Saturday, October 31, 2015


October 31, 2015

Halloween.

Glad morning in the studio I painted well, with Steven coloring with fiery intensity a few rooms away. Good work in the silence. A couple from Nashville prowled around, saying, “this must be an inspiring room to work in.” Anyone who mentions the room and not the work is instantly my enemy.

My yard is essentially self-mulching, with a fine rain of pine needles shivering softly down.

Gigantic moon.

Five rejections in one day. I am sorry for my hatred, for my obsession, for my Satanic rebellion. But, Lord, I cannot move until you let me move.

Friday, October 30, 2015


October 30, 2015

Tense leaving Marshall Pres under moonlight. Decided that choir is not the place to encourage service that gratifies the congregant but offends the art. The old man beside me sang not one right note (though his counting is pretty good) and even the suggestion that he just sing what I sing brought but a confused smile. The Down syndrome kid blats just any old thing at the top of his lungs. I do not have the courtesy in me to countenance that. Surely some other service is available. What goes through peoples’ minds? I mentioned this to the director–of course she knew before I mentioned it–and she said the old guy said my strong voice was helping him a great deal. Since he sang not one note that I did, I don’t know how I helped. Yet one trusts that some good is being done somehow.  And so one goes down into darkness with nothing certain.
   
Marshall is scary and empty at night.

Brought down from the study yesterday afternoon by strong and persistent knocking on the door. Got down just as the knocker was leaving– a young black man who turned and began testifying as he moved across the drive. “Has Jesus yet blessed you today?” through such-and-such a thing that I didn’t hear. He was selling something that he was presenting as a blessing, but I didn’t have time to get pissed over being interrupted for that, for he tried to get between the parked car and the house, which means he got tangled up in the rose bushes. There he was, testifying to a fare-thee-well, trying to get his sleeves unhitched from the rose thorns. I closed the door behind me, smiling.

Went over my Weir lines on the elliptical. I was alone in the big room. Even now the morning darkness has not broken.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


October 29, 2015
  
Thinnest of all rain, the brush of cold lips against a cheek. Most of the night was flooded with moonlight. Drove the pick-up for coffee to empty the bed of collected rainwater.

Smitten by inspiration for the music for Dinosaur Movie.

At the theater last night for a run-through of Washington Place. We open a week from tonight, and there were a number of things to be panicked about, but when the run-through actually started, when I heard those sure voices saying lines of which I am also sure, anxiety drained away. For the most part. Now I’m picturing an empty theater, crickets calling in the hallway.

A was there, being wondrously and inexplicably useful.

Singing along with Russian basses on You Tube, confirming that I, too, have a double Low C. At least today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


October 28, 2015

Cold rain.
   
Last night at the Magnetic for a rehearsal of Washington Place. It was necessary agony. The direction is precise, the actors dedicated to their roles. All’s well there. I might go again tonight to see a “stumble through.” Listening, I tried to characterize my style of writing, and I couldn’t. The most I could flatter myself was by saying the speeches seemed appropriate to the characters.
   
E-mail account hacked, so I was sending weird messages out to everybody. Didn’t read it myself, so I don’t know exactly what it is. Ste in Cambridge says it’s “terrible.” .
   
Margaret Spellings is the new president of the university system, a bad choice replacing a good choice who was ousted because the Republicans (by definition Vandals) wanted some unspecified change.  If you had deliberately laid out a list of things you didn’t want in a university president, you couldn’t have chosen closer to the mark. She prides herself in knowing nothing about education. Brags on it. It was a gesture of contempt for education on the part of the legislature. Today’s Republican majority is like Melkor or Ahriman, incapable of creating anything, only of ruining and destroying. Lincoln and Roosevelt and Eisenhower cry out from Eternity.
   
But I will not let those thoughts guide me through the day. What bothers me more is that the passages of public stupidity and vandalism seems never to get so extreme that people begin turning away. Carson or Trump will say some clearly idiotic thing and the response is “Yeah, well, I like his style. He tells it like it is.”  Stupid people want their say. Stupid people want to hear others saying stupid things so that they might “like their style.” It’s not that I’m not stupid, but I don’t rejoice in it. I want a cure for it, a correction, not flattery.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


October 27, 2015

Got ma’am-ed at the grocery store last night– odd, because I think I’d make a right hideous woman.
   
