Category: Words


Resolved

January 2nd, 2020 — 2:05pm

I love New Year’s Resolutions. At this point in life, I’m also leery of them. Chary, almost. Should I resolve once again? But–why not? At least they show what I’m thinking about and what I intend, in what realms I mean well.

This year, this rounded and mirrored, balanced–what is the word?!–symmeterical!–2020, among other things, I mean to blog more. But about what? Maybe a structure would help me keep to it?

What about “What I’m reading”? What I’m reading & baking & photographing. Something short and not in so many words as this, because words I edit and consider, & then it takes time I don’t have, time & writing energy that must be so carefully budgeted, or at least I believe that.

FACTS:

1) I’M INTERESTED IN MUCH.

(Too much? But at least there’s always something to do, see, think about.)

2) TIME MOVES FAST.

There never seems to be enough of it. A conundrum I’ve pondered for years. Who hasn’t?

3) IF I LET MYSELF PLAY GUITAR, OR PIANO, I MIGHT DO NOTHING ELSE.

I get caught up in playing. Time disappears, I disappear, there’s only the movement of your fingers and the music. And you have to practice music, have to keep your calluses, your stretchy fingers, your muscle memory. Writing also requires that. Everything does. So…. (casts a longing glance upward to loft where guitar sits quiet in case)….

At any rate, for today, What I’m Reading.

*Hunter’s Moon, A Novel in Stories, by Philip Caputo.

*Life Without a Recipe, a Memoir, by Diana Abu-Jabar.

It dawns on me as I fiddle with this post, re-learning how to create a link, that maybe I’d better set a time limit when I write a blog. i.e., When the kitchen timer dings, I’m done, go, POST already, no matter how unfinished. I’m not sure I could adhere to that intention, but there’s promise in it. And what I would tell you as the minutes wind down–I like both of these books a lot.

Caputo’s metaphors make me grab my pen to copy them into my journal. Golden leaves tremble like candle flames, the sun chops a pine’s shadow into lengths. Also I admire his insight. “Adolescence is a condition no one recovers from completely.” Yes, I nod. And his characters are alive on the page: real, sympathetic, being honest with themselves and you, the reader, even if not always with others.

Abu-Jabar is balletic with language. I admire her creative way of using words, especially verbs.  I love her involvement with food, with family, with memory. As with Caputo, I like her thoughtfulness, insight, and honesty. Here’s a quote that made me grin: “Advice is offered like food from the hand- a loving, unwanted gift.”

The kitchen timer dings–so, okay, I’m posting.

12 comments » | Books, Words

In re. the Reduction of Scoundrels

April 9th, 2017 — 5:41pm

It’s National Poetry Month!

I’ve been looking forward to it all winter and spring, and it’s only now dawned on me to say so, and only because a writer friend of mine has been posting daily in honor of it. Smart. Why aren’t I that smart? Well, no matter; I’m glad someone is.

My friend has been writing found poems–poems made up of text taken from other places and arranged to the poet’s sensibility. It dawned on me to try the same, but with the things I see around me instead of text. Regardless of how it turns out in the end, there are a couple of things about poem writing: while I was doing it, I was looking hard at real things and not thinking about myself. And, as Ted Kooser points out in a favorite book of mine,* “While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world.”

Here’s to that.

April Sunday, Lake Superior

Checkerboard set up and waiting,
Raven flying over.
Aquarium fish dart purposeful,
Worm dies with a silent slurp.
Big horizons out the window,
Small sounds are all I hear.
Filter.
Refrigerator.
Wind rounding corners.

*THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL, Ted Kooser, University of Nebraska Press

5 comments » | Words

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