Sunday, March 26, 2017


March 26, 2017

Saturday was a day of accomplishment. Before light I wrote on my Hiram story. I assembled the second raised bed (easy for two, frustrating for one) filled it, bought soil and plants at Reems Creek, planted dicentria, bluebells, wake-robin, wood poppy, mayapple, jack-in-the-pulpit, six lilies that had ben languishing in the bulb in the cab of my truck. On their own violets ennoble the yard. Rested a little, had prosecco at Sovereign Remedies, took S to see Souvenir, a play about Florence Foster Jenkins at NC Stage, exemplary for complete harmony of performance, production, direction and acting, an evening of genuine pleasure. Wandered the streets afterwards, finally having Italian sodas at Old Europe, beside a heap of homeless bedding down in an alcove, one of whom offered me an exotic drug S had to explain to me. I remarked that S has seen, in Amsterdam, 2/3 of the drug use of my entire life. Must have used up my energies, for today has been the saga of creeping from one nap opportunity to the next, having slept in the first place to the unheard-of hour of 9. Voice held through both mass and rehearsal. Cantaria is an array of pop tunes through the foreseeable future, and I am sad as I can be. Life is too short to sing fluff. My life, anyway. Our interim is precise in ways Stephen was not. All in all, that’s likely good for us, however irritating in the moment.

Anniversary of mother’s death, forty three years ago. A whole solid life ago. I remember on the first anniversary I was in Syracuse. I skipped my evening poetry workshop, came home– home being the horrible cubicle on Adams Street– through a blizzard, lay on my mattress in the horrible room senseless with grief while slush and hail tapped on my window. The weather is better now. My bed is better.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


March 24, 2017

Student admits she hasn’t been coming to class, asks if that is so very important. “You were vague about attendance requirements,” she says. I email her the paragraph from the syllabus which says that class is ALL important, that four absences lowers your grade one notch, etc. Wonder what she could possibly mean by “vague.”

Anyway, she shows up, and shows the best poem of her career.

Went to a meeting about establishing new minors and new programs. Two things amazed me. One is how politically ignorant I am (the politics of the institution of which I’ve been a part for 34 years). The other is how the people with the least to say INEVITABLY talk the longest.

Watched horror movies on TV.

Heart-dark yesterday, but again had joyful, even hilarious dreams. Some spiritual balancing act is being staged within.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


March 23, 2017

Abundant time in the studio. SB bought two paintings, the nuthatch on textured paper on plywood, and the cedar waxwing on t-shirt glued to a slat of disarticulated dresser. Happy about that.

Hiked to the Ultra Café from the studio, sat at a table with a woman of about my age who was from Cleveland. We spent most of the time lamenting Trump.

Several of my students are entering panic mode. I must admit that some of my colleagues have pushed them there, and an ordeal of finesse appears before me: aiding my students without insulting my colleagues.

Worked in the garden. Fought off bouts of sharp-edged sadness. There is dull-edged sadness and sharp-edged sadness, and this is the sharp-edged.

But my voice held through rehearsal last night. I was happy. I gave praise.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


March 22, 2017

We gave Will our blessing last night to become a priest. Excellent supper afterwards at the Corner Kitchen. A wine I’d had many times before was suddenly better than it had ever been. I sat at a place where a plaque said President Obama had sat before.

A purple haze covers my yard: it is the constellation of grape hyacinths, and the blue hyacinths which bloom–for some reason–much later than the yellow and red. The durable daffodils endure.

A curse lifted sometime last night, a shade of darkness that I cannot define and cannot find the source for. I would blame Venice, but I think I took it with me there. Went to sleep to distant lightning.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


March 20, 2017

Spring. I do “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” as I always do, as though it were the world afire. The students stare as though they were painted on wood. I do “The Windhover” and someone writes something down in her notebook. I myself feel a kind of dryness since my return; perhaps that’s what all feel.

Monday, March 20, 2017


March 19, 2017

The time change that everybody hates gives me an extra hour of morning darkness, in which I do my best work. Just now blue-gray winter light comes to my study window.

S has resigned from Cantaria. Less chaos than one expected, our Board having, this time for the first time, provided.

I am not quite home. Something of me is left amid the canalli, or perhaps streams dark and uncertain in the air between here and there. Maybe the sight of my students will bring me home.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


March 18, 2017

Sound of heavy rain on the roof. Had a bad night, war in the darkness, but when I was finally asleep, I woke at least once laughing from dreams which, though I do not remember them, I remember as hilarious.  Saint P’s dinner with DJ at Avenue M.  Terri says that I am a person with whom she could travel. Early to the studio, where I did good work, but that was the end of the good work for the day.