1999.12

Tuesday, 12.07:

floating titles:

  • Yes, and Yes Again
  • The Affirmative

Finished reading B H Fairchild’s The Art of the Lathe and Marianne Boruch’s Moss Burning last night, but both in a hurried way, a poem or two at a time while in the bathroom or waiting for a web page to upload online. Not the way I prefer to read. So many things I do while doing something else: sew on the Poets’ Quilt while watching television with R. He sits on the futon and I can’t help but think if he were working on a project, too, he’d have something he made of that time. What will we leave each other? Those evenings, gone, and what will remain?


R: the correspondence of animals, those animals which are endangered: i.e., the wolf, which represents familial bonds and structure: could it be that these things are being lost from or society because we are killing off the animals which are guardians of this wisdom? 71 species of frogs are endangered today: understanding emotions / transformation / cleansing: endangered as well?


Sharon Olds, Sharon Olds, Sharon Olds: a collection of essays, impressions, opinions, readings of her poems, with input & response from the author. Crazy idea, or just a bad one?


If AIDS Is Over, Then Why Do I Still Feel Like Shit?:  anthology for poems, short fiction, essays?


Thursday, 12.09:

poem draft: Winter Wasps

like feeble live wires / sparking the blinds, their sound / draws us to windows . . .


Headache all day. Slept late and stayed in bed to write a poem. I’d been thinking about the yellowjackets that flew into the house last week when we held the back door open for Sadie. From there, the wasps on the ceiling during my freshman high school English class, how someone leaped to swat at them, and Margaret Ballard, one of my favorite teachers, turned from writing on the board and chastised Oh, leave them alone, they’re going to die anyway. 

How what the wasps meant suddenly expanded to include us. Then the poem came, hard line by line, someone in the parking lot beeping and beeping his car horn, R coming upstairs, seeing me sitting in bed writing and so retreating without speaking, booming path of a Louisville-bound plane rattling the windows, but I hung on, followed the poem to its end, no other feeling like this one.

Tried to cut flannel pieces at the downstairs table while R checked his email and reported the news. Update from Silver: her kid allowed someone to log in to her account & a virus has destroyed a lot of her files; remove Robin Bell from the records; remove Rich Ervin, too. And we wondered. And Rich messaged R to say he had resigned last week, was afraid we might not still be friends.

R went out to lunch; my headache got worse. Package in the mail. His frustration about Yule: not being able to buy me anything, and I’ve led him to believe all these boxes are for him. Too sick to discuss. Upstairs to guest room to sleep until 7pm, a few minutes ago, when I got water and Tylenol and sat back down with the wasp poem and saw at once how to fix the weak line, changing wait to die. They come inside to die. As Mrs. Ballard knew. It astonishes a child of fourteen with brains but no common sense.


Friday, 12.17:

This morning I dealt with the Saturn problem: my car stopped running yesterday–no, day before–while R & I were out running errands. R said it had been difficult to start, so we brought it home to switch vehicles (take his truck) and, sure enough, once he’d turned it off it would not start again.

The woman at the Louisville Saturn dealership was kind enough to tell me that if the car was still under a service warranty, I could have it towed for free. Which we did. I tipped the tow driver $20–he said it was the biggest tip he’d ever gotten. Have not yet heard what might be wrong with the car.