Sunday, July 5, 2015


July 5, 2015

The day divides in half– a productive morning, an early afternoon nap, then afternoon and evening, which seems like a different day, so much so that I almost forgot that I revised A Time before This Time out of Once in Syracuse and painted well, all before noon. Delicious sleep in my room in the intermittent rain. Up and stirring now for the second half.
   
Zach’s client Dr. C seems to have cured the itching I’ve suffered for many months now. It became impossible to receive a massage without violent scratching (the itch was more like a burn, and the nerves began to convulse if I didn’t scratch) and sometimes whole days would pass with my digging away at one part of my body or the other. Smeared lotion on myself, thinking it might be dry skin. But he assumed it was histamines in my system, recommended a pill for that, and I haven’t itched once since. The question of what histamines are and how did they get under my skin can wait for another time. My own doctor had no clue, or if she did she didn’t bother to say.
   
Tiger lilies in spectacular bloom.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


July 4, 2015

Little owl calling in the night rain.

Fireworks from the Grove Park last night, visible above my trees. The cats didn’t like it.

Have noticed a dissociation between me and my memories, me pushing some of them back as they arise, not because they are bad, but because they seem not to lead to the sort of life I am willing to live, or, as time grows short, to have lived. Reading my big biographies of Williams and Tennyson et al, I do wonder what a biographer could say of me. Have I had incidents in my life? A visible direction? Has anyone bothered to have insight into what I do or how I am? When people do express something of the sort it always seems skew to me, like a blow that has glanced just off target. When I try to do so myself, to plunge in and down, I detect a rich world, but one that I have made deliberately strange, seeking for, longing for, demanding something else. It has, in any case, been pointlessly hard.

Oddly comforting rhythm of the washing machine downstairs.
   
Unexpectedly spend the day on poetry.
 
I find a photograph in a box from my mother's closet. A baby sits in a highchair, a pillow at his back because he's too small. The apartment too is small, and whoever is taking the picture can't back away far enough to get the edges in. The highchair has a metal tray that can be removed for cleaning. The arms of the highchair are padded. The baby's right hand rests on a padded arm. The left hand cannot be seen. Behind are a couple of kitchen cabinets, a chest of drawers between them on which sits one of those baskets covered with gauze that people send fruit in when somebody is sick. The line of the window is softened by a polka dot curtain. On the table in front of the baby is a round glass serving dish and on the dish a birthday cake shaped like a heart. Something is written on the cake at an angle the camera does not catch. I know it is Happy Birthday Davy, because I know the baby is me. Out of the cake heart soars a single burning shaft of candle. The baby's face is a mask of ecstasy. Whether mesmerized by the candle or by its being his first birthday or by sheer life, he is radiant. His mouth opens in the sideways O of delight. The baby is not especially beautiful, but he is happy. He focuses on the one point, the shaft of light. If there were only someone to ask. If someone else were in the picture, a third point beyond me and the candle to establish a plane. But there's just his -- my-- eyes and the dancing single light, the rest of the room effectively empty. Focused. Obsessed. Delighted. So I know it was like that from the first.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


July 1, 2015

Reading an old biography of Tennyson by his son Hallam. Fascinating. AT was apparently a big, shapely, handsome man, popular with everyone, and smarter than I am in the habit of crediting him to be. As a member of the Apostles he seems to have initiated discussion on whether the brain of man is descended from the brains of more primitive creatures– way before Darwin, though it must have been in the air. His position was argued down because annelids and molluscs and the like (so the argument went) have no brains for anything to be descended from. When science contradicts science, some science must be wrong.
   
Discussion with Brian the mortgage guy last night went well, and I behaved, and I gather that everything which needs to be done is done.  He sounded happy. It must have been a payday for him. Plus, I did not, this time, bite his head off.
   
Reading in GQ about style and the men who have it. Realized that if I were required to dress in or even to describe my own “style” in manner of dress, I would have no idea what to say.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


June 30, 2015

Last contact of the night was with my mortgage representative at Freedom Mortgage, whereby I retired in rage.  They are full of questions about 62, which they are not financing, which is at the point nothing hut asset, which is irrelevant to the issue. They demand forms and documents which they themselves vetted when they wrote my mortgage a year and a half ago. Did they do it wrong? Are they forbidden to look at their own documents? They’re duplicating the title research which they did less than two years ago. To top it off, the whole thing is their idea. I did not call them to refinance, but they me. Except that they are paying for everything, the appraisal, the title search, etc, I would think this a major scam. The embarrassing thing is that I am unable to retain civility. I can hear scorn and contempt dripping off my own tongue. They are at the same level of unnecessary megalomaniacal fussbudgetry as the airport TSA, but extended apparently infinitely through time.  I know I have email awaiting from them, but cannot, for fear of meltdown, open it.
   
