Saturday, April 25, 2015


April 25, 2015

Returned home late afternoon to find the back yard full of bluebirds.

A badly planned drive to Reems Creek involved me in what probably is the last major planting of spring: white hostas, ferns, a red rose and a rusty orange one, comfrey, toad lilies, more Venus flytraps, more pitcherplants, swamp iris, dicentra. Though rain is forecast, I watered everything, the newer ones looked so peaked.

Supposed to meet with JD, but his departure time from Raleigh keeps getting changed. He blames it on the baby.

Friday, April 24, 2015


April 24, 2015

My drama students–except for one–put on excellent original plays– in some ways better than my playwriting students have done in the recent past. The exception wrote . . . I can’t even say what. It is as if he had never heard of the theater, after an entire semester of sitting in the front row. He is one who brings to class with him an envelope requesting “special accommodation.” Sometimes what that means is “do not address this student’s weaknesses,” and one wonders what good one can do him at all.
   
It might be the long, long infection in my head, but I may have lost significant hearing in my right ear. If so, it happened one day. Tinnitus worse than it ever was.
   
Planted some plants coming late from the shipper. The news called for a freeze last night. We’ll see the damage when the light comes, in about two hours.
   
Finding advocates for In Many Colored Night. The question I ask, Lord, is how much better do I have to be than anyone else , for how long, before I am finally treated equally?

April 23, 2015

Went to see my student’s Undergraduate Research presentation on Tolkien. Preceding her was a Feminist reading of Ovid, looking to prove that The Metamorphoses was an intentional lamentation on the inequity of power. It was one of those scholarly essays whose erudition was pointless because the basic premise was nonsensical. The paper reached back in time to correct Ovid’s false notion of his own subject matter, and to reveal to him that he was really centrally concerned with the place of women in society. I asked the question, “Do you really think anyone in Ovid’s time would have read The Metamorphoses as a dissertation on power differential?” and her response was that Ovid was so great a poet that he wrote something that no one in his time could appreciate, patiently awaiting a time of enlightenment in which he could be properly understood.  I was a little ashamed of her adviser, but, of course, nothing could be said.  Advocate criticism such as Feminism or Queer Theory can never be really enlightening, as they seek to impose rather than to discover. They are not meant to be enlightening. They are meant to be gratifying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


April 22, 2015


 Earth Day. Cold and bright. Two tree peonies in bloom, white and pink.

Student panic attenuates my patience. I could make a recording: “if you had done it when you were supposed to have done it, you wouldn’t have this problem.”

Attended the “Lavender Graduation” for gay boys and girls. I sneer at people who spend too much energy worrying about whether they’re being fully “themselves," even while recognizing that NOT being myself wrecked my childhood and youth in ways imponderable.  Yet it made me mighty in the ways of concealment. That is a blessing one doesn’t think to ask until it’s too late. Perhaps, all in all, I was lucky.

Drove to the Native Plants farm in Barnardsville. Turns out to be almost all azaleas, which I, inexplicably, don’t like.  Bought two Canada lilies so the trip wouldn’t be wasted.

April 20, 2015

    A cloud of bees announces that my hollies are in bloom.

    The garage disposal died with too many lemon peels in its mouth.

    In the morning before light I finished In Many Colored Night.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


April 19, 2015

Saw Nancy in every corner of the church this morning. Her service yesterday was beautiful. I thought I was a special friend of hers, but now I think that might not have been the case, that the quality of her spirit was such that everyone thought themselves special.  Surprising how sad I get if I let myself think about it.

Two flickers fed in the yard during yesterday’s rain. There must have been an abundance of whatever they were after, for they stayed a long time, pecking the ground.

Yellow iris in full glory.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


April 18, 2015

Turbulent departmental party here, but the good kind of turbulence, which I would have enjoyed more were I a different sort of person. Talked long with two strange, gay boys, wholly unlike any of the boys I knew growing up, unsocialized, gentle and free in themselves. The junior faculty clumped in the kitchen and talked, mostly about teaching. The senior faculty left early. My cooking and baking were exemplary & solitary. I’d set the lawn chairs out, but it rained. That was all right, as I’d just planted two angel trumpets and something else I forget the name of (it’s purple) and hadn’t gotten them watered. Michael, of all that he might have said, warned me that I would regret the grandiflora magnolia. I think I’ll be dead long before it’s too big.  Zach and I decided my diet (and my life) is way too acidic. We sing for Nancy today. Seeing the pictures people are placing Facebook makes her death realer, worse. Yes, that is the woman I remember. . . .