Only three in class last night. We talked & talked. Sam revealed that a copy of A Dream of Adonis is listen on Amazon for $2600. I therefore have a fortune in storage.
   
One of my Humanities students remarked, “You sure know your stuff.” I reflected on the fact that I do, and I may never be able to use that accumulated information–some of it outright wisdom–again. May be good for me, passing on to the next thing and all that, but I don’t think it’s good for the students, to be barred from a garden in full ripeness. I hate that little man. He should be widely hated on my behalf.
  
Up early and accomplished much. Still dark– which is a little disturbing.
   
Terrible hoarseness upon waking, despite the vaporizer.
   
Full days and nights to the threshold of Christmas. This relieves me, somehow: less occasion for introspection.
   
The cats watch from the windows as I tend to the trash. I need to assure them that their world is as mysterious to me as mine is to them.

Monday, October 26, 2015


October 26, 2015

Pretty flawless matinee. I left before the curtain call in my desperation to get to rehearsal for All Is Calm on time, an effort made futile by traffic stopped dead on I-40.  There seemed to be no reason for it except a lumbering truck in one lane, or that was all that was left when I got to the place where the snarl finally broke. I’d gone to Waynesville early to look around and shop a little, not having noted the last time that the shops don’t open until 1. So, I had nothing to do, plus suffering an attack of sudden bowel urgency. I dived into the Baptist church, where the bathroom was occupied; into the corner service station, where the bathroom was out of order; finally, after a long and anxious search, in the Episcopal church. They were having a congregational meeting, so I was visible to all as I came in. The one person I would conceivably know in town saw me, left the meeting to talk to me. He had seen The Weir the night before and was praising it. All dignity was gone by then, and I said, “I’ll just use your bathroom and I’ll be on my way.” All in all, a day of multiple frustrations, not all of them, at the time, petty. Sitting still on the superhighway I asked the rainy air around me what a person could possibly do to insure what needed to get done got done, what precautions could possibly prevail in a world so disordered. It is not my fault. The rain shrugged and went its inevitable way down the windshield.

I’m the only bass for All Is Calm. Didn’t expect that. Had punched my holes wrong so I could hardly hold the score. Again, I hissed to the dim and holy air. Hoarseness. Long time calming from the harried drive.  Retreated to Avenue M and ate the largest meal I’ve eaten in 4 weeks.
   
Talked about the Celts this morning. Thought about telling my Humanities students I had been fired, just to trouble the waters. Let it pass.

October 25, 2015

Active crowd last night, laughing at things that hadn’t seemed funny before. We laughed so much in the dressing room that some of our energy was dissipated before we got on stage.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


October 24, 2015

Big crowd of All Souls and Cantaria friends at The Weir last night. They claimed to like it. Oddly misbehaving crowd, with a lot of talking in the middle of scenes, a lot of commotion. In the midst of Valerie’s dramatic monolog, one old hag was unwrapping a candy with remarkable volume and infinite slowness.  Drinks, me gobbling up a salad at King James’ afterward. The Mountain X review is out, not making too much of our faults, and remarking that I am “always a delight to watch on stage.”

    Pink and gray light through the window at dawn.

    Revelatory morning at the studio– two important discoveries, and a first visit to the new Cheap Joe’s Art store.  Steve wide-eyed and hard at work in his cube of light.

Friday, October 23, 2015


October 23, 2015

Fat white planet over the YMCA parking lot.
   
Did 1/3 of my lines from memory in the weight room of the Y, 1/3 (my monolog) in the parking lot of Starbucks, have 1/3 to go some time today, probably while my class is taking their exam.  In any case, I’m more confident than I would otherwise have been about the renewed run of The Weir. I think the All Souls folks are coming tonight. We were hoping for a review, but so far as I can tell it has not appeared. I’m thinking Jeff thought it was more merciful to say nothing at all.
   
