Thursday, 11.14:

In the parking lot outside the store with almost 30 minutes before I need to go in. Last night, after visiting Mom for a couple of hours, I stopped up at the pole barn to try to find my winter coat–no luck–and ended up carrying two boxed of random stuff out to the car: a winnowing basket, a flannel sheet, some good 28-lb paper, and some journals, including one that starts in 2000 but skips to ’06, ’08, and 2010.

It’s my habit of writing in whatever’s at hand, though at least I try to date each entry. These past few days I’ve been transcribing journal notes and copying entries from my old blog to the new one, and finding some poem drafts and especially memories that I’d forgotten.

The ’84 journal is consistently, painfully, embarrassing. The notes and cards from high school friends are pretty vapid, but my responses are excruciatingly ego-driven. Burn them? Transcribe them? I did copy one entry into the blog because it was about Bruce, a man I dated briefly (and secretly) who kept goading me to come out to my parents (which I did that year, but later).

It seems to me that my life has largely consisted of inaction–a shrinking from spontaneity–and reflection, the latter generally without much depth. I’ve been out standing in my field, ha ha, squinting at the ground instead of striking some kind of path. I think. I guess. I don’t even know.

J asked me three days ago to write him a letter of recommendation for a TT position, and my heart skipped in fear: I’m terrible at writing that sort of thing. It took a couple of minutes before I even recognized what the TT abbreviation meant, I am that far from academia now. (Oh, J, you could do so much better.)

And memories of R: scenes I tried to write about that, reviewing them now, all point to what a colossal failure our relationship was almost from the start. Oh, hon. I’m sorry.

Saturday, 11.17:

I splashily sliced off the tip of my right middle finger last night while prepping zucchini for dinner. I could have waited to see if the bleeding would stop, but I panicked and drove myself to the Urgent Care Center a few blocks away. Amazing how difficult to drive a stick shift with your middle finger wrapped in a wad of paper towels. Fastening my seat belt was a painful, blundersome trial. 

No stitches. It’s a kind of donut hole in the fingertip but, once cleaned up (owwww) it gradually stopped bleeding and they decided not to cauterize (thank you). So: a minor nuisance but a lesson in caution. And I keep banging my fingertip even with this clunky gauze wrap. 

I’m still logging the last batch of manuscripts that came in for the Rane Arroyo Series and hope to get that done tomorrow, on my day off. Best part of going to work today: no lifting.

Wednesday, 11.29:

I bought tickets about three months ago to take Taylor to see Kamasi Washington at the Taft last night; it was a phenomenal concert and worth the wait.

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He saves that face for selfies.

Today was warm, mid-50s by noon as I headed over to Mom’s house to clean the neglected gutters on the back of the pole barn: these were completely full of leaves and cedar needles, with several mulberry seedling rooted and a few of those nasty bittersweet vines–which I wanted to drop into an acid bath, which might be enough to kill them. Such a horrible, invasive vine.

Finished reading Kathleen Flenniken’s Famous last night, and I’m posting it now onto the PaperbackSwap site. (I have four boxes of books loaded into the car that I need to go through; there’s just no room and I’m doing some ruthless culling.) Here is the final poem in the book:

Prayer Animals

Pray to the sloth, the naked pig,
the foul-mouthed chimpanzee.
Look in the mirror  
and remember humility.

Pray to the bull for his cock.
Pray to cock for his crow. 
Pray to the crow and the black  
cloud of his brothers scudding
across the winter. 

Pray to the neighbor’s dog
who finally learned to live on a chain.
Pray to the rat in the attic,
rummaging through our handwritten sins
and Christmas ornaments. 

And pray to the pink flamingo
who migrated north to a snowdrift.
When you’re that fabulously wrong
and lost and cold, pray to be exotic.
Pray to be shocking and irresistible. 

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