Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 29, 2016

Blessed rain. Blessed rain. Blessed rain.

Gatlinburg is afire.

Sat in astonishment listening to my playwrights, hearing of lives one does not suspect from the front of a classroom. One is a professional cuddler. We suspected a joke until she showed us her webpage, which offers her services to cuddle men and give them physical comfort short of sex. “It’s hard to convince people I’m not a prostitute,” she says.
    “What if they stink?” someone asks.
    “I have no sense of smell.”
Another has a whole line of semi-juvenile fantasy books available from Amazon.
Another, who writes of nothing but sex, worries me, because she says she never writes fiction, but only directly out of her own experience. If this is the case, she faces the near occasion of rape every night of her life. She seems, furthermore, to court and tempt exactly this attention from men. I suppose in a perfect world you could court and tempt and still feel free to shrug it off before it becomes real. If this were a perfect world.
After the rain a young red shoulder hawked preened and groomed in my walnut. He was radiant, beautiful there in the flood of light. Squirrels fussed about in the grass below, so they were either oblivious or recognized a bird who had just fed.

November 28, 2016

Lara seems to be planning a production of Washington Place in Omaha.

The nerves of my feet were not registering wet when they felt cold. My foot actually was wet from lymphorrhea, which I couldn’t locate until I saw that my bare feet had made marks in water on the kitchen floor. Discouraging, but over in a day. Didn’t even seem to be an opening in the flesh.

Stabbings at Ohio State.

Friends on Facebook begging money to get them through life crises. I was desperate here for many years, and just resigned myself to living among the ruins.

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

From Jon David’s online news letter:

And about that commission… It’s for the Atlanta Young Singers, Paige Mathis, Music Director.
Hic Sunt Dracones [“Here Be Dragons” (Thanks to Steven Sametz for the title)] is based on a text, also newly commissioned, by award-winning poet, David Hopes, like me, a NC resident. It is set for 60-voice treble chorus, solo male trio, and solo contrabass. The piece blends elements of scat singing, horror movie tropes, and extended vocal techniques, all over a slightly perverse ground bass. The premiere will be in Atlanta in May, 2017.

The nerves in my left foot began last night to read cold as wet. There’s always something new.

David and Daniel had a contest whereby the weighed themselves before and after Thanksgiving dinner to see who consumed the most. Daniel won by taking in more than seven pounds.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 26, 2016

Napped on the couch while the cats were napping in the slash of sunlight pouring through the south windows. When I woke, I saw a pale figure couching over the cats. He had been playing with them, and they had been responding. He rose and walked toward the dining room, and when I turned to look at him, he was gone. I have a ghost who plays with the cats. How could it be better?
Put peanuts out, and in an hour had a yard full of crows. A certain number of crows becomes a little alarming.
Finished the revision, then went back into the manuscript, removing or changing more than100 uses of the word “was.”
Ran into Alex and Tom at the High Five. One moves forward inexorably. One has been stalled for thirty years.
Forgot to mention that the painter Chuck Close was one of the guests opening night at The Great Comet.
Tried to buy a coffee table. What wasn’t too expensive was hideous.
Not having to read the Intercessions at church tomorrow seems a mortal reprieve.

November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving in Atlanta. I’d driven an hour and a half before the sun came up. On the way back I saw this was a mistake, for the roadsides were aflame with autumn, the apotheosis of brown: golden brown to scarlet brown and all places in between upon the trees and forests. All well and most well in Alpharetta. The limits of my energy were reached even by the drive, so I spent most of my time trying not to collapse in a corner. Not good company, I think. Talked to David’s girlfriend on the phone. Talked to Aunt Barbara, who is the last connection to Things As They Were, and yet all we talked about was Thanksgiving. Drove home when the house was either asleep or already gone to work. The lakes you pass on the road have fallen by twenty feet, their banks wide and brown and alarming. Much smashed wildlife on the bridges. Mickey is getting a hurricane in Costa Rica. We can’t get a cloud.

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 23, 2016

The smoke last night possessed a palpable body, ghosting along the ground. Finished the rewrite of the Asheville book.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 22, 2016

The terrible anniversary. I was sitting n Mr Tucker’s history class at Hyre Junior High. . . the PA gave the announcement. Mr Tucker sat down on his desk, pale as snow, his mouth open.