Sky is trying to rain. All the air show is in place; all it needs is to let go.

Supreme Court gets it right again with abortion and gerrymandering. Odd decision on capital punishment– essentially that any method of execution must be considered constitutional so long as a better one has not been found.

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Discovered “Scare Cam” and the day was wasted. My belly aches from laughing.

A festival in Cashiers is doing "The Critic."
   
Alexander’s House finished triumphantly in every possible way. A milestone for us, and, if we build on it, for theater in this town. I keep numbering the times when we seemed to have been better than the sum of our parts, but that’s how art works. The soloists covered themselves with glory. Party here afterwards, ten happy people. They tested out some of my baking experiments without knowing. Leftovers were taken home in plastic wrap, so I assume they were successes. Chili filling the largest pot I have was barely enough.
   
Good work-out, then on the phone making the dates and looking after all the duties that I dreaded, so that they are all, to some degree, on the road to redress. Feeling of fulfillment without actually having DONE anything. It’s how rulers must feel, setting other things and persons in motion. Fix my roof. Cut DJ’s dead tree. Build me a deck. Fix my locks.
   
Calla lilies and tiger lilies in bloom. The yellow calla is unworldly perfection.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


June 28, 2015

Had to start on the antibiotics.. Therefore felt convalescent all day yesterday, and feel so at this early hour today. After days of heat the house is almost uncomfortably cool, a stiff dawn wind coming through the windows. Nasty mood, which may just be the infection.
   
The Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage rights continues to be the wave upon every media beach, sometimes alternating with the Confederate Battle Flag. I do not understand why a straight person would care about the gay marriage issue, except to rejoice at the general prospect of equality. The major Republican politicians and “Christian” spokespersons are all in prophetic dudgeon Of all the things God could rain down judgment for, they think it’s going to be this, a thing which, at the least, does no actual harm to anybody on earth. It’s not merely that I disagree; I don’t see the point. Why would I care about anyone else’s marriage– or anyone else’s anything, for that matter-- except to wish them as well as I wish myself? I can see resenting rich people because their superfluity materially diminishes the portion of all others, issues like that, but some kinds of having take nothing from anybody.  People who say gay marriage diminishes the sanctity of THEIR marriage need to be horsewhipped and deported, being too stupid to be Americans. Yes, friends, it is possible to be too butt ignorant to be suffered to express your idiot beliefs. And it is exactly these people who always have a microphone in their mouths.
   
Also don’t get the furor over the Confederate flag, though I might if I were black. The argument that bothers me is this: when someone says, “What this flag means to me is–“ I’m thrown into Wonderland with Alice. Do things mean just what we think they mean? I’m sitting here thinking what “symbols” push my buttons. . . can’t think of anything of that intensity. Maybe I just don’t have the gene.
   
I remember long sessions with Jack in grade school, where we tried to perfect our drawing of the swastika. I think we were coming to terms with history. Someone watching us might have thought something quite different
   
Long day. Last performance of Alexander’s House, which has proven to be a major triumph for Cantaria. Reception here afterwards. I have been cooking and baking, which kept my mind from worse things.
   
Pink clouds in the north, all I can see from the tiny study window.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


June 27, 2015

They promised rain last night, but there was no rain. It’s taking a while for morning to come, so maybe there’s a cloud cover.
  
Friday spent, largely, cooking. Also gym, errands, minuscule writing. Had a bellowing melt-down when I discovered that the garden hose had been disassembled (Russell borrowed it to clean DJ’s gutters) and the nozzle twisted “off” so hard it could not be opened. I was amazed by the intensity of my fury–though probably it was fed by the various irritations of cooking all day for company tomorrow–, dismayed by the fact that part of my brain knew it wasn’t worth it, but yet could not control the part that was stomping around like a wounded bear. Got it assembled. Got the nozzle working. Watered the drooping eggplants. Came in wondering about the fragility of my equipoise.