Friday, November 5, 2010

I think of you as the night goes by - John Gorka

And he judged of others by himself, not believing in what he saw, and always believing that every man had his real, most interesting life under the cover of secrecy and under the cover of night. - Anton Chekhov
These are actual google searches, from two mornings ago, that landed square on my blog. The queries were a quarter hour apart, from American geographies both distant and divergent. The phrases resonate together, and I imagine they're from you though how that could possibly be technically feasible (or why you or anyone would bother) I don't know. I make the connection anyway.

The KZE people are geniuses but I draw the line at mindreaders. All day long in my fantastical imaginary life I've half-convinced myself that you're hurtling down an eastbound highway, heading this way. And then a Fred Eaglesmith song comes on, about being on a thruway near Cleveland. I forget the rest, it's the first time I've heard the song - but so close to how I was picturing you. Certainly, I hope you don't have "Water in the Fuel."

In case I'm not far off - though I am ever mindful of "though we can't ever" - I've got a workshop tomorrow morning at the Big O on fern terrariums (what's next for me - herbariums?!) but afterward if I'm not starving I thought I might go for my usual walk. By the way - Mr. Church's property? Add two consonants in judicious places and you have my name. But just so you know that I have a firm grip on reality - I know that Mr. Church did not have me in mind when he named his Persian skytop estate well over a century ago.

Re: another KZE song, I'm aware that I have a solipsistically self-centered streak (as distinct from narcissism - there is a difference!) but as I was driving out of the vast desolate barbed wire hardscape of the Basra-on-Hudson big box store military compound yesterday afternoon a Bob Dylan song came on. I cranked it and thought I was hearing him sing, stanza after stanza, of an "Iolanthe." Which is a remarkably close variant of my name, and I laughed and mused at the coincidence (?) - that of all the names in the Baby Girl Lexicon, he's singing of Iolanthe? But then I checked the playlist when I got home and it seems the title of the song is I and I. Oh well. So I'll put that in the "no" column.

Just giving you a little glimpse of my mental state, on occasion. Donde Estas, Yolanda? Ollabelle. Blue Skies - a few years back my penname on Salon was "greysky." I'm going to sit right down and write you a letter - Madeleine Peyroux.

(Total aside - the song Hummingbird, by Tim Easton - see, I love Christopher Benfey (Summer of Hummingbirds). Loved his considered appreciation of Vendler's book in the NYRB. I saw the link on the Secret Life of E.D. FB page and the hard copy arrived in today's mail. I agree - HV seems tone-deaf about deeper spiritual affinities within the Christian tradition - even if E.D. rejected noisy, strident, bullying, conformist religiosity. That seems to me a huge, really, misunderstanding of a Christian-compatible faith, in someone of the intellectual/poetic calibre of H.V. And yet I'm not surprised. I'm no Bible thumper but have been shocked to hear the bitterness at which the name of J's C. gets maligned - confusing the spirit of him, I think, with the way it's been twisted.)

Oh enough about me. So are you hurtling down a turnpike here? What do you do? I looked at an atlas and even though I'd been there I had forgotten that that city's right on the Gulf. From what I saw of it, it didn't exactly have closeknit waterfront connections, though I remember a Bayou something or other, a system of cement canals. There was a historical spot of some sort nearby - don't recall about what now - and a related gift shop and one afternoon on my two or three-month business trip livin' large at the Lancaster I stopped in and purchased a jar of BBQ sauce and a little gray aardvark stuffed toy. I think it was an aardvark. Or maybe an armadillo? Yes, armadillo. It came in handy one Friday night when I flew back to LaGuardia (one of the weekends I didn't fly to SFO) and we hit a bad bit of turbulence and I was absolutely terrified of flying and the plane was pitching & rolling and banking at a steep precarious angle as if to helicopter-land nosefirst at LGA (not unlike, from the sound of it in recent war years, the flight approach to the Baghdad airport) - and of course none of my non-cuddly though sympathetic colleagues were of any real comfort but I was very happy for that little gray fuzzy armadillo puppet which for several years after - and I've never, even in early childhood, been a stuffed animal person (you'll be happy to know I'm sure) - took up a privileged position amid throw pillows on a futon chaise, both the frame and mattress of which had at one time been delivered to my sister and myself in Brooklyn by the comedian who went on to be the star of Everybody Loves R. He was nice. He stood in our Clinton Hill apartment grinning as the delivery guys lugged the deadweights, and we were all in criss-cross "so what do you do" mode, and he said that he was "really" a standup and was flying out to L.A. to see if he could get into TV. He didn't seem that funny really, so my sister and I were all like - yeah, good luck with that. No, we weren't bitchy, it's just that - well, who knew? You never do know. He did have a presence, standing there grinning in our $800 a month third floor brownstone skytop flat. I didn't think he was so cute though.

You have that edge.

Letting this fly - all regardless. Safe driving, darling.


P.S. Got it - kisses you!

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