Still a scent of burning in the air, and still no rain. Volunteered my house for the department Christmas party, but we are so lacking in unanimity that a date can’t be found to suit all, or even many.
Treadmill at the Y this AM, reading The Warmth of Other Suns on Kindle. Went too far and staggered spent to Starbucks under the lopsided moon. Toilet reading is Melville’s letters to Hawthorne. I am a sort of Melville, now that I think of it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016

Did well by rising long before dawn and heading for the Racquet Club to do my weights. Feel young and energized. Exercise and ibuprofin may just get me through.
Most time spent getting The Lexington Tract into shape. I feel some sort of tangle there, but will proceed faithfully, so if tangle there is, it won’t be my doing. At the least there’s joy in reading a well-turned sentence one has turned oneself.

Cantaria pot luck– fun, but catching me at my moment of maximum exhaustion.

Realized how much effort the department has wasted pretending that being a “rhetorician” is a real thing, separate from and superior to being a plain old writing teacher, the hours (and hours) of departmental time and energy gone finding a way to treat unequal callings as though they were equal. I asked one of the “rhetoricians” once if I were not one myself, being a writer, and she smiled indulgently and assured me that even a writer could not plumb the language deep as she did.
Cold and dry, a second Gobi.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 17, 2016

A day of making mistakes.

One thing that is not a mistake is Black Mountain Press wanting to publish The Lexington Tract. Too many ifs and buts for me totally to rejoice, yet I rejoice the little bit I may. I rebound like Greenland shedding its glaciers.

D reminds me every now and then that back in the day I disapproved of her as a colleague. I honestly remember neither saying not thinking that, so I confronted her and she said, “You told me to stop whining.” I do in fact remember that. I never thought of that as disapproval, but as help.

Dear God, let it rain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, 2016

Home from New York. Close calls, me holding my chest from running from one corner of the airport to the other, but nothing actually awry. The air was hazy and fragrant from fires on the surrounding mountains. It was warm. I was happy to be home, though the term  “home” was problematic for me for a while. I had keys in my hand, and those keys opened a door, and inside the door were possessions I remember acquiring. Did that therefore mean I have a home? Wrestled with that for a while, and then I went to sleep. Back to class today, and was joyful.
The production of Pierre and Natasha and the Great Comet of 1812 exceeded expectations on all fronts. Opening night with everyone in gowns and tuxedos was great fun. Damian was happier than I was, and laughed beside me at all the places where I didn’t, so between us we admired everything. It was the perfect balance of content and production values, funny and poignant, ironic and soulful, the performers flawless. The gimmicks worked. The risks paid off. Usually I can pick at a production if I want to, but there was nothing to pick at here. I was happy–grateful–to be a part of it, however it does financially. I suspect it is going to do well enough. Damian and I hiked to the Plaza afterward for the reception/party. Whatever one might have imagined concerning the opulence of the Plaza pales in comparison to the real thing. Who thought such places existed outside the palaces of Europe? Or rather, movies about the palaces of Europe? I tried, and then succeeded, to push to one side the perception that every theater company (I mean ALL of them together) I ever worked with could run for a year on the money spent for that party. Sometimes you just need splendor. Staggered passed the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree walking home at midnight. My lightheadedness and hemoglobin deficiency made for a visionary trip from the Park through the night streets to Times Square.

Monday, November 14, 2016

New York 5

November 14, 2016

Tremendous moon over the city last night, for once as bright as the city lights, and far more mysterious, a god sailing above Times Square.

Walking down Broadway from 75th I saw four Irish boys in sharp suits hit the street, carrying an Irish flag with them, laughing and dancing down the pavement. On Times Square a young Indian in sparkling white, looking like a rajah, was having his wedding pictures taken. His wife and her retinue were in scarlet and gold, all gorgeous and happy. These are the things I fear Trump will imperil, things not right down the American middle, things you might, if you’ve cultivated ignorance all your life,  have to think twice fully to understand.