Drove to the Presbyterian church in Marshall last night for choir rehearsal. They’re doing a pastiche Christmas cantata called Joy, Unspeakable Joy. There must be an industry somewhere churning out cantatas for bad church choirs, for the back of the book displays many other options. I’d allowed myself to forget how bad the choir is there, or maybe it’s worse this year than last. The women sound pretty good, actually, but the men are an undifferentiated smear of unrelated and tuneless sound, luckily feeble. The gentleman next to me is clearly a pillar of that community, and is the yearly narrator for the Christmas Story. Some conflict kept him from singing with us last year, but he’s there this year, and, dear God, one has never heard the like. I want to say to him, “You do know that one note is different from another, don’t you?”  I want to say, “You don’t have to make stuff up; it’s actually written there on the page for you.” I want to say, “Just sing what I sing.” I don’t think he can. He can’t or has never been required to match pitch, and the idea that a tune or a note are objective qualities and not just some noise you decide to groan out seems never to have crossed his mind. I want to quiz him about this. I want to say, “What do you think you’re doing when you’re singing? How do you suppose that all works?” My guess is that someone along the line was so grateful for low voices she didn’t care what they sang, and then no one corrected the misconceptions thus set in stone. The lad next to him is a Down syndrome man, and actually has quite a good sense of harmony. He is almost never on the right note, but what he’s singing is usually in the key and harmonizes with something somebody is singing.  We are the basses. The tenors are large men who seem to produce no sound. The new choir director is perfectly competent. I don’t know how she keeps herself from collapsing in tears. Last year the men beside me would eventually give in and follow me. Mr Pillar evidently thinks it’s a war and he’s not going to be coerced by some outsider into singing something outside of the two flat notes he has chosen for his own. I left quite angry. That is not the right spirit. Marshall is closer than I think it is, so I sat on a rock watching the river roll by until it was time for choir.


Thursday, October 22, 2015


October 21, 2015

Alexander and Zarathustra in Humanities. The one question I got after introducing the fascinating topic of the conquests of Alexander was “Is this going to be on the test?” Later in the day I saw a man in a t-shirt which read, “Everything I say will be on the test.” Came home to find that the ladyslipper roots had arrived. It’s probably mad to try them, but I laid them in the shady ground covered with compost and mulch, and so one hopes for the best.

Upheaval of an old memory: I’m in 5th grade, I think, because we’re still a Goodview Avenue, and I’m planning my trick-or-treating with my friends, and my father says, “There will be no more of that. You are going to work on Halloween night.”
    “Why?”
    “Because I said so.”
So on Halloween, while the ghosts and princesses range up and down the Avenue, he has me cleaning out the side garden. Whatever lesson he was meaning to teach was lost, for I couldn’t think of any trespass that had warranted that (nor did he mention one). Was there some time when the things of childhood must be put away? If so, none of my friends were affected by it. I was miserable, thinking that something magical was being torn away before its time. He had strange eruptions of arbitrary cruelty, which he must have thought of as proving some point or asserting his authority in some way, though their actual fruit was simple-- and apparently long-lasting-- hatred. Could he have articulated his intentions if I had found the right way to ask?  I think Blake’s Nurse of Experience shows the way here, an internal bitterness seeping out to embitter the world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


October 20, 2015

So far the cold has taken only the angels’ trumpets, which sag over themselves sadly. The cats lie n the sun as though carefully listening to its instructions.

October 19, 2015

Arrived early in Waynesville and did some shopping. Bought a wooden sculpture of a warbler that had been misidentified as a kinglet. Sunday matinee was another without error on my part. It felt good. Left my script on my dressing table, but discovered the play on Kindle, so I don’t have to drive back through the beautiful exhausting mountains. The hand of some angel led me to get off 40 and drive through Candler. Looked back over my shoulder to see miles and miles of traffic stopped dead, the old I-26 congestion bollocksing everything.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


October 18, 2015

Woke in the midst of a complicated dream. I was in a city filled with churches, and it was some holy day, Holy Saturday, I think. I was looking for a service to attend, but at the same time scorning church for some reason. I met a man–who in the course of the dream turned into a woman– who shared my skepticism, but also my odd faithfulness, which endures–in waking life–in the face of all the betrayals of God. The city was small and beautiful, with each block dominated by a handsome brick church. But on the steps of each church were guards in choir robes, keeping out those who did not belong. At last we chose a church, and went in, sitting in the back because we weren’t members. Food was served up front, but it never came to the back. The man was dressed in pale green, and looked a little derelict, like he’d been sleeping on the street, but he was the smartest person I’d ever met. Everything he said was a revelation. Then everything she said was a revelation.

