Here’s to him! A huge force, if only for City Lights Books.
This weekend, all the seedlings went into the ground and today it rained. More rain tomorrow. Occasionally things work out. I felt like a Stafford poem today, and here is one, about practical necessity and what it costs us.
B. H. Fairchild, a wonderful poet, will be reading at the North Berkeley Library on April 18th at 6 pm. Here is a long poem of his that I love. The image of Donatello’s David is mentioned in the poem, so you might as well look at it first.:
xxxxxxTheir sons grow suicidally beautiful. . .
xxxxxxxxxxxx-James Wright, “Autumn Begins in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio
We are at the Bargello in Florence, and she says,
what are you thinking? and I say, beauty, thinking
of how very far we are now from the machine shop
and the dry fields of Kansas, the treeless horizons
of slate skies and the muted passions of roughnecks
and scrabble farmers drunk and romantic enough
to weep more or less silently at the darkened end
of the bar out of, what else, loneliness, meaning
the ache of thwarted desire, of, in a word, beauty,
or rather its absence, and it occurs to me again
that no male member of my family has ever used
this word in my hearing or anyone else’s except
in reference, perhaps, to a new pickup or dead deer. Continue reading “Beauty”
I just finished The Story of a Brief Marriage, by Anuk Arudpragasam. I can’t say I read the whole book–a painful though extraordinary tour de force that covers one day through the eyes and voice of a young man in a refugee camp in an unnamed country. I had to skim certain parts, despite the excellent writing.
This paragraph seems so true to me, so beautifully thought through!
“Conversation was a fragile thing after all, like a plant that grows only in rich, warm, nourishing soil. Just as the cells of the human body couldn’t survive above and below certain temperatures, just as human eyes couldn’t see above and below certain wavelengths of radiation, and human ears couldn’t hear above and below certain thresholds of frequency, perhaps there existed only a narrow range of conditions under which human conversation could flourish. It wasn’t that people in the camps didn’t want to talk, for human beings would always talk, if they had the opportunity. Continue reading “An exemplary sentence”
Countee Culeen was born in 1909 and won acclaim in academia, yet strongly felt his roots in the world of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s. Here is a delicate sonnet of his, and if you want to hear a truly moving reading of it, click here.
Yet Do I Marvel
I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind, Continue reading “A Sonnet for Monday”
I have read that planting leafy vegetables at the new moon increases their productivity, but I never tried it until Monday, which was the new moon this month. I prepared about 100 little peat pots and planted lettuce, bok choi, tatsoi, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, marigolds… By Thursday, I had the
first baby seedlings.