Sunday, January 31, 2010

Here by the river, protected from street noises

... We are afloat
On our dreams as on a barge made of ice
Shot through with questions and fissures of starlight,
That keep us awake, thinking about the dreams
As they are happening...

Pattern on the glass

Frost on the storm windows this morning, beautiful feathers, like those of an angel perhaps, or of a bower bird.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

par avion

Just know I play this song for you and wait, wait for me now.
I can't tell you what a comfort it is to play this song over and over again.

Now that Mr. NFS is en vacances, I started to think about my one and only time in Paris, three days or thereabouts in early 1983. And I'm wondering why you and I corresponded in 1983-84 - I don't remember the circumstances. But thinking about the Paris trip - I was visiting my friend from college who was spending her junior year abroad at the the Univ. of London. I had graduated already, and was living in Oakland with a guy who I fell in with from a series of missteps--

Oh anyway, cutting to the chase, the Paris weekend was a disaster. I had very little money on me, my friend & I got in a terrible argument, I never saw the Eiffel Tower, and what comes back to me very strongly now - was how I would have liked to experience Paris, my first time there, under entirely different circumstances - with you, of course, and I think that my letters to you from that time, if they are after that trip (yes they are - you have a photo of me from the Tuileries) simply must mention that fact.

[Although I realize, as you wrote to me, that long ago you destroyed that correspondence. But still.]

Another random memory has also surfaced - another perfume I wore for a time - after Miss Dior, after je reviens, but before molinard de molinard I think (which I'm now thinking that my sister bought for me, though that seems odd) - was Cristalle, by Chanel. That was a lovely fragrance - Miss Dior-like, but crisper, lighter, fresher - truly "daytime" in the sense that neither of us is interested in at the moment.

Friday, January 29, 2010

the way to a girl's core

From letter from Belle to J, 25 August 2008
I’m back in my aerie, after a whirlwind shopping expedition and mad scavenger hunt in the city over the weekend. I am now freshly supplied with all sorts of “necessities” and romantic ephemera, such as lemon verbena-scented soap, stylish readers, fingerling potatoes, herbed goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, an explosion of hot pink dahlias, a postcard from a shop called Evolution, bird/cage files from Anthropologie, loaves of Balthazaar ciabatta, art-museum postcards (Met, Frick), large bowls (to serve up floods) from Fishs Eddy, attractive stationery (astoundingly hard to find), a sylvan image of Edna St. Vincent Millay, MetroNorth train schedules, ‘dahlia’ stickers, Australian meat pies, and movie ticket stubs.

29 Jan. 2010. Fast forward to last weekend... major score from Shop-Rite - three bags...

Perusing events calendar - anything of interest going on in Hudson tomorrow?



Experience Culinary Harvest Fingerling Potatoes -- a collection of heirloom potatoes originally grown above the cloud line in the Andes Mountains, now grown in limited supply high in the Rockies.

The Yellow Russian Banana tastes rich and buttery, the stunning red-streaked French Fingerling or Red Thumb has a nutty flavor, and the rouge-colored Ruby Crescent has a deep, earthy taste....

OMG. Reds.

Warren Beatty has nothing on this.

Real good, memorable potatoes.

Once upon a time

at the conservation area...

I am grateful this
beautiful space
exists. I count my
blessings. Therefore
it is unthinkable
to reason leaving
my dog's poop behind.

this heartfelt sign is long lost to the melting ice swans of history

but most intriguing fresh signage appeared the other day

the advent of poopflinger was even advertised in the signin register

this mysterious poopflinger - where was it? I didn't see anything. Was this a new invention, a 21st century
conceptual leap forward in bifacial handtools?

I don't have a dog but I wanted to know.

today on my walk - poopflingers!

thanks for the laugh!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

now the oaks are white

... I have no use for words today. I just want to be with you, in your presence, see you, sense you, feel the fact of you in the same room with me, both of us sharing space in a room, moving about, regarding each other, tentatively touching hands -
the skies have been darkening and though it's only 3 I've been turning on lamps around the house, and now as I write to you a sudden squall has come up -

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


From message of 13 July 2008

I see you, and I remember the youthful you, and also your image was reminding me of an actor, and I couldn't think who and had to be still for several minutes until the association floated up
bill nighy
(except when I first typed his name in the dark I spelt it bill *night*)
so I googled him, the resemblance isn't literal, it's more a quality
but I found this image and it reminded me of us
I would love to sit like that with you
only in a real green shaded spot rather than on a wooden stage
and I wouldn't mind looking a bit more like Julianne Moore either!
love you dearest,
heading back to bed

