Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rainy Sunday notes

Haven't been online much this weekend -- the creaky ol' laptop has been thoroughly preoccupied with loading CD's onto my new ipod (thanks to an overly-generous gift card my mom gave me for my b-day). I feel like I've become one of Those People. I also took my laptop in to work with me yesterday (I almost never have to work weekends, but one of my students graduated and got a Real Job and I couldn't find anyone to cover yesterday's shift, so there I was) where I set up and configured my new wireless card. Now I'm all set to blog from the airport (if I choose to pay the rather outrageous price -- maybe on the way back, when I'm stuck in Logan for a good four-plus hours) or from my B&B in Provincetown.

If you haven't checked out Emily's poems over at Three Candles, do so. They're killer.

Rain all day, off and on. Big black crows keep flying through the rain, past my house, through the damp and gray. The green things need it but it's all a bit dreary. Rainy days make me want to move inward, to read and write and nap and contemplate. I have a lot to do before I leave town, though -- two weeks from now I will be there! -- I know my endless anticipation is probably a bit tiresome, but really, I need this trip so much. I need the ocean, and the whales, and the streets of P-town, and my traditional "just got to town and am much too travel-weary to think very hard about what to eat" pizza from Spiritus, and a bathroom that someone else is in charge of cleaning, and the sweet salt air, and oh yes, the workshop. Looking forward to meeting D.A. Powell. Curious what he'll have to say.

Here's an old-ish poem, and one of my favorites to read aloud:


Eight-Bar Solo

Ray Brown is God,
my father used to say,
and for proof he’d put on records
of Ella, of Oscar, Ray Brown on bass,
my father’s fingers walking the bass lines
in the air with a pop and a thump
and a swing. I learned early how the singer
had to listen to the low notes,
how the bass laid down the rhythm
and the root, how much a man could say
with one blue note.

They’re almost all gone now,
all the cats who knew
how to swing so hard even a white boy
from Kansas caught the syncopation,
learned to play. He’s gone now, too,
my father, gone eight years. Today
when I heard Ray Brown was gone
I put on “Blue Monk,” my fingers
walking the rhythm up and down
in the air, the bass line laying down
everything, the bebop heart of it all.

--A.H. 2002; published in A Linen Weave of Bloomington Poets, ed. by Jenny Kander (Wind, 2002)

4 comments:

jenni said...

Anne, that's a wonderful poem. Very inviting, focused voice. Glad you enjoyed all the readings. We are visiting the first week of august. Maybe there will be something going on then...a reading or something. Anyways, hope you're having a good weekend. Enjoy the ipod--what a great gift!

Patty said...

I really enjoyed "Eight Bar Solo" Thank you for posting it!

Ginger Heatter said...

Lovely poem, Anne. Thanks for sharing it!

Anne said...

Jenni, Patty, Ginger - thanks! I'm fond of this one just because it's so much fun to read aloud. I usually pair it with one for my mother which maybe I'll post in here later on.

Jenni, probably no readings in August -- there's not much in the summer other than the IUWC, and the monthly readings at the Spoon are usually on the last Friday of the month -- but I'll keep an eye out & let you know! Maybe the slammers will be doing something.