Returned to the studio yesterday and I was happy, happy, happy. Worked productively. Part of my happiness is that SL has moved upstairs beside me. I liked him when I first met him years ago, and I liked him the better yesterday morning. It’s great to have company again. He whistled down in his studio as he worked. I still miss Jason, and he helped with that. People came in from the street, from New Orleans, Boston, etc, leaf-lookers, I suppose. One man was taken with my paintings, and stood interpreting them symbolically. He said he wished he could buy one, and I said why don’t you, and he said he could never afford it. He could. I would have given him one at whatever price he named, but he would have to ask, and he didn’t.

Thursday and Friday the lesson was Medea, and I felt myself recoiling from the awful splendor of the work. It is a masterpiece, shattering and resplendent. I never actually knew what the point was before, other than the satisfaction and horror of seeing Medea’s plan work out. It is an essay on the consequences of the energy we put into the world. Medea is the scale of cosmic justice. Jason cannot say he was ill-served, but only that the punishment exceeded all expectation. He lit a match and watched an empire burn. Grant remarks on a similar thing in his memoirs, saying that the seizure of Texas from the Mexicans was a cause of the Civil War, and if we consider the problems Texas causes to this day, we see that the repercussions are not yet stilled. That understanding helped me to understand much, fit many pieces of my experience together at last. What I wish is for a play that shows the radiation and expansion of a good deed. Maybe I am to write it.

The Weir was well last night, my second without an error, and I think my best performance so far. I enjoyed the time on stage, as I had not, because of anxiety, before. People praised my accent, which was the thing about which I was most uncertain.

I think all the flowers pulled through what was meant to be a bitter night. One more day is a victory for us all, and all we can expect. Mulched heartily in yesterday’s brilliant light. I could feel it in my back until I went on stage.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


October 17, 2015

End of what has been, in terms of wretched things which actually happened, maybe the worst of the year.
   
Have entered the Season of the Freezing Study.

Woke with my voice hoarse and soft. Here’s hoping that departs by evening. Last night’s opening was not stellar (I blanked on a line that I had never missed before) but good enough, I think. People praised us at the reception, whether sincerely or not we may never know. I felt good, all in all. Got the major laugh of the evening on, “Jaysus, Jim, what a terrible story to be telling.” The long drives become darker, longer, more hateful, though after tomorrow we have a break for a few days. I am happy on stage. I am good at it. I wonder every now and then why I didn’t make that part of the theater my life. The answer must be, I didn’t really want to.

When I left the house yesterday morning I took time to look at a rose that had opened on the top of a tall stalk. It is white with a pinkish center. It seemed so huge and unexpectedly beautiful that I stood a while staring at it. When I came home from school and crashed onto the bed for a nap, a strange thing happened. I’ll just tell as it seemed to me. I was visited by two spirits. One was the spirit of my little cat Theseus, gone these many years. One was the spirit of the rose. They came and nestled against me, and I was overtaken, overshadowed by a powerful emotion, and I do not know exactly what it was, but I think it was my soul receiving some immense gift of forgiveness. I do not know for what I was being forgiven, or what required such an agony of forgiveness, but I lay on the bed between sleep and waking, convulsed with the most sweet and painful emotion. And then I slept, thinking it was Theseus beside me, and he and the rose were watching over.

Friday, October 16, 2015

   
October 16, 2015

Sleeping quite late for me, after evenings that end in exhaustion and then a long ride home. Last night’s dress-with-audience (a quite small audience) suffered from two giant gaps opening when the wrong cue was uttered, each of them redeemed in good time, I think. I made, for the first time, no mistakes, and feel the evening as my confidence run. That doesn’t mean I won’t be studying the script like mad this afternoon.  I have no idea how the play “plays.” Is it interesting?  Can we be understood? The people who stayed after last night were Board members, so they could hardly say, “This sucks.”  Had a meltdown over the body mic, which, like the security searches at the airport, is at once both useless and annoying.
   
