Thursday, August 27, 2015


August 27, 2015

Afternoon. E is on her way back north. We must have been good company for each other when we lived together, for we were this time too.

Rehearsal last night was good. We read through Mozart’s Miss Brevis in F, and I was reminded that sight reading unfamiliar material is one of my favorite things, especially if it’s pre-twentieth century and one has the pleasure of discovering patterns and being rewarded with familiar passages. Was given cake for my birthday, which I shared with E as we watched Project Runway.

Cannot shake off a clinging drowsiness. Slept badly last night, having eaten too much and too late.

Odd sky through my window, brooding and yet bright.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


August 26, 2015

Terrible dreams, about a kind of semi-spiritual zombie haunting the city where I lived and, apparently, ran a restaurant as a front for a metaphysical detective agency. A rainbowy shimmer or the disappearance of part of the body would sometimes give the zombie away, sometimes not. Not only was it horrible, but it didn’t go away once one woke. When I slept again, the same dream came back.
   
Class on the ancient Hebrews, realized that some of the students (more than the one who asked the question) had no idea what the Old and New Testaments were, nor where they came from, nor what they were for. I had mistaken the pained looks on their faces: I had taken them for opposition, when they were in fact utter confusion.  Maybe the zombie dream was prophetic of this.
   
A reporter and her cameraman were murdered on live TV in Moneta, Virginia. The Internet now carries a video apparently taken by the gunman. One awful thing upon another.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


August 25, 2015

Huge equity call from E-trade. The check from the mortgage company comes just in time. Damn China.

E arrived while I was in class last night. We have not seen each other since 1979. She was a girl then, a woman now. Very motherly. She talked a long time with her son on the phone. The first thing she talked about what her marriage– “I was blind-sided. I didn’t want a divorce at all. He left me to marry his sweetheart from thirty years ago, before we met.”  But she has a son and a daughter and a dance school in Connecticut. She turned me into a vegetarian for several years, though neither of us is one now.

Excellent evening with the playwrights. Excellent discussion of the bible in Humanities.

Days of sapphire.

Monday, August 24, 2015


August 23, 2015

K and I took in Company at HART. Excellent production of a piece that does not, somehow, get me where I live, but whose cleverness I appreciate. Asheville apparently suffered a deluge while we were at the theater, Kyle reading on his phone about flash floods. The city was indeed sodden– the world was sodden almost t the sidewalks of the theater. People were trapped at Montford Park because the streets around were awash. Good for my garden, anyway.
   
This evening in 1966 I wrote my first poem. It was the beginning of a life which I have yet to understand.
   
Good Cantaria rehearsal. New faces which I hope we can retain.
   
Friend asks for money. With the Market down more than I ever remember it, I don’t know how to satisfy him. Then a check arrives from my old mortgage company for $5900.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


August 22, 2015

Grabbed some calm, sat in the garden and wrote yesterday evening.

Rose up and went from one café to another, grabbing more calm.
   
Michael Collins died today.
   
Two men greet each other at Starbuck’s. #2 is reading a bible.
    One: “Hello! How ya doin’?”
    Two: “You know I’m doin’ fine, and you know why.”
    One: “Yes, yes I do.”
    Two: “He is on the throne. That is the only reason.”

 Ten minutes later: a woman at Starbucks stares at me for a moment and says, “You’re Pope. . . Hope. . . what is it?”
    “Hopes.”
    “Yes.  I’m Lee. I know you. You are the poet. When Asheville was changing into what it is now, you put an indelible mark on it. You gave it a written word.”
    She got her coffee. I pried my chin up off the table.

Can’t stay awake. It’s the pain medication. After every labor I must go lie down. Theater tonight in Waynesville.
   
Everything blooming.

Friday, August 21, 2015


August 21, 2015

 Days washed away with obsession with pain. I suppose if it’s REALLY prolonged you learn to deal with it. I would have to overcome rage first.

Having skipped me twice, the cleaners are downstairs, eating away my afternoon, when I was specific in their needing to come in the mornings. Rage at them deflected because they are not the ones who make (and demolish for bad reasons) the schedule. Besides, they cleaned out my oven, gratis. Can’t get to my medication. Can lie down and sob myself to sleep, which is what I want to do. Sobbed in the car hearing about 13 year olds in prison (life without hope of parole) for one mistake, or for no mistakes at all, unjustly condemned, raped every night of their life. That is something to weep over. Me, I’m just futile and frustrated and exhausted and at the end of the week when everything has gone not only bad, but worse than anyone could have imagined. Even rats have their bolt holes. . . .

Went to the Magnetic Theater to see J’s latest.  Two of my students were there as well, so we made a merry company. The show was admirable in every way, skillfully acted and presented. It was meta-theater– a kind of theater I neither do nor appreciate very much. The fact that I respected and admired it nevertheless speaks the more for it. It was all brain, to be taken in and appreciated by the brain. This is startling to me. If J and I were the same person, we’d be the greatest playwright in the world.

Tired unto whimpering. Must go down and get for myself at least an aspirin.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 19, 2015

Pain wipes the slate clean of anything else .It interrupts every thought, deflects every line of reasoning. Every revery ends with consideration of it, what you might do to soften it, what position you might take to mitigate it, what medications, what food, what exercise. If you try to concentrate on something else, pain brings you back to itself if you relax even for a moment. So the last few days I’ve done my work, met my obligations, answered my email wincing with pain, thinking of nothing for very long but pain. Wake at two AM after the pills wear off, mind bright with pain, pain the one thing in life in the dark hours, encompassing, inescapable, reasonless. It’s not that it’s a very great pain, but it is enough. It endures, it returns, it sharpens and dulls so there is no extended consideration of anything else. I’ve whispered the sentence “I hate you” into the air more times in the last four days than in all the rest of my life. Whatever target I intend, I hope it’s hitting home.