Say it with anchovies

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day's Journey

Up in the aerie with my glass of rosé, feeling unusually organized in the housework department. The house is fragrant with Sicilian chicken, a flavorful dish spiced with olives, capers, chili peppers and red wine; bedsheets are changed; the house is vacuumed; laundry's done; even the bathrooms are cleaned; and I've set a fresh batch of pizza dough on the pellet stove. Rainy days have their compensations it seems, though in late afternoon I did manage a walk, taking a slightly different route, not the one that includes snow geese because lately I've noticed it also includes a man who seems to have taken a shining to me and pops up more frequently than random chance - harmless I'm sure, but I don't want to have to deal. So I took the road at the bottom of which a few months ago I encountered a coyote, but when I reached the spot where I had seen it (and further down the road that day, a snake) I felt isolated and apprehensive. So I turned on my heel and went back up the hill. Then it started to rain again, at first a mist, then wetter and wetter, gentle though, and - especially for January - very mild, not unpleasant, but by the time I got home I was drenched as though I'd taken a shower in my clothes. Strange weather. Last night in bed I woke up from the sharp sensation of something, an insect, biting my thigh. I leaped out of bed, turned on the lamp, and there was a wasp, sluggish, malevolent, on top of the bedclothes - no wonder the cats weren't sleeping with us, perhaps they were aware of it or had been stung themselves. How strange to be stung by a wasp in the middle of the night in January in upstate NY. I'm just glad it stung me, and not, say, a little baby who would have woken in the night howling and a mother, if she didn't spot the unlikely culprit, might never have imagined the reason why.

Where are all the grey cloud smoke originating from?

Apropos poetry machines, exchange on Salon comments thread, 23 April 2007.

@ bebop-o
I used to skip over your posts. Then I gave them a go, but shrugged in puzzlement. Then I began to glimpse meanings (and double meanings) in your dadaist shards. I marveled, how does he so readily access his (sub)conscious, like dipping a cup in a well? Or perhaps he passes perfectly ordinary prose through some sort of machine - a bebop-o machine, is there such a thing? - and the result is poetic confetti.
I no longer wonder. I simply love the way you write. Your poetry is like the sensation of reading a dense, delightful text in a dream. You totally get it. You're an emperor of ice-cream.
-- j. m. greysky

[@ j. m. greysky]
I can't stop saing wow-wee, and where is you know why?
And there is only blue sky. A beautiful thought of wow, for each grey cloud, and cumulus you! you Inspiration, sillies, is inside you. Right. We inter are banging-banging, at a key-bar. Shucks!
I'd do a gig like this in a 'nice' horse-barn, and not ever ask about what's going on behind closed doors. After ceocon's 'shad-up.' I am behind. yikes.
We drink from each other's wine cup lips. Shooter, and other Elmo's, gaucho's, commie's, Marxist bull-crap shooter-kind, BC-time keepers. 'Um rt-wing sore elbow's dudes...gads. Suez will go blind and stay blind forever? Why?
Sow peas and get in the field! Hey, cranky's, Yule...get data camel joe-gig-butt out of the mouth. Where are all the grey cloud smoke originating from? Blue sky!
I feel like a stinky old goat smoking an Havana Cuban, illegal, home-rolled cigar? Goats that don't smoke in a flower bed, are lovable. gads, I'm outta my computer-bunk-bed, Now.
-- bebop-o

Saturday, January 23, 2010


calm, adj. [see calm, n.]
Peaceful; passive; placid; serene; tranquil; undisturbed; steadily gazing; without agitation; free from emotion.

quiet(-er), adj. [OFr quiete or L. quiētus < quiēscěre, come to rest.] (webplay: child, clamors, contented, coolness, death, God, lie, life, patiently, possession, sit, spirit, state, town).
1. Soundless; silent; noiseless; mute; speechless.
2. Motionless; still; unmoving; [fig.] lifeless; deceased; dead.
3. Calm; serene; peaceful; tranquil; placid; undisturbed; unruffled; [fig.] dignified; unpretentious.
4. [Fig.] ordinary; usual; small; insignificant; unimportant; innocuous; harmless; benign.

mood, n. [OE 'soul, heart, disposition, sense, mind'.]
State of mind or frame of reference usually based on a specific passion.