Maud cuddling my feet in the bathroom as though we had not seen each other in weeks.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


October 15, 2015

Invigorated from planting in the autumn garden: a rose, some peonies, a fern. I keep thinking everything is in, but cartons keep arriving. I must have gone through a great hunger for plants. It is well, for it would have been a moody afternoon if nothing had arisen to distract me. Have given up on Humanities. Brief cry in my office, moved on. Taught Medea in class. Compared my situation to Medea’s, and though the comparison isn’t totally ridiculous, it serves mostly to illustrate the fact that I lack ruthlessness. Even the most deserving retribution exhausts me after a couple of hours. I have a comic temperament, which gets on with things in a timely manner, whereas Medea is tragic, and capable of being stuck, however majestically, upon one point. We heard the Jeffers translation. What an incomparably great play!
   
The three times I have quarreled with people at the university in thirty years– Ileana, Arnold, now the Boy, each time has been a shock and an ambush. I did not sense the animus, nor did I share it until forced by underhanded deeds to do so. My every stance has been, by necessity, defensive. This tells me something about my character, and I would like to be more precise about what. Too trusting? Not sufficiently observant? Capable of running over peoples’ toes without sensing it? Liable to inspire envy? I don’t think I’m really generally very irritating, because opposite testimony seems more widespread. Certain sorts of people, though– viperish, forked-tongued, jealous of status and prerogative, moving in shadow, talking to everyone but me. . .  I can’t prevent it because I don’t see it coming. And I have no one to counsel me. I have to wait, try to clear the air, decide what my heart is truly advising.
   
Last night was near calamity on stage, featuring huge gaps that we tried to bluff our way through. The reviewer was there, alas, but knew it was a rehearsal and we weren’t ready. Tonight, final dress, we have an audience, and it begins to count. I never know what mistake I’m going to make– in every case one I’ve never made before– so adventure lies before.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


October 13, 2015

My playwrights and I had a great time sitting at the table reading plays last night.

Reading Grant’s Memoirs that I got at the antique store. He was very much an Ohio boy. Loved speed and travel. Read with wonder that his father operated a tannery in Ravenna for a while.

Stopped by the APD. I saw two cruisers approaching the traffic circle at the end of the university drive, and I thought, “If I don’t merge briskly they’re going to think I don’t know how to use a traffic circle.” A block or so later they stopped me for failing to yield right of way in a traffic circle. Sigh. They also wanted to cite me for an expired registration, but the registration does not expire until October 15, so I don’t know what that was about. He said, “Someone made a mistaken stroke of the pencil.” But, I didn’t KNOW it expired on October 15, so the unexpected benefit is that I’m off to the DMV before I really am illegal.
   
A dark star has reigned over the last few days. I don’t know whether to feel alacrity that the stream of ill fortune must by now have ended, or fear that there’s more yet to come.

Monday, October 12, 2015


October 12, 2015

Fired from Humanities, after 32 years, for being “disruptive.” I don’t get credit for my forbearance, which I think of as my signal trait. I did not present the fact that I was being fired because I kept in the light the ways in which things are going awry, because the one who set them awry doesn’t want to hear it. I suppose that could count as being “disruptive.” though, I would argue, virtuously so. What a mousy, sniveling, deceitful self-aggrandizing little maneen. I want to say, “Who wants to work for him, anyhow?” but in fact I’m heartbroken, for this tiny moment. I loved teaching that stuff. I felt nostalgia in class today, thinking of all the things I would never speak of again, professionally. I did more good doing it than he will in a dozen careers laid end to end. I think he knows that, weighed it in the balance, and found his vanity, nevertheless, rising to the heavens. I hate a quarrel more than people think I do, and have never in my life clung to a quarrel when I even suspected to the least degree I might be wrong. I do not do so now. Tom Paine and Mahatma Gandhi were disruptive, weren’t they? I think I’m more worried than they were about hurting peoples’ feelings. And shame on me for that. Anyway, a brilliant afternoon to fill before my playwrights come for chili.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


