Nice visit with Mom & Dad this weekend. We drove up on Friday and returned Saturday evening. I planted four clematis for Mom, plus the dwarf rose and three daylilies I’d brought: Little Dandy; Business; Little Wart. She said she wished we lived closer. (“But we are closer.”) (“No, really closer.”)
I talked to R about this: would he be willing to live next door to Mom & Dad?
R had a 10:00 meeting with Joy, his case manager, a gradually-enlightening Southern Baptist who hasn’t a clue about confidentiality protocol. She spent some time today in her office telling R stories of doctors and nurses who refused to treat people with HIV.
R woke from a bad dream this morning—a train barreling toward his car in a tunnel—and says he saw an angel hovering over the bed, which frightened him even more.
Last night I searched eBay for vintage glass drawer pulls. Dad has a cabinet that’s missing one pull; he wants to sell it. There was a set of four at $4.50 that I bookmarked; R got them today for $9.09. I figure we can always sell the other three.
Mark Svenvold phoned from Bucknell this afternoon: I got the Philip Roth Residence for this fall. I could barely contain my exhilaration; I felt my spine tingle. Mark said they were unanimously excited over my application, said he was thinking about my poem “Quiet” this morning on his way to work. He seemed genuinely happy that I was selected.
But there’s more: he phoned back immediately to ask if the poems I’d submitted were available, that he wanted to publish “Quiet” in West Branch (which might be changing names?) and would push for it (and others) at the editorial meeting on Monday.
I checked the status of the poems and emailed Mark. He emailed me back this evening: he wants to push for “Quiet” and two of the poems that are on hold at Blue Moon Review.
Celebratory Indian dinner tonight with R (his idea). He seems to be dealing well enough with this; he even told Mom on the phone tonight that I had an important announcement (this after warning me to wait at least a day before telling Mom because she’d make me feel bad about “leaving” R behind).
Mom was very happy for me.
We went to the bookstore (Hawley-Cooke) after dinner; I saw the new Hanging Loose (I’m in it) and Artful Dodge, which I bought, having never received my contributor’s copy (move-related?).
I completely forgot to mention the other day that The Sun wants to publish “Dead Letter #4” (with a few editorial changes). I need to revise it per their specs and get the paperwork & poems on disk back to them.
How manageable would it be to solicit manuscripts from those who have died of aids? “Recovered Threads” project? I have Patrick’s writings, and some of what David wrote could certainly fit. Who would publish? Chapbook series with a small press publisher? How do I start an imprint?
The storms heading our way dissipated before reaching Louisville last night. We did get some rain, and this morning the wind is very cold.
R fell last night while walking Sadie. He was limping horribly. Less so this morning.
Brad and Ron from Owensboro phoned: they had planned to pick up a chest of drawers in New Albany and we had talked about meeting for lunch. They should be here around 11.
I dreamed that someone was passing along healing energy to me. I woke wondering how many of the situations we “work out” in dreams are being literally dealt with on some other plane? If, instead of dreaming I return to my high school biology class where I receive praise from my teacher, we are actually interacting on some level?
artwork: Use yellow crayon to thickly cover a piece of cardstock. Cover this with a layer of black, densely, with a ragged edge. Trace down to the layer of yellow or white beneath with a stylus, writing/scraping the text of a poem.
floating title: The I in Irony
For a few days now I’ve been thinking about the title Tainted Love. Not sure if this is a chapbook project or an anthology idea; either could work well.
Forgot to note that we adopted a cat this weekend: George, a black-and-white two-year-old. Took him to the vet yesterday for a checkup (he has a cold) and got an antibiotic. Vet says otherwise he’s in great shape. Sweet kitty.
R chatted with Jason B online: Ben has accepted a tenure-track position at Antioch, teaching creative writing, Shakespeare and queer studies.
floating title: The Spaces Between the Pictures We Take
R is cooking breakfast downstairs. I came into the study looking for something, sat down to check my email, remembered I came upstairs to shower. Nice lovemaking this morning. Thinking of a title, Charity. The giving in what we do.
We drove down the street to watch the big Louisville fireworks show from the old Home Quarters parking lot. Pretty nice.
Anna & Joe (Shadowlands folks—carved Zuni fetishes) had a 24-hour sale, starting at midnight (their time, which was 3 am our time). We stayed up late and sent a bid for four items. This afternoon I got a confirmation that we got all four.
I’ve heard nothing in two weeks from Bucknell. It doesn’t seem like that much time has passed. Even though Mark was very upbeat and enthusiastic about wanting to publish some of my poems in West Branch, still I know that others at his editorial meeting may have disagreed. I’d just like to hear one way or the other.
We’re planning to drive up to Mom & Dad’s for Easter this weekend. R says we’re the pagans, we should be the ones to hide the eggs (!). I need to make a list. I’d like to make one of those Tasha Tudor-style wattle fences for Mom’s flower bed against the house. R says he’d like to help.
Planted dwarf roses at Mom’s.
Sick all day—headache—slept.
hand position one fingers almost touching at the crown
leave an open space
the right side is in balance with the left side
the left side is in balance, and so on,
does anyone still say thrice?
hand position two palms covering the eyes
from headaches, my master says, and I think
what a relief to not see, to close it off sometimes.
How I’d lie beside David and touch him with
such fierce yearning, willing my hands to become
some kind of magnet, draw the illness from him.
And what? Into me? I had it all wrong.
The basket weave thread pattern of the worn sheets.
The orange-and-white pieced quilt he asked for
in the hospital. To lie against him, face pressed
into the bedcovers, study the close-up wrinkles
and folds, the make-believe caverns I hid in
as a child. Shelter. Take us there. Leave us space.
hand position three hands covering ears
I talk and talk, so good, you’re such a sweet man,
we love you, an endless outpouring now that all
the obstacles have been removed, now it’s clear
he’s exiting. Nothing to impede his going and only now
does the purest love come, the love without fear
or mistrust, that cuts through our tangled bullshit
straight to the purity of his well-intentioned heart,
his poor damaged soul. How he tried
to love me. Let him
know. Say it. Whether
he hears it or not.