mix (-ed, -ing), v. [back formation of mixt < L. miscere, to mix.]
Blend two or more elements, principles, groups, etc.

anticipate, v. [L. ante, before + cap-ěre, to take.] (webplay: first, life, time).
1. Await; wait for; envision; look forward to.
2. Expect; assume; presume; perceive.
3. Contemplate; imagine; foresee; know ahead; think about; reflect on.

apprehend, v. [Fr. < L. ad + prehend-ěre, seize, learn.] (webplay: certainty).
Own; possess; fulfill; realize; thoroughly understand; experience the reality of; [fig.] embrace; have and hold; consummate a relationship; become one being.

moment, n. [L.]
1. Point in time; small, sometimes indistinguishable, amount of time; specific instance of focused time. 207199 Transporting must the moment be – Brewed from decades of Agony!
2. Force; power.

wait, v. [ME waite-n, watch, guard < OFr < Germanic *wak-, wake.] (webplay: attempts, come, consequence, court, days, depart, enemy, eye, fall, father, flow'r, gentlemen, hindrance, hour, lay, look, meeting, person, place, remain, rest, services, speak, time, stationary, stay, stop, visit, way, witness).
1. Expect; anticipate; hope for; listen for.
2. Stop; pause; stay there; hold still for a minute.
3. Serve; minister; stand in readiness to assist; [fig.] guard; watch over.
4. Linger; tarry.
5. Watch; guard; take care; [fig.] stay behind.
6. Withhold; hold back; hide something; [fig.] veil; cover.
7. Experience a delay; go without something.
8. Stay; rest; sleep; [fig.] remain until the resurrection.
9. Restrain one's self; exercise self-control.
10. Age; come to fruition; fulfill the purpose for being.

plan, v. [see plan, n.] (webplay: building, land, mind).
Intend; destine; create; design; prepare; prime; condition.

near (-er, -est), adj. [see near, adv.]
1. Close in distance.
2. Immediate; significant; essential; important; [fig.] dear to the heart.
3. Close in family relation.
4. Next; subsequent.
5. Recent; close in time.
6. Next door; [fig.] intimate; emotionally close; similar in spirit.

Image and definitions from the Emily Dickinson Lexicon.

Friday, January 22, 2010


From The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo (Maidens’ song from St. Winefred’s Well), Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89)

HOW to kéep—is there ány, any,
is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or
Brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty,… from vanishing away?

Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks,
Lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace—
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sigh soaring, soaring síghs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the ghost-, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty...
Eccentric accent marks and all, Hopkins' poems rock. I would love to hear Diane Cluck sing them.

My soul's friend

Thinking about the tail end of a Charlie Rose interview with Morgan Freeman interview that I caught the other day (slowly downloading it now to view). He was there for his film, Invictus, about Nelson Mandela. I could listen to Mr. Freeman speak all day, he has such a wonderful quality. Thoughtful, wise, and serene - he is true. (I wonder if he writes - he speaks with poetic vision - I hope he writes his memoirs.)
Charlie Rose asked him if he still sails. No, he replied, because after a bad automobile accident he lost the use of one of his hands and you need both hands to sail a boat (though he can still pilot a jet!). He said that he loved to sail because it's just him the sea and the sky and if he makes a mistake - well, that's it. Which keeps things in perspective.

Thinking, too, about a phrase I came across yesterday while perusing an old New Yorker, in an essay about Michel de Montaigne.
On February 28, 1571, Montaigne "retired from 'the slavery of the court and of public duties,' moved a chair, a table, and a thousand books into the tower of his family castle, near Bordeaux, shut the door, and began to write. It was his thirty-eighth birthday... When he thinks about loss now, at fifty-three, it is his father he mourns and, more than anyone, his 'soul's' friend Etienne de la Boétie, a Bordeaux poet who was arguably the love of his life and whose early death, he once said, drove him to marriage in the hope of solace and then into his tower for escape."

Escape to a tower. Embowered.


My soul's friend.
I like this phrase. I relate to it. It explains a lot to me.


In Almodovar's Broken Embraces the character of the
film director sheds his former persona, Mateo - but that's not the end of the story (no spoilers).

Here is a poem that I gather Morgan Freeman recited from memory during the Charlie Rose interview.

William Ernest Henley, 1849-1903
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I am the captain of my soul.
I am your soul's friend.
Thank you.
And you are mine.
Thank you.