Went to the World Trade Center and did the tour, and gaped up at the soaring and quite amazing building, the first time I’ve seen it close up. My reaction was a little surprising: grief, tears. There are two fountains where the old buildings stood, and they lead down rather than up, down into the profundities. The names carved on the sides are the names of those who went down into the depths. The photos inside, of those who died, are unbearable.  Young men in their wedding tuxes. Girls with flowers in their hands. Firefighters grinning out from under their helmets. Smiling and hopeful. . . it could not be endured. Came back up in time to meet Adam for lunch and then a matinee of The Encounter. The Encounter was, like The Birth of Color, an example of a pure good thing all but ruined by the availability of remarkable apparatus. The story was simple and beautiful. The story was difficult to get at because of all the microphones and multiple tracks and phonic tricks. Besides, we were up against the balcony wall and the pain in my knee, toward the end, blotted everything else out. Broadway is afraid of good storytelling. Unless it is shouted, over-dubbed, shouted again in an echo chamber, it has not been said at all. I would say that, all in all, the experience of The Encounter was a laborious failure, when it might have been an easy triumph. We chatted for a while in the Paramount lobby, then, having miscalculated the time, went at a dead run to Theater Row to see a one woman show by a woman Adam had met at an audition. The state of my hemoglobin did not exactly allow for that distance and that pace, and I arrived at the theater quite sick, and trying to find ways not conceal it. The show was fine, three sections, two of which were excellent, all written by the actress herself. Made me wish I had saved time to attend more episodes of the Solo Theater Festival, which she was part of. About half of the plays had something to do with the vagina, and said so.

How odd the profession of theater is! How wound up with things unrelated to art or truth or even, when it comes down to it, theater. Reminds me of why I backed away into the hinterlands. Things are so complicated Adam doesn’t even know HOW to get an agent. It seems to happen by accident or not at all. Adam and his friend John and another friend they met there launched into reminiscences of auditions in far-flung cities, and as it seemed they really wanted to talk about that, and as I was still annihilated from the run, I eased out of after-show drinks. I was well and truly spent. It was hard to get back to the hotel. Had cosmopolitans prices at $28 each and tottered into bed. The moon came and looked into my pathetic air shaft for a while.

Thinking back on the foundation meeting. First, I have more money than AB; I could have a foundation. Second, matters of gender are so hysterically at the forefront that even when we say we are not talking about it, we are. One gave a lengthy speech about how she REFUSED to discuss what “woman” meant, having apparently been worn out by such discussions in the past. Back to the old lamentation about how 65% of the applicants are men, 30% women, the meager tally of the rest undefinable or trans, and how this indicates we are not doing our jobs. Our outreach is, by and large, specifically to women and women’s organizations, and only the conversation’s drifting elsewhere kept me from asking, “What makes us suppose these numbers don’t reflect an actual truth, that 65% percent of aspiring playwrights are men, and on down the line, and we’re receiving completely proportionate applications?” Though this seems self-evident to me, it would have earned me enemies. I think, but do not say, the women in the group set their relative failures down to their being women, rather than the quality of their work. When I suggested that all biographical information be shorn from the manuscripts (as is most usually done) the suggestion was greeted with horror. It is clear that favoritism is intended, and frustration comes when the favorites are not quite favored enough. Long faces were pulled when our winner was a man. I pointed out he is a black man, and maybe that counts for something. We juggled the honorable mention list until there were enough women –whatever “woman” might mean– to satisfy.

I do realize that this represents a clash of philosophies. I believe that the perception of excellent is Platonic and (barring political or prejudicial adjustment) universal. They believe that what we perceive is purely a cultural phenomenon, that we prefer the work of men because the long history of male art has accustomed us to do so, and therefore the only possibly parity is numerical parity. There are places where one can’t say “bullshit,” even if one could prove one’s point.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New York 4

November 13, 2016

Noon to seven Saturday spent in a meeting room in the Beacon Hotel. We discussed the business of the Foundation, then wangled over the twelve finalists for the playwriting prize. My 1st choice won this year– a rich and daring fantasy on love among slaves in the 1860's South– but it is amazing the breadth of taste and judgment available concerning one piece of writing. I think if a work is good it’s good, and everyone will know it, but actual application of that principle is not, in my experience, to be found. Even the most excellent work requires advocacy. Even the most idiotic mess will have a champion. One rule of meetings like that: the person with the least to say will take the most time to say it. You can see her winding up when it comes her turn, gathering the richness of attention around her, planning the wreath of apologies and asides that will keep the focus on her just a little longer. Walked to my hotel from 75th Street in a night that, higher up on Broadway, was serene, companionable, even suburban. When I got to Columbus Circle I felt lonely. When I got to the hotel I had forgotten that for a time. There had apparently been anti-trump demonstrations on Columbus Circle and Times Square during the day, and battalions of cops lined the street. The moon was almost full. There’s a towering skyscraper where Broadway hits Columbus Circle, unfinished, so it is a dark and lonely majesty. The dark tower made the most amazing and memorable conjunction with the sailing moon, like the ruin of some great city lost.

