Saturday, October 19, 2019
No really suitable photo for this post. This morning, for the first time since my husband's death, I got back to my old style of dreaming. To wit: longish, detailed, complicated but coherent plots, featuring a mixture of real people, celebrities, and previously unknown people, doing improbable or metaphorically interesting activities. Walter called them three-reelers, and I could always help him fall asleep by telling him a dream (or made-up dream) in a monotone. Or I could just share them and entertain him. Like the time I attended a book signing of George Clooney, who had just published a book of poetry entitled "I'm Just Like You, Only Cooler." George knew my writing buddy Judith Terzi. I couldn't find any pants that didn't have cat hair on them.
But back to our sheep. This morning I slept well and long enough, and woke retaining this dream. Excellent, I thought, stretching, Walter will love this. And then I realized that he was gone, and would never get to laugh and exclaim over this dream. And my dear friend and former analyst Meredith Mitchell had died in 2017. And I don't know anyone--anyone--who has the right combination of intimacy and psychological interest to appreciate this dream. This is the first time in literally 50 years that I've had nowhere to take a dream. I collapse a little bit inside, then a little more.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
One of the many hard things about losing my beloved husband Walter is that I can no longer share new experiences or old memories. Inspired by my friend Diane Schifrin, who created a page on Pinterest for her late father, I have established such a page on Facebook. The URL below does not create a link, but you can paste it into your browser.
If you like, visit to see what he used to like and might have liked now. You might like those things too.
Monday, August 12, 2019
As I continued my walk, I found myself putting words together about it. Ooo, a keeper! But bizarrely, I had set out without anything to write with or on or in, and I couldn't find the Notes app on my phone. Despite rising heat, I hustled over to the gift shop. "Hello!" I said to the young man behind the counter. "Could you give me a scrap of paper and something to write with?" "That's a nice 'hello'," he said, and handed me both. I jotted down what I had, noting as I wrote where it needed some work. "I totally understand," he said; "I'm a writer, and I'm never without," and showed me his moleskine journal and pen. Turns out he writes YA fiction, and was impressed (!!) that I write poetry. Well, I was impressed that he can come up with plots, which I could not do if my life depended on it. We talked Craft for a while, particularly the Surrealists' tricks for jump-starting information. We exchanged our information, recommended readings to each other. I suggested Richard Garcia and Matthea Harvey for prose poems.
Hail, Avery! Long may you bring the right words to paper!
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Halfway through my last dinner, I saw the blaze,
unfathomable as the Grand Canyon creaking shut.
The owner confirmed: Everyone on staff is following
as firefighters poured the river onto the flames.
When the spire lifted as it toppled, people gasped,
wailed as though a suicide had jumped.
The day before I’d walked the quais,
browsed the bookinistes, shot mood pics of the towers,
total cornball, through the mist of new leaves.
Arrow of God, the spire had fallen before the sun was down,
The fire turned the sky red, turned the cross white-hot.
Not all the water in the world, not even the river could help.
People stood and watched, sang and wept.
Rains came only the next morning.
Ash sifted down catching, reflecting coral light
I’d brought my husband’s ashes in a carved wooden box.
No need, no need.
After dinner, the owner walked me to the door. We sniffed the air.
Vieux bois, she shrugged, wincing. Old wood.(published in New Verse News on April 23 2019, Easter Sunday)
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Glenn Ligon's work, at the Broad in DTLA, with visitor
Thank you, Sammy Greenspan of Kattywompus Press (welcome to the 'wompus!) who did not scoff or mock, but instead encouraged me to put together this manuscript of weird prose poems using the hapless Franz Kafka as my persona. These are surreal, I say diffidently, and why Kafka works as a speaker for me is a good question.
When I first read Kafka in German, I was startled to realize that he is funny. Not just "funny" as in "not quite right", but "funny" as in--funny. It is not only the situations, which are funny enough in the first sense. His choice of words, his sentences, read like gags. There are good translations, faithful and deft, but I have never seen one that captured Kafka's hilarity. I certainly haven't been able to achieve it. Word is that Kafka used to read new works aloud to friends, and that his performance brought them into hysterical laughter. I can understand.
Anyhow, if you want to see what I'm talking about, you can click on some of the links at the left, which include Kafka's Cat where it first appeared in Otoliths. You may leave me a message with your information at my email, KarenGM.firstname.lastname@example.org, or go directly to Kattywompus's web page, https://kattywompuspress.com/. Or not.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
|If Renoir had painted Notre Dame|
|First night in Paris|
For the last three weeks, this song has been going through my head. All day long. I don't choose them, I just report them. And, honi soit qui mal y pense.
For Ella, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6M--07fGwU
And alternatively, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzmZ7pHTalE
for the close harmony!
Thursday, March 14, 2019
|A pie crust for people who believe in butter.|
I almost forgot that today is Pi Day. It's the first one in years for which I baked no pie. Just not in the mood. But pies have been part of my life since I was a child, not because anyone in the family baked superb pies, but because I loved them. They were my preferred dessert any time I had a choice. I started trying to make crust when I was 11. Miserable results, partly because my mother did not believc in butter. By the time I was 22 I could produce good crust, just not reliably. Thus the quest for the perfect pie crust. I hit dependability when I was 44; now, at 66, it's a crust you can be happy to eat, even if it is not the apotheosis of what crust can be. The good-enough pie crust, D.W. Winnicott might say.
|A layer of almond paste is a good addition to all the almond-essence fruits.|