October 11, 2015

L’s birthday party, then home to amazing dreams. I crossed the border of some dream country and was greeted by Saddam Hussein. Yes. He was garrulous and loud, but quite friendly, and seemed to hover in the air. He took me on a personal tour of the music hall in which the revolution had begun, and then a few other buildings. I had knowledge in the dream that he is dead, but took that in stride.The country was quite tiny. I crossed into another country. I was wearing a uniform, and was apparently an American soldier. I couldn’t get the ATM machines to work, and attendants would open the panel above them and hand me cakes and toys, but only occasionally the money I thought I needed. I’d was driving my father’s car, and damaged it somehow, and left it in an alley of a bazaar with a note on it asking somebody to fix it. The next day I stood there and watched mysterious doors opening, and my car was coming of it, good as new. The person responsible was a young man in uniform who, I discovered, was the son of the local dictator and who had been assigned to me in some way. He kept appearing and smoothing the way throughout the dream, both kind and unpredictable. This country seemed to be underground, in intersecting, vast tunnels, spacious and well lit, but edged with stone and darker tunnels radiating out who knows where. Perhaps the carrot cake did that to me.
   
The morning-night seems half way between rain and not rain.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


October 10, 2015

The sky let me make a furniture run to the river space, and then opened into rain that has not abated since. Constant sound from the roof, like a radio not quite tuned to a station.
   
T phoned as I was headed to the studio, so I went to Starbucks instead. It teams of a Saturday morning. We talked of the usual things, his endless screenplay, his always off-the-mark country songs, the shapeliness of the girls at the bar, and I was disappointed, except that I noted that a knot in the front of my chest, which had been building for a couple of days, had gone away, and I credited simply being with somebody friendly for a while, whatever the conversation. He studiously copies country songs he hears on the air, and then marvels that his aren’t sung by the stars as well. I do see the point, but I am the wrong person to ask about that sort of thing, having turned my back on fashion since the first days of my life as an artist. That is not a boast. It is sort of a lamentation. Anyway, he says, “I have behaved as a proper artist all my life,” and I agreed that he had, in the purest way, far purer about it than I have been, and with less to show. We talked about the unfairness, nay, the ruinous folly, of the gods. We talked about the narrowness of our desires, how back when we were telling God what we wanted– well, he didn’t say exactly what he’d asked for, but I gathered that he’d gotten it, in a way, but that it was not sustaining. I asked to be a great writer. Whether I got that or not is for others to judge. What I should have asked was to be a successful one. Oh, I have been very pure. I have gone the righteous way. I can’t say that it availed nothing, but it didn’t avail in the way I’d thought.
  
 Anyway . . .
   
The rain seems to have changed a bit, maybe even taken a breather.

October 9, 2015

Last night’s rehearsal was almost good. We open in a week, so it wasn’t THAT good.
  
Enlarged, spaded, fertilized, re-soiled the front garden. One white peony is planted in the new space, but there’s room for more.
  
H came to visit. He made me smile, even when he began talking about the “fact” that no airplanes were involved in 9/11, and about how the jewels in the crowns of various kings controlled their behavior. I wasn’t there to witness either, so who knows?

Thursday, October 8, 2015


October 8, 2015

E is back, revealing that she was gone because her sister had been kidnapped and drugged, and came to enough to flee from the motel where she was being held, to call E, who whirled down to set things to rights. Like a TV show.
   
Despite these heroics, very ragged rehearsals. Investigating the phenomenon of blanking on stage to those things which I knew perfectly well an hour before. An old story, but still an irritating one.,
   
Agony of light-blindness, driving nightly west into the setting sun.
   
Applied for Medicare. Jesus
   
Planted paeonia, iris. Mulched.
   
Asking questions about the Iliad and receiving no answers. Only a few have read it, is my conclusion., One girl raises her hand and says, “I tried to read it, but I’m lost. I just don’t understand what’s going on.”
   
“Is your translation in English?”
   
“Yes,” she says, without a change of expression.
  
The correct response is, “Then you have no business being in college.” But I betray my public trust, shrug, and begin telling them the story.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


October 7, 2015

The Iliad today. Amid the glazed eyes, five were with me. I suppose that’s a lot.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


October 6, 2015

Terrible dream sometime last night. There was a big political rally on a green hill, some righteous cause. But I said something that turned everybody off, and spent the rest of the dream trying to explain myself, and even though I knew I was right, I watched my friends depart from me, one by one, even one who was supposed to be my lover. Deepening the distress was the fact that I had acquired a beautiful green table, and when I was left alone, there was nobody to help me carry it home.
   
I keep looking around for the cappuccino I already finished.

