Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Those groans men use
passing a woman on the street
or on the steps of the subway
to tell her she is a female
and their flesh knows it,
are they a sort of tune,
an ugly enough song, sung
by a bird with a slit tongue
but meant for music?
Or are they the muffled roaring
of deafmutes trapped in a building that is
slowly filling with smoke?
Such men most often
look as if groan were all they could do,
yet a woman, in spite of herself,
knows it's a tribute:
if she were lacking all grace
they'd pass her in silence:
so it's not only to say she's
a warm hole. It's a word
in grief-language, nothing to do with
primitive, not an ur-language;
language stricken, sickened, cast down
in decrepitude. She wants to
throw the tribute away, dis-
gusted, and can't,
it goes on buzzing in her ear,
it changes the pace of her walk,
the torn posters in echoing corridors
spell it out, it
quakes and gnashes as the train comes in.
Her pulse sullenly
had picked up speed,
but the cars slow down and
jar to a stop while her understanding
keeps on translating:
'Life after life after life goes by
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I've blogged about California before. Last year, I thought I'd get to go to Dickens Universe and was disappointed when someone with more seniority ended up going. But, this year, I get to go, and it turns out to be a good thing because the book they're doing is Bleak House, which I'm much more interested in than last year's book, Great Expectations.
I'm also going to spend a few days in Los Angeles doing manuscript research. I love Oscar Wilde's manuscripts so much. Getting to sit there and touch the same paper he touched and see all the doodles he doodled in his margins and see his works develop onto the page as he thought them . . . Okay, to someone not obsessed with Oscar Wilde, all this might seem creepy. But tons of people get super excited about old books, and I never got that. I'm not just touching a notebook that is 125 years old; I'm touching a notebook that belonged to a famous author and playwright. If people can be "normal" and get excited about old books, I can get excited about manuscripts.
(I just realized I based that argument on a theoretical threat of being perceived as creepy. Eh. I'll keep it handy in case someone actually does tell me I'm creepy someday.)
I'm also thinking of going to San Francisco. We only spent one full day there when we went on our crazy, awesome, over-the-top roadtrip, and I'd like to go again. I hear the farmer's market is really great on Saturdays, and I'm sure there's a lot that I didn't see last time I was there. I need to figure out everything cost-wise to see if I could afford it, but how often do you find yourself an hour away from San Francisco?
Ah. I love California. Warmness. Manuscripts. Ocean. Real Mexican food. Real Chinese food. Palm trees. Cool California people. I can't wait.