At one point I had fallen into revery, and waded out into the middle of 49th against the lights. Taxis honking their horns, people on the curb looking aghast. When I made it to the other side, one young blond woman said, “Come home, Speed Racer.”

The walk outside the hotel entrance was so thronged with smokers pedestrian traffic all but stopped. The doorman turned to me and said, “The French are here.”

I fear the cops on the street are a portent of things to come. The people in the Foundation assume that the Republicans in Congress will impeach Trump almost immediately, so they can have Pence, who is controllable, and, in some ways, worse than Trump, because all the humor and glamor is drained out, because he actually seems to believe the horrible things Trump says without conviction and without thought.

New York 3

November 12, 2016

Went to the Circle in the Square for the first preview of a new a capella musical, In Transit. The theater was full of kids, so I suppose the production was connected with the acting school there. In the first five minutes one was convinced that one was seeing something new and wonderful. It was stylistically vibrant and electrifying, though the plot dived almost immediately for the middle, giving us recognizable characters in recognizable Broadway situations– we’re just kids trying to make it in the Big Apple, trying to ace that audition, trying to get to the all-important interview, trying to find a way to tell mom we’re gay. Heard it all before, but not exactly in that way, so the evening was a delight. One mistake that you’d have thought they would have seen easy enough was the beat-boxer, who stopped the show dead in its tracts every time he came on to show off his stuff. He had an additional function as a kind of soothsayer, which was fine, but he could have done one without the other, or done what a beat boxer is supposed to do, accompany.

Friday, November 11, 2016

New York 2

November 11, 2016

Hiked to the Mitzi Newhouse at Lincoln Center to see The Babylon Line. If it had been submitted to my playwriting class it would have been given an A and the playwright told he was very promising, but only that. Good-looking well-known TV star in the lead, well made in every way. I left at intermission. However, the atmosphere around Lincoln Center is vibrant, and if I lived here I would be spending as much time possible there. Had a drink in a cafĂ© into which roamed Julliard students in dance tights, studying scripts, chatting the chat of Serious Art. I loved them madly. One dancer said to one actor, “Well, we have art to make until February.” I ask, “What’s February?” and the answer is “the inauguration,” when the world ends. Big tent full of people and lights and Harry Potter signs, where I assumed the stars of the new movie were having a Press event, but I kept tripping over the pegs of the tent until I gave up gawking.

In the hotel bar I met Pamela, from Phoenix, here to celebrate her 70th birthday, who had just seen Hamilton across the street. She’s writing a novella about children evacuated from London during the Blitz. We are going to collaborate on a story about an old lady who goes to Paris and pays young men to dance with her. I’m going to turn it into a play.   

Rose in the bright morning and went to the Museum of Natural History, where I looked at dinosaur bones. The place was crawling with kids being led around by their parents, a cataclysm of educational virtue and teachable moments. It was lovely. Bought pteranadon cufflinks. I consider that I have been happy so far every moment here. The pace of New York is somewhat more natural to me than home. I realize, once I’m out of it, that I’m always pulling myself back a little for Asheville. If I could just have my garden on some roof in Manhattan–-.

At some subway stop a group of kids got on, black kids and Hispanic kids, all laughter and smiles Two of the boys started chinning themselves on the hand rails, and whirling around the posts like monkeys, laughing and smiling the whole time. It was so BEAUTIFUL. Everyone else on the train was cracking their faces smiling. I thought maybe the transit authority paid them to ride just to make everyone’s day better.

Invited to lunch in the Hearst Building by D. The Hearst is in the top five niftiest buildings on Manhattan, the reception area, anyway, full of light and falling water. It was great to be with D again. His wife is pregnant. “I’m going to be a grandpa,” says I. “Yes,” says he. Staggered back to 45th Street to a warren of offices in some horrible little building to pick up our tickets for Monday night. The backstage of the backstage really is quite squalid.

Part of my disappointment with The Babylon Line is that none of my plays, even those I’ve stopped sending out, is not better than it. Why is it playing Lincoln Center and they not?

