Thank you, pollen

for awakening me with a head
that feels like a block of wood,
too heavy for my scrawny neck
to hold. Thank you for crunchy,
crusty eyes and barely functioning
ears through which I hear garbled
words that make no sense. Thank you
for screwing with my balance, making
me appear drunk at 8 a.m. I know you
have an important purpose in life,
sticking to little bee legs and coating
the throats of beautiful flowers
but my throat is scratchy and not so
beautiful so please fuck off.

Inspiration Monday: Annie Dillard

 

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Audubon Park, New Orleans ~ C.Hamrick 2009

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Hot Reads, Etc.

There’s so much good reading and listening on the Internet it’s overwhelming. How do you choose which piece to read,which podcast to listen to, which video to watch? And I’m always wondering if I’ve missed some really fantastic thing. In just the past few days I’ve read some really good stuff and, this morning, watched a very cool Periscope post by Indian chef Kalyan Karmakar. Do you watch Periscope? I downloaded the app a while ago but have only watched a couple of Lonely Planet posts. But when I logged on today there was a notification that this was streaming live so I watched and it was fascinating. Here are a few screenshots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The video was streaming from a train going from Delhi to Calcutta. There were stops along the way to visit local eaterys and restaurants amid conversations about Indian food and culture. Chef also has a blog called Finely Chopped which I perused briefly and plan to read more. Good stuff!

The Lost Gardens of Emily Dickinson in The New York Times about the ongoing excavation of her gardens is a cool read if you’re into poetry and gardening.

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Photo via Salon

 

On the music front, Salon has a good interview with Daryl Hall where, as usual, he speaks his mind about music and the internet, record company execs, and the cool things he’s up to. (H/T Adrastos) I’m a bigger fan of DH now than I was back in the day and highly recommend his show Live from Daryl’s House. If you haven’t seen it you are sincerely missing out.

The Womanly Art of Drag Racing by Anna Lea Jancewicz in Frigg magazine is a riot of a good read that I found highly creative and it just makes me green with jealousy that my imagination is nowhere near as elevated as hers. Still, I’m glad I can read her work and I do, often.

And as for poetry, I especially liked 2 Poems by Matt Dennison I read recently in Defenestration Magazine. Both are funny commentary on everyday household things that we see/do every day. That’s all I’m gonna say except “Never buy a single onion if you live alone”.

Neopol NovelsFinally, my writerly online friend Marina Sofia has a thoughtful post up reviewing The Neopolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, Feverish after Ferrante. I’ve read the first two books and am currently reading the third. These books have garnered so much attention with each publication that it seems a lot of people are skeptical they can be that good. Trust me. They’re that good.(Here is a rare interview with Ferrante about the books.) But what I like about Marina’s review is that it comes from the perspective of her Roman side. Marina’s blog is so good – she reviews books often and is actually responsible for inspiring me to read writers from other countries and participate in Women in Translation month. Not to mention she writes beautiful poetry.

So, I hope you’ll take a minute and click over to some of these sites. I promise you’ll enjoy.

 

 

Inspiration Monday: Madeleine L’Engle

“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint or clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

Another Day in the Crescent City

 

It’s another balmy day in paradise.
I push down the plunger in the French
Press, inhaling the earthy aroma of
the blackest of coffees called Community.
The morning paper lies on the coffee table
waiting for its unfolding, opening and
adjusting shake. “Sneaking Sally Through
The Alley” is dancing out of the Boze, WWOZ
accommodating its listeners with the
best music in the country, bar none.

Noise from the street wafts through the
open French doors: the rummmm-rummmm
of the city bus, the high-pitched laughter
of kids on Christmas break, the artificially
cheerful greeting of “order when you’re ready!”
coming from McD’s drive-through so often
that it’s become just another sound like
the bus or the cat’s meow.

The newspaper serves up last night’s murder
du jour as well as the professionally whitened smiles
of the uppercrust partiers of the Social Scene –
Not on the same page, of course.

I get up from the couch, look out the front window
and marvel how the bad and the good
co-exist in the same city on the same
day and how complacent we all are that
it is so.

*****

Ive been reading through some of my old stuff and came across this which I wrote in 2011. Nothing much has changed. We still have a muder almost every day. Certainly every week. It’s a huge black eye on the face of a beautiful city.