Friday, October 23, 2020

This morning I'll drive over to the East End for a flu shot, and then I will no doubt return to picking and scratching at my new poem draft. The piece has been my number-one distraction for days now, and I really do think it's getting somewhere. The voices are both funny and terrible--one of my favorite combinations to hone--and I'm also absorbed in balancing the weight of cultural, historical, and geographical references . . . not too many, not too few, and all should have a kind of thickness--that is, they should work broadly over time and space and theme . . . but without clubbing the reader in the head.

A thing I discovered this week: Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis have exactly the same cadence.

Last night I crisp-fried coho salmon in olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro, and it was one of the best things I've eaten in a long time. Plus, the salmon was absolutely beautiful--the skin a delicate shifting grey, freckled with pink. I do love our seafood market. We ate the salmon alongside scallion cornbread and a caramelized fennel salad; it was a fine meal.

I've started reading Graham Greene's The End of the Affair. I spent quite a while yesterday with Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Today I'll begin sussing out an essay on two of Baron Wormser's poems: "Mulroney" and "Jerry Lee Lewis at Nuremberg." I'm pretty well caught up on yard work for the moment; yesterday I did a first-pass leaf raking--a temporary situation because we have many more leaves to fall. I bagged up windfall sticks and branches for the city compost truck and made space for the cord of green firewood arriving on Tuesday. Such sweet and balmy autumn air . . . and we still haven't had a frost! This southern lifestyle is strange.


Christopher Woodman said...

A little out of date but I don't think you'll mind considering the time of year.

"This just came in over my transom, the postman having ghosted up to my gate on his bicycle while I was watching the last Presidential Debate in despair. It was Louise Glück’s A CHILDREN’S STORY wrapped up in a copy of The New York Review of Books.

"The context is important because Louise Glück so inspired me the one time I heard her read. It was Manhattan, 1991, The Wild Iris. I had no idea I was just starting out on a similar journey what is more how much I would grow in her shadow — not to be like her but to be like a plant in her garden."

"At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember."


And now she’s our 2020 Nobel Laureate. What blessings have grown out of Louise Glück's garden for us all!


Dawn Potter said...

Honoring her was a wonderful thing . . . a huge lift of the heart for American poets.