Exquisite lemonade from a vendor in Times Square.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

New York 1

November 10, 2016

Paramount Hotel, Manhattan. A blast of cold air comes in through the wall under the radiator. Encountered B , my Chinese student, at the Asheville airport. Our seats were together, and I spent the flight to Charlotte satisfying his apparently limitless curiosity about how to become a writer and professor in America. His eagerness is fetching, but his single minded careerism a little disturbing, as he has no conversation but how to get into schools, how to get grants, how to play the American literary market. He was on his way to Boston to confer with a famous Chinese-American writer–missing both my class and Wiley’s, which is NOT the way to get into an American grad school. He favors animal stories, and revealed the surprising fact that Ernest Thompson Seton is highly regarded in popular and academic circles in China. “He is the big example of all animal story.” I read him eagerly as a boy, but I doubt his name has ever been whispered in an American university.

At Newark Liberty I stood, with others, for one hour and twenty minutes in pouring winter rain waiting for the airport shuttle which is meant to arrive every 15 minutes. I finally went back upstairs to demand my money refunded so I could take a taxi, and was polite until the ticket lady let her face go blank and said, “no refunds of any kind.” I asserted that there was by God going to be a refund, and it accelerated from there. Finally she talked to someone in a red jacket, and though there was no refund, a bus appeared almost the instant I got back out onto the street, and another one behind it to deal with the overflow that had built up in that time. Said I to the woman standing beside me with her little pug sheltering in her sweater, “Trump has been President for ONE DAY and already things are falling apart–“

First billboard we saw on Manhattan was for The Great Comet.

Despite the shuttle bus, got here, drank at the Iron Bar, which I like, toddled around Times Square until the pain in m joints drove me to the white cubicle that shall be home for 5 days.

Evening: Went, as I love to do, to Bryant Park and fed the birds. Saw a yellow crowned kinglet, and had a catbird sitting on my table eating croissant practically out of my hand. Bought figurines from a woman who was born in Ecuador, who hates and fears Trump with better reason even than the rest of us. Went to Grand Central for coffee. Many of the seats at the various restaurants were filled with the homeless slumped over sleeping the sleep of exhaustion, one arm stretched across their meager possessions. Drank at a bar on 8th Avenue which I recognized was, under another name, the restaurant where Bruce and Jack and I signed the agreement to do Edward the King.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November 8, 2016

Midnight. Never for one minute did I think the Trump candidacy was anything but a joke. I am trying to laugh. . . .

November 7, 2016

Went to bed earlier than usual, so had luxurious hours in the dark of the morning for revery. One forgets how directed revery fills the soul. I’m ready for the day. Rose to prepare Wiley’s book for class.
The street and my driveway are finally paved over and smooth to drive upon as silk.
Photos of the perfect roses in my garden holding on to the edge of winter.
Dodging my Turkish contacts, who want to stop by and sell me more carpets. How many carpets do they think I need?

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 6, 2016

The Rutter Requiem went well. I was in good voice, and was learning about the workings of the music as I sang it (which I like best of all), and I think the congregation was moved. I am after this rehearsal process the more convinced that all things done in panic or anxiety are done amiss. To make one aesthetic choice in fear of another is not the way to go. I’d had my fill of church by the end of it, too, and note that New York will give me a breather. Drinks afterward at Avenue M, where I had hibiscus vodka for the first time. I must have days soon where I have more to say than this.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November 5, 2016

Rehearsal for the Requiem, which I am liking better than the other three times I sang it. Read twelve plays for ABBF. Two of them are glorious. Two are OK. The others, not so much. Do I blame playwrights for bad writing or the initial readers for bad selecting? People write plays without a clear idea of what they are; I feel there should be some interaction among characters, not just one figure after another coming on and spouting audience-ward what’s on her mind. 
Beka’s wedding venue has burned down, so my trip to Denmark is postponed.
Trying without success to think of some significant moment yesterday, except that I binge-watched the first three Aliens movies and slept sound afterwards without a nightmare. Dreamed instead that TD and I bought memberships to a very posh private club, where we were looking forward to luxuries which never quite materialized.
Photos from a California production of Waiting for the Witch.

