Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18, 2017

Met A in the High Five. He told me about his research for his play about the assassination of McKinley, and I couldn’t find a way to tell him (nor was I certain that I SHOULD tell him) that I’m writing on the same subject, inspired by him. I trust our approaches to be essentially and in every detail dissimilar. He is a charming young man, and I want to ask,”How’s your love life,” but he also seems so committed to his art at the moment that that is an irrelevancy. I envy him his fresh start and his uncluttered clarity of ambition. Fried a pork chop and through the fat out to the crows,who rejoiced.

February 17, 2017

The concert turned out well, and to be much praised whether it was well or not. Animated (but still rather elementary) lecture of the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis. A female voice announced my presence to the crowd. I was gratified, and found out later that the voice belonged to the Chancellor.  Passive-aggressive advisees who have not bothered to contact me or make an appointment complain about “not being able to find him.” Sitting around all day hoping that somebody needs me is a pathology I left behind years ago. See the list of office hours? Utilize it. I killed the last of the African violets transplanting it. Worried about W, who seems hunted and panicky, but perhaps that is his daily affect. Daffodils within half a week of blooming. If there were yellow crocodiles, we could call then daffodiles. . . . .

Friday, February 17, 2017


February 16, 2017

Milk-blue day. Working hard on everything, my play, reading stories for the Ruminate contest, trying to stay awake when the anemia wants me to lie down. Rage last night at choir when my voice kept shutting down. I pictured Christ as a beautiful blue-eyed young man, me telling him, “No, not this. You will leave my voice alone. This is not part of it. You let go and get out.” It seems that if there IS free-will, you ought to be able at some point to say,”No, sorry, not this.”  When I look in the mirror I see hair like a gray mop, but find no time for a haircut. Sold a chunk of my stocks– those I could without incurring huge capital gains charges–imagining that the chaos of the Brute in Washington must hit the markets before too long. Few of the contest stories are worth reading through to the end. Some give themselves away in the first sentence, and everything after is just sad confirmation.  Concert tonight, only two songs, so I may get through.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017

Vivid dream this morning, indestructible through several periods of waking: I drove to a small rural college in Ohio in response to a call for try-outs for a professional basketball team. I told them on the phone I was overage, but they said, “This is another kind of basketball team.” When I got here, the place was crowded with young men in baggy shorts and singlets. I decided not actually to try out for the team, but to wander around for a while, and as I did I kept running into people from my past. Some seemed to be functionaries of the basketball team, or the college, and sat at immense desks. Cathy Casey was there with her mother, who looked exactly like her except for wearing a red bandana. She had come from the dead to warn me of something.  A gigantic swimming pool seemed to surround the whole campus, and sent forth little coves and inlets toward the offices.

Decent workout in the chill before dawn. Good day at the studio. Some work on the McKinley play.

Another Valentine’s Day with no valentine. Too disappointed even to comment. Another of my great talents kept in secret. . . .

Monday, February 13, 2017


February 13, 2017

Return to winter, bright and cold. The moon last night was a teetery-tottery egg laid on its unsure edge.

Cantaria, then Doctor Strange at Asheville pizza with DJ and Russell, boys’ night out. Enjoyed the movie, but couldn’t figure out exactly why it was made. Maybe purely to occasion boys’ night out.

Read proposals for the April Undergraduate Research festival. Only one or two out of twenty were what I would call “research,” but, still.

Fed up with what I’m going to call Resentful Activism– supposedly charitable concerns that envy and denigrate all OTHER charitable concerns. Came to mind after the shootings in Orlando, when one of the speakers embarrassed herself and her cause by coming up to the microphone, where everyone else had been expressing their concern and regret, and saying, “Why weren’t there this many people at the Black Lives Matter rally?” The only possible response is to turn away in mortification. The big ones now are: WHY SHOULD WE GIVE IMMIGRANTS JOBS WHEN SO MANY VETERANS ARE OUT OF WORK??   And, WHY SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT IMMIGRANTS WHEN SO MANY AMERICANS ARE HOMELESS AND INDIGENT? So many things are wrong with these comments it’s difficult to know where to start. Justly or not, one assumes utter hypocrisy, that the speakers or writers don’t give a damn about veterans or the native homeless, that they don’t love anybody but merely want to find a way to settle the hash of those they hate. No one ever said that one thing should be done INSTEAD of the other; one has but taken this moment to advocate the one thing rather than the other. How many of you were really concerned about the veteran until he gave you the chance to vilify the immigrant? I don’t think a person should be criticized for his charities. If you want to help veterans, help veterans. This priority is not furthered by denigrating those who are helping immigrants or lost puppies or opera companies. Conservatism reveals itself at every turn. It cannot even advocate charity without revealing an essential selfish hypocrisy.

February 12, 2017

The Valentine’s Gala at the Renaissance was about 20% as draining as I expected to be, which makes it a kind of a triumph. My voice got through. Drinks afterward at the hotel bar, which I like. Between the show and a brief visit to the studio, my Saturday sank in a morass of naps.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


February 11, 2017

Last night the moon so bright the light-sensitive lanterns scattered about turned themselves off. Venus was a bright cruel prick difficult to look at. Good afternoon with my poets, who strive and improve. Who in the deeps of their education gave them the idea poetry was abstract? Asked my scholars what they wanted to write about on their exams, and they looked at me gobstruck, saying not a word. Sam off to Raleigh to protest some of the infinite number of things presently protestable. I with part of a day off, wondering desperately how best to use it. Cantaria fundraiser tonight. I close my eyes and think of England.