As dawn broke I was enlarging the back garden to plant two kinds of lilies, toad flax, trillium. Transplanted a tulip tree out of the garden to a place in the lawn where it may work out its destiny for the next two hundred years.
   
We have gone from judging art on the qualities of the work to judging it according the identity of the artist. On one level, I don’t know how to dispute this. I learned one way; that doesn’t make the other way depraved. And yet, I wonder how long we will be satisfied with bad poems coming from good people, wrong plays written from the right perspective? I remember a colleague’s insistence last year that the Arch Brown Foundation only consider the work of women. She almost said in so many words, “in case a man’s work is better and we have to give the prize to him.” A woman won on her own merits that year, so the issue subsided for the moment.
   
Bought two enormous pumpkins for my front porch. Couldn’t have lifted them had they been any bigger. Happy as a kid.

October 5, 2015

Gym, email, coffee, and it’s still dark. I do love the dark of the morning!

Read-through of Washington Place last night at the Magnetic. In my court are the almost unbelievable number of typos, sometimes whole missing words and phrases. I wanted to blame S’s printer, but they’re the same on my file. Add “proofread play” to the list of accomplishments above. This is the first stolen day of my “spring break,” and I might actually go to the studio, if I think I can sustain Lupe’s redecorating and the almost certain flooding.

Planted blue parrot tulips, crown imperial, and what I took to be wood hyacinths.

Dinner at a new Chinese fusion with DJ. I ordered what the waitress said was their mildest dish, and it was still too hot. I did notice, however, that the ache in my joints abated– one pain distracted by another, or is spice a real remedy for the bones? Staggering to bed too early--

Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 4, 2015

Saturday was shimmering curtains of rain. Achievements included managing to program a new universal remote, after having told the clerk at Best Buy that it would never work for me.
   
Though I’d decided that try to sing outdoors in the unrelenting downpour was idiotic, I nevertheless appeared at City-County Plaza in time for the opening of Pride. Turns out that was well, for the other basses were no-shows. It was quite miserable, but not quite unbearable. At one point I was standing at the edge of a tarp when the tarp had filled up with rain, and dumped its load directly on my head. This occasioned much mirth, even on my part, once the shock passed away and I saw the faces convulsed with laughter around me. It was like a scene out of a movie. We actually sounded quite good, delighting the ten or twenty people who may have been listening. The Asheville High ROTC color guard raised the colors as we sang the National Anthem.  We sounded good.
   
Scudding gray clouds outside the tiny window.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


October 3, 2015

Crashed into the end of the week like a locomotive into a wall. You would have thought the heavens had rained all the rain they possibly could, but though the air is empty at this dim hour, more rain is forecast. A hurricane churns off the coast.
   
Went to see Lucia’s play at Magnetic last night. Struck by the fact that I knew no one in the audience (it used to be all “us,” a tightknit theatrical group) though I still knew everybody on stage. The audience was sparse, but, then, the weather was unspeakable. They had cider. Cooling my throat with cider, I thought that sitting in a theater waiting for the show to begin, drinking cider, was one of the best things in the world.    

Heaven rained me home.

October 2, 2015

Odd conviction sitting in the theater in Waynesville, hearing director’s notes after the rehearsal. The conviction was that I was going to be in an accident and die on the road on the way home. The weather was terrible, so it wasn’t completely implausible. I considered staying over in a motel for the night, but then thought, “Oh, hell, let’s get it over with.” The main emotion was disappointment that my last night should be so dreary and lusterless. The rain was heavy and the driving awful, but here I am.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


October 1, 2015

In an ethics argument with philosophers, you know you’re winning when they sink into philo-speak (“etiology,” “normative” etc). Undergraduates (who are not philosophy majors) talk of Philosophy as a smokescreen for bullshit, and I cannot from my experience with my peers contradict them.

Rough rehearsal last night. We may have lost Erin for good. Another woman is being groomed. Driving through cloudbursts– not my favorite thing. If I don’t stop to think I can get through most of my speeches. When I pause to correct or consider, then we leave the rails.

My first CafĂ© Americano. It is both bitter and weak– I hope that’s not a comment on “Americano.”

Distant hurricane. Rain. Petals falling on my floor from the fading roses.