Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, 2016

Pale blue through the upstairs study window. I have slept wondrous late. Baked cheesecake, have the two main dishes to prepare today, and to set the rooms for festivities. And to sleep, so to make it through to midnight. Defections already through sickness and making other plans at the last minute. I might once again be throwing away a couple hundred dollars worth of food.

Last night my father was a sinister ghost shaped, now that I think of it, like a spine. He came whispering terrible things into the room of the dream.

Odd, instant sickness, nausea and chills. I took a vitamin C pill, an iron pill, and an antacid all at one time. A mistake? Passing–

Facebook entries ask, “What was the most beautiful thing you saw this year?” “What was the best thing that happened this year?’ The best thing that happened is that I managed a truce in the war with God that’s been waged at least since I came to the South. The most beautiful thing? Moonlight on Saint Istvan? The Rijksmuseum? The two men in the café with hawks on their arms? Sam smiling?  Something I will remember hours from now and forget before I get it written down? The worst of course is the Fall of America, represented by the mixture of fear, cynicism, and drop-dead ignorance that got Trump elected President. Fear, cynicism, and drop-dead ignorance look to be the catchwords of the months to come, and those of good will must resist every move, every statement, every nano-second. Nor can there be any patience, any honeymoon period, any impulse of “wait and see,” for the lineaments of the enemy are fully known, and re-asserted by every public move. But to our power, hostility and hate,  Untamed reluctance, and revenge, tho' slow, Yet ever plotting . . . .Odd that his minions– who were the bugbears of times past–seem positively moderate in comparison.  We were not prepared. In our defense, it’s something out of comic opera that one could not credit ever coming to pass.  It is some other America never fully comprehended by the reasonable before.

If public fury must end one year, private lovingkindness must begin the next. And so--

December 30, 2016

Early early at the gym, working on the VIIth Canto in the café. The whirlpool, which I have been visiting for the sake of my legs, was immovably chocked even at that hour with adolescent girls, an unexpectedly repellent situation. Inconsiderate, at the least. Chat with Brent. Chat with a big happy galoot who kept calling me “bossman.”  Made a cauliflower casserole for the party. Bought supplies. Wondering what I’d say if somebody forced me into a valediction on the passing year. I’d say it was professionally the best in a decade, but a superstitious fear of courting the enmity of the gods would keep me from dwelling on it. They must hear only the unmodulated cry, “More!”

I must throw a party in order to have company on New Year’s. Among tribulations it is not great, but--

Friday, December 30, 2016

December 29, 2016

Wednesday spent painting, nearly the whole day at the studio, after the obligatory morning gym visit and writing session. It went well, and I see if I stuck to it time-wise as my neighbors do, I would have been able by now to fill a museum. Many visitors from Florida longing to experience “winter weather.” Good feeling on the second floor of the Phil Mechanic.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 28, 2016

Met at the door of the gym. The dome when I left was turquoise, flawed at the edges by purple cloud.  Wrote at the gym and at High Five.  Decided to buy a Froggie the Gremlin toy from Ebay, in the course of which I rediscovered the Indian series Andy’s Place featured, which I loved as a child and which lingers in my imagination as something rich and strange. There I heard the phrase “first century” applied to Indian ruins, and I came to terms with time for the first time, reasoning that those beautiful things could not have been built in the very first century of man’s awakening. I learned that one first century we know; the other is yet to be discovered.  When I think of these things, or when I’m reading my Archaeology magazine, my bitterness at no longer teaching Humanities briefly returns. That the program needed me made no difference. The Boy’s reign was an early glimpse of Trump and his contempt for all things, regardless of worth, that are not him.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27, 2016

A day of gratifying accomplishment, beginning with a good workout, followed by writing in the bare bright café. The Racquet Club parking lot at dawn is becoming church, for looking up I behold a sky of shifting glory– today pale blue and flamingo and wholly aflame– and have occasion to praise the Maker.  Drove Brevard Road to get my car serviced. The sun continued his ascent, and I ran into a man whose dedication and attitude I long admired at the gym, B. He is a dentist from Michigan, and his breathtaking fitness is a result of fighting back from a terrible traffic accident. Went to High Five and wrote till my hands cramped up. Went to Lowe’s and bought throw-away houseplants for $1.99 each, determined to nurse them back to health. In this I follow my sister’s path.  Potted and watered them. Invented and baked a pistachio cake for Saturday night. The batter was delicious, and it held together through the rigors of de-panning, so I assume it went right.

Actually, the day began in mystery. I was hauling the trash and recycling bins to the street when I heard a noise-- a call, then a kind of flutter-- in the dark corner. I said,”Whatever you are, welcome. I mean you no harm. I’m just taking out the trash.”

December 26, 2016

Customarily rapid Christmas. Party in Alpharetta with family and their friends. I was happy, though my life is, by and large, less chaotic, and tumult takes some getting used to. All seems gratifyingly well there-- D1 on his way to Germany, D2 girlfriended up, L happier than I had ever seen her. One of L’s friends suggested the TV show Mozart in the Jungle, which I am watching now with pleasure. Terrible night’s sleep lengthened the drive home, which was again lengthened by 1/3 by congestion, traffic sometimes stopped dead on 85. The cause was always the police. You got to the bottleneck, and it was, every time, cops ticketing someone or showing their presence by parking two abreast into the lanes. I suppose traffic could just keep on speeding by, but that’s not how it works. A three and a half hour journey became five hours.

Went to R’s ramshackle manse on Cumberland to join in the decorating of a Christmas tree. Only when I left did I question why it was being decorated the day after Christmas. Both the Rs are gone, and this seemed an event organized by their daughter to continue a long tradition. I misunderstood the plan to “hang an ornament on the tree,” and brought one from my own tree, a red and green enamel star. They had boxes of dusty ornaments of their own which we were actually supposed to use, but I went ahead and left the star, since it was out of my pocket and the only one in the house with a usable