Friday, November 4, 2016

November 4, 2016

Whatever I intended to do yesterday, what I did was let loose at the gym, shop while the cleaning ladies were at my house, then garden hard. A huge carton of roots and bulbs that I had forgotten I’d ordered arrived, and I made another inspired-by-idleness appearance at Eden Brothers, so there was much to plant, much to dig in order to plant, and by the time I was finished I was nearly immobile. Finished it all off by getting the worst haircut of my adult life. Feel fine this morning, though, and hit the Y as it opened.
Not one person between the Atlantic and the Pacific is not sick to death of this election. I am most sickened by the fest, the glut, the atrocity of irrationality. I smack my brow especially when people look at Hillary, a woman and a mother, and say that she represents “the same old thing” while Trump, an entitled self-delighted corporate billionaire represents change. It’s dumfounding. People don’t care the least about the meaning of words. Accusations of Hillary’s dishonesty and lack of trustworthiness seem,, as far as I could discover, completely made-up, and clung to despite the resigned denial of even those who first made the accusations. We prize what we think over what is. That’s OK when what we think is higher, but we think like rats fighting in a sewer and all who are not down there slashing with us are somehow out of touch. The Republicans had tried to subvert the Republic by denying voting rights and refusing to do their duty regarding the approval of justices, have gutted education and health services to make the rich richer, and yet somehow they can expect votes, and millions of them, rather than torches and pitchforks at their door. I simply don’t get it. I look for Tuesday when at least the forum will be closed, whatever else betide.

November 3, 2016

Back to the gym at last. There, a soak in the whirlpool, and it is still dark outside. I like it that way. Accomplish as much as you can before dawn.
Guest lecture in M’s Arts 310 class. Before my talk there were oral multi-media presentations, and I was flabbergasted at how half-assed they were. There was mastery of the media, all right, but the scripts, the messages, were abyssmal. I remember one series of presentations in my class when six students in a row skipped over words (“the s-word that I can’t pronounce”) relative to matters on which they should have at that point been experts. Our students barely let college mark an interruption in their lives. They barely let class mark an interruption in their checking of text messages. In this they are wholly innocent: dedication has never been offered to them as a life possibility. 
The Great Comet is evidently raking in the bucks. Sigh of relief. Some controversy about who originated the show off-Broadway. Email too long and remote for me to finish reading.
“On the Adoration of the Shepherds” accepted by what appears to be an evangelical anthology.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 2, 2016

Odd dreams. I had taken a job in a sleazy movie theater, and realized that the clean up I was supposed to so was never going to finished, and I had to choose between leaving it only partially done or staying at a hopeless task forever. Was certain it was Sunday morning when I awoke. It was not.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

recent scholarship

The Humaniad

---- a fragment
In those green lamented days of wisdom’s reign
When one was anxious to use one’s brain
And plans were laid in clear and common air
And one gave counsel in quad and on the stair
What was broken and amiss communally to repair,
Our fathers left behind their weekend ease
And gave birth to the Humanities.
From the first as good as it was strong
(All right, some of the lectures were too long)
It went from strength to strength for forty years.
New professor learned, and quelled their fears.
Graduating seniors dried their tears.
For whatever erred was communally made right,
And points were scored against encroaching Night,
And those that bitched the most as freshman
Would, at the finish, cry “Amen!”
Then arose one B_________ from the ruins of dead Rome,
And though he might have left the excellent alone,
Decided under protection of the Dark.
How he might most woundingly affix his mark.
So with a sly covert Satanic thrill
He gathered about him the weak in will
Who imagined his approval was their chance
Through the maze of Academia to advance.
“Let us,” said he, “Scorn all erudition
“And bring all that’s mediocre to fruition.
“Let us put everything we need on line–
“Research? Prepare a class? Who has the time?--
“For anything you really do not know
“there must be a snappy video.
“Scholarship, Discipleship, Mentorship? Oh please.
“The time’s too short for any one of these.
“And instead of pedagogy I’d like
“That much more time to ride my bike.”
Then spake he to his dark-of-night cabal,
“Behold how the gods of sloth we appease
“By making our curriculum such a breeze
“It can be taught by anyone at all.
“No need to know what came after and what before,
“Or who did what that led to what. It’s such a bore.
“And anyone who still possesses determination
“that students leave this course with actual information,“Shall be, summarily and harsh–O hark!--
“cast into the outer dark.
“Let us exile the excellent, that we
“Might flourish in our Mediocrity.
“It’s universal truth: each Creon is
“Anxious to be rid of his Tiresias.
Then uprose the mighty chairman from this throne
Heeding his creatures and them alone,
Until, on the blackest of black nights–

Here the manuscript is lost----

November 1, 2016

Faculty reading in the Laurel Forum. How was it? Varied. Tremendous effort in the morning, many things done, errands, correspondence, writing, collapse in the afternoon: the pattern of recent days.