Wednesday, April 26, 2017


April 26, 2017

Three attacks of cramps last night, the second, prolonged and agonizing, maybe the worst one yet. I could feel my heels being dragged toward my ass, and I could not stop it. So angry the cats didn’t know if my screams were pain or fury. Woke exhausted because of them, but did good work at the studio, bought two new roses and planted them in big rich compost-y holes. Napped until late afternoon, alas, but there is time to do a little writing. The drive to Waynesville was hell for traffic yesterday, but, stopped dead in the road, one had time to contemplate the unbelievable beauty of the after-many-rainstorms spring mountains. A little rabbit has his form under the low roof of my hostas.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


April 25, 2017

Sweet spring day. No class. Hit the gym for the first time since before Venice. Sit in the empty cafĂ© writing grievous poems, weeping without restraint, glad that nobody but me goes there at that time of the darkness. The rain slackens and the sun comes out. Accidentally encounter TD at the High Five, feel hatred for him, a little, because of so many things before me in his life, even things that will bring him no benefit. Spade into mush another round of bamboo shoots. Finish planting all the annual seeds, though toward the end “planting” meant tossing handfuls of seed in underdeveloped dirt to give them a fighting chance. An ounce or so of forget-me-not seed could inseminate the world. Good news about Peniel; the press I sent it to adores it, but wants to offer it to St Julien first to give it a better chance. I say yes. I say yes repeatedly and inevitably. No one says yes more than I. I should be further along every single road.

April 24, 2017

Sweet cast for Gatsby. I’ve enjoyed the company in the last two shows I was in.  Left early for rehearsal, but because of the rain there was no highway construction, so arrived forty minutes early, listened to the radio in my car. Horrible night, though, some image or thought tilting me over into darkness. During the ride home I heard myself whispering The Lord has delivered me to the demon over and over as a kind of mantra. Strangely, it brought comfort.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


April 23, 2017

Remarkable, Noah-evoking volume of rain. It started late last night and continues to this hour, at the edge of light, though the night roar has become a whisper. Good for my gardens, unless it was enough to be bad for them. I hope my fornicating opossums have shelter.

The sink on our level of the studio is constantly getting clogged, and what is clogging it and making it stink is food–remnants of salad, rice, wet tea leaves. Only one of us ever eats there, and when she wanders about tragically declaring the sink is clogged again, I want to ask “Why do you think that is?” It’s hard to believe she hasn’t made the connection between her salad floating on a pool of stagnant water in the sink and a clogged drain. Long ago, when Celia was doing the same thing and I outlined what happened I was accused of “mansplaining.”
Mansplaining is when I man gives a woman instructions or information which she needs, but resents needing.

Novel shapes drew me out into the garden in the still-driving rain. I knew what they were. Rain had brought spears of new bamboo out of the ground, six, ten feet away from the original stand, as had happened last year. Some of them were two feet long and had not been there at all on Friday. There I was, hacking away at them with a hoe while they were still tender enough to hack. The yard would be a bamboo thicket in five years if I allowed it.

April 22, 2017

Earth Day.

Went outside to the frantic calling of crows. When I went to look at what was disturbing them, I saw four opossums in the east lawn. I thought two were dead and the others contemplating eating them, but the two on the ground were actually mating, and the other two watching, or maybe waiting their turn for the use of preferred space. It was strangely Edenic,  two ardent lovers rolling around in the wet spring grass, studded with purple wild phlox. I went to the High Five and had coffee with Alex, and when I returned the opossums were still at it (maybe the pairs had traded off) and the crows still cawing. I wondered what the crows’ stake in this was. Were they mocking? Cheering? Just minding their neighbors’ business? I didn’t realize there were so many hulking marsupials in the vicinity of my back yard.

Two visits to the studio, the second partially to amend a mis-vision of the first.  Did some good work, some that will need to be looked at a second time.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


April 21, 2017

Deep fog at the end of night. The birds must not be affected, for they are singing in the distance. Yeats in the morning. The thing I have hated most about teaching? That when I ask, “Are there any questions?”, the questions are not about the matter at hand, but about grades and assignments. They think that getting good grades is their job. It is not. S keeps me afloat. Sometimes people are just interested. 

Friday, April 21, 2017


April 20, 2017

The beginning of the Time of the Bursting Forth. Red peonies gather like a little constellation in the back–their first year. My first pink, rather ragged, rose appears. Buds swell. Good day in the studio. Cleaned out space for Richmond. Stopped dead three times on the road between here and Waynesville. I of course suppose that mendacity and incompetence is the cause of traffic hell, but whatever the cause is, it’s a mile or so beyond by turn-off, so perhaps I’ll never know. The Great Gatsby is a thin play, and I wonder if anyone who hadn’t read the novel can follow it. I like my fellow cast members.