Yesterday: the Kentucky Derby. I usually watch it, though I no longer follow horse racing closely -- I used to, in my teenage-horse-crazy days. (I actually got to meet Secretariat once, and stroke his huge glossy shoulder.) Now I'm more aware of the class issues nobody on the screen is talking about, less caught up in the pure animal beauty of those shiny Thoroughbreds; now it's kind of like watching a rich-people party I know I'll never, ever be invited to. I catch myself deeply resenting rich people sometimes, when I realize the money they spend on one hat to wear to the Derby could pay for -- but never mind. The horses, the horses are still beautiful and muscular and fast.
Today: going to a party to celebrate a friend's daughter's graduation from college. It seems like it wasn't that long ago that it was me graduating from college, and now it's the children of friends. But it was that long ago: over twenty years now. Yikes! I've known this particular young woman since she was about two years old, so it's really cool to see her growing up and getting on with her life.
Tomorrow: I'm taking a vacation day. My branch library is closed for the oh-so-brief break between spring semester and the first day of summer session (spring finals ended Friday and summer classes begin on Tuesday). The rest of May is going to be nuts, since my branch closes for good on May 26th and there is much to do between now and then, so I decided to take a vacation day just to breathe first. I have a long list of chores that should be done, but what I really want to do is just read and write all day. Hopefully I can find some happy medium: get the oil changed, drop off stuff at Goodwill, do a bit of house cleaning, then indulge myself with words.
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If you haven't seen Charlie's good news yet, go congratulate him! I like it when good poems (and these are very good poems) get recognition.
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A thought-provoking short essay from Adrienne Rich in the Virginia Quarterly Review, about poetry and politics. I need to read it again, and more closely, but this:
I need to reach beyond my interior decoration, biography. Art is a way of melting out through one’s own skin. “What, who is this about?” is not the essential question. A poem is not about; it is out of and to. Passionate language in movement. The deep structure is always musical, and physical—as breath, as pulse.That bit makes me say yes, yes, yes.
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Outside my window right now, up in the sky, a cloud that looks like a fat fish. Next to it, a cloud that looks like a fish skeleton.
And next to that, the sky's unbelievable blue.