Friday, November 30, 2007

Peculiar Joy

A peculiar joy in being sick (just a cold), anatomizing organizational dysfunction, recounting "The Spirit of the Beehive," every shot exquisite. Steak, broccoli, potato. Meeting about Ignacio's book, and working on it. Not expecting to feel good, not feeling worse than I do is a blessing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Untenable Positions

Oddly difficult to stay awake in daylight, stay asleep all night. Tormenting dreams await, impelling flight. Then mutating aches, incipient pains, untenable positions, phlegm. Thought is useless or worse, writing impossible. Welcome morning ends ordeal. Rested, restless. Virus fogged. Procrastinating. Tinnitus sings.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Power Steering

New orange tractor makes trusty old blue Ford, trucked away, look sadly decrepit. Always an awkward design. Time for auto-shift, power steering. Launder mop. Poetry report. Practice tai chi. New narrator, new start, fresh voice. Anything but me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Serious Trouble

How I feel is all I have to go on so when I don't feel good I am in serious trouble. And: why should I work? Nobody pays me. It does me no good, makes me no friends, takes me no wonderful new places. I have to do something besides read, watch films, and play the piano, I suppose, need to feel I am getting somewhere so I press on. Scratchy throat. Uh-oh!

Monday, November 26, 2007

True Believer

Remember Arthur Sainer, seriously good close colleague of another age, true believer in the virtue of art, responsible for everything important, esoteric playwright, pale chronicler of noble protest, abandoned Jewish brother, forgotten champion of beauty's truth, farewell.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

English Soap

Alan Bennett "best-loved." America too big, I am lost. Looking at horses Andalucian. Striking grey too young skittish. Pregnant bay with two white feet diagonal pairs. Cold in shade, read in car. Dylan movie frustrating semi-cheese. Moonlight on the prairie. Whip up pasta, salad, yum. On to Mrs. Pritchard, best English soap [unfortunately not on].

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Angel Choir

Christmas figures reemerge, our own diversity, carved of wood, freely varied nationalities and walks of life, mixed up species, beyond the crèche a caravan of camels, odd animals large and small in clashing scales, peasant couples, angel choir, dead mariachis, Lapps with reindeer, Peruvians with llamas, funny French priest, functionaries in uniforms, man smoking, boy fishing, Santa Claus, mice, looking, talking, lovingly disposed on the back of the piano.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Moon People

Pain is not symbolic, it keeps you awake at night. So do resonant dreams, too spooky to catch. Gravity presses you into the mattress, however soft and yielding. Oh to be weightless, or weigh much less, like moon people bounding among the craters.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Give Thanks

Ritual feasting, hosts enact themselves, familiar, generous, one daughter brings burly boyfriend, one German girlfriend, girlchild suddenly tall studying dogs, boy's fingers delicate playing dominos, checkers, football silent, seamstress of monks, harpist of dying, old uncle thrilled by parents' wedding album, here is silver urn from the first governor of Nebraska, tarnished, younger wife plans airports, we are better, eat, drink, talk, give thanks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One Book

Microscopic impulses, unformed chaos. Empty hours filled with Debussy. How do you have the strength to make an utterance? It's impossible to remain silent. One Alan Bennett book among many tells all it can, too improbable not to be true. Somehow I continue my secret project.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Less Fraught

Crepe skin, what next? On the whole getting old is good. I am less fraught. I am happier all around. Disaster is in the wings, awaiting its cue.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Say Anything

Stark fear brushes past. I am not strong enough anymore. Writing seems hopelessly trivial, music's consolation's brief. History is not some crockery recovered from the Titanic. Lives forgotten, the shipwreck remains. It is fiction, I can say anything.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What Else?

Learning, enjoyment, persuasion, exchange of information—what else? Steady rain all day. I love it except when I have to drive in it after dark. Soothing sound. No need to do anything outside except I want to. Wind thrashing interludes pleasantly besieged unless the roof blows off.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Missing Days

Missing days not necessarily empty vanish without a trace. As if I was not. I was writing something else. "Thinking." We can find out by looking in my datebook, collating journal fragments, excavating emails. My calls not necessarily returned. I was reading Sartre, McEwan, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books. I was keeping warm and dry, playing Schumann, Chopin, Liszt.

More Diligent

One writing stint daily is enough. I am not young. Is it not fitting to do less? A literary monk might be more diligent. It is no different than ever was, sans artificial energy. Learn to write fiction. I need to keep going places, seeing plays, movies, art, reading, impressions are essential as is well known.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Strong Reds

House, garage, studio, barn all condense around Kwan Yi. If the walnut dies the space will change. Windbreak gone, Italian cypresses redefine our expanded edge. Already the maples are two strong reds, new eucalyptus growing faster. Everywhere plantings recompose the landscape of the farm, layers of distance, openness, enclosure.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Up Again

Long winter nights my fright. Easy here house warm light. Dinner at seven then hours to fill. Read while eyes last. Talk. TV too dumb. Movies save by losing. Crossword answers flow then stop. Up again. Bones ache too long abed, sleep need limited, dreams a puzzle (mini-nuke in the boiler room doesn't go off). What do people do? Fond memories Fred McDarrah R.I.P.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fun Show

BodyVox at the Newmark (fun show), "Gypsy" at Pentacle (enough said), Dead Poets at the library, "Milarepa" at the Hollywood, supper at Old Wives' Tales (strange Japanese vegetable pancake) reading Sartre and back in time for Mrs. Pritchard, what a whirl.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rain or Shine

Hums and chirps inside and out. I am alone in the house and the fan is off. Something presses in. No wonder, I am connected. I see the joke but is it a joke? What makes it a story? These wonders rain or shine.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

More Perfect

Feeling good is what it's all about. Hazel Hall, Petrarch, and Nezahualcoatl came from beyond. Everything dies but poetry more slowly. The idea that we can be good. Like Leonard Cohen. Rufus Wainwright was amazing. Norman Mailer, I miss you already. Correct the error. I am not to be more perfect.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

High Beams

A longer nothing: how is that possible? Now all you can see is the road. The fog has thinned enough for high beams, reaching farther into the future, yellow reflectors racing toward you, then past. Lights are scattered across the prairie, unnaturally white on the barns, warmer in windows, headlights moving far away, a red light blinking up ahead. Mailboxes. Signs of proximity. Here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Field across the road mowed flat, no further raspberries. My candor motivates improvement. Young people are people too. Program doesn't design. Further ideas, resignation, divorce. Many plans for the solitary weekend, some social. Impossible to be bored. This screen rock, a photograph, windows into beyond.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another War

Chopin doesn't come easily to me. I am hearing just now far shooting. Reading about another war, horrendous in a different way. I am always distracted, half attending, eating chocolate, expecting interruption. The harmonies are dense and slippery, the melodies spin on without repeating, the rhythm winds up, skips, unfurls, and when I get in the groove and hit the right notes it is divine, my heart flies. Plays possess my time but only movies take me away. There are always wars, unfortunate for those caught up in them. Let it not be me, let it not be anyone.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Slow Motion

Good to escape the shopping throngs, fly home to green, mission accomplished (pardon the expression). Musharraf big mistake. If it doesn't matter where one is, why describe it? Settle down for winter. Relax. Read. Write. Let meaning emerge.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Slow Steps

Another run to Malibu: lunch with Paul at the Getty Villa, watch glass-blowing, touch statues, talk. Refocus a few lights, tune up a few cues. Good preview. B minor mass, Metropolis symphony. Last breakfast at Our Daily Bread, in good company. Last lunch with Alfred, in the fog at Hendry's Beach. Adequately clothed, I resist buying anything else from Taka-Puna. White linen shirts not my size. "The Graduate" in the afternoon. Duets with Bicky making classic Julia Child dinner: roast chicken constantly basted, Dauphinoise potatoes, bright green French beans. Holly made a classic American flag cake for opening night party: strawberries, blueberries, cream cheese butter icing. Gratified to be valued, part of quality team doing another strong show. Slow steps back to the scholar's quarters, footsore, barely walking. Pack.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mall Culture

Enjoyable lunches. Maddening delays. Alfred's 30th sweetly celebrated. A perfect haircut. The sun never did come out today. Finally the play is coming together. My lights look terrific. I love these actors. Sam fierce. John is reading Plato and Huston Smith. I am reading Pat Barker. Incongruous Ninth Symphony, after chocolate ice cream and a banana, soon enough gone.