, despairing and hopeful, impulsive and cautious, foolish and wise. Lately, I have been talking to my parents a lot, leaning on them for advice as I haven't done since high school, when I subjected them to a nightly litany of my hopes and dreams and insecurities, and they struggled to comfort and counsel their complicated and perplexing eldest child. How lucky I am that they are here for me as I navigate these treacherous seas.