Tuesday, December 29, 2009


At the Carroll Gardens library, typing away in the children's section. The room is packed with toddlers and their parents or caregivers, very sweet. I feel sated and content after a lovely snack at Sweet Melissa's, a cafe on Court Street. I sat a little table scribbling, enjoying the bustle, the jazz on the stereo, and the stream of delectable dishes in my prix fixe meal: butternut squash soup; a ham, camembert and green-apple panini (a diagonal half reserved for tomorrow's breakfast); mesclun salad, delicious coffee, and a savory muffin, cheddar with sundried tomato, for dessert. Such a lovely atmosphere, yellow walls, a painted tin ceiling, stained glass lamps and milk-glass sconces, plain wood floors, tiny tables crammed together against a wall. About the size of p.m. wine bar, only no wine, just drinks like gingerbread latte and peppermint hot chocolate. Stylish, yes - but doesn't pretend to be French! (You would have blended right in.)

My day didn't go as I'd planned. I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge again and noticed that the cables not only meet above the arches, but criss-cross all the way up, which heartened me. I stopped at the New Amsterdam branch library to blog, and discovered a message from a former colleague - a five-minute walk away to her office. So she and I had lunch and caught up, and I must say I do not miss city planning one little bit and could not care less if a Lucille Roberts in a C4 district has been an illegal (adult-entertainment, non-retail) use since it illegally established itself in a retail district 16 years ago. Such nonsense. It simply doesn't matter AT ALL. I was happy to see my friend but even happier to serenely waltz out of there with airier things on my mind.

Such as what to do since it was getting too late to go see the Velasquez exhibit at the Met, my original plan, shelved til tomorrow. In the end I couldn't think of anything brilliant and compelling so I walked back over the Bridge (one would think I would be pencil-slim what with all the brisk walks I take all over the place, city & country).

The children are getting tired, there's yelling now, and screeching, and shushing, and looking around for jackets, and now some fretful crying and wood xylophone playing. No more screaming, I told you if you scream we have to go. Nooooooooo....

I need to buy a book of Emily Dickinson's poetry. I've been reading my neighbors'. To me she's all about thwarted, unrequited love, at least many of the poems I've landed on. Also in the last few days I borrowed off the neighbors' bookshelf a volume of essays by Adrienne Rich, which includes an essay on Dickinson. Her reductionist-feminist take doesn't ring true to me (don't have it in front of me, so sorry to be vague). Reading Emily Dickinson I sense a great deal of pain, a deliberate and sensible withdrawing from a conventional world that can't possibly understand her and can only hurt her, while at the same time she feels so passionately, deeply, and acutely that (absent sex, which I've read that she was quite sexual) the only possible mode of expressing herself in any adequate, fulfilling, authentic way is through her poetry, her art. Her poetry was necessary to her, the only way to be in the world, to reconcile her self in the inhospitable earthly realm. She's working out what it means to be queer, even if she wasn't homosexual.

Must logoff now, before the computer shuts down for the evening automatically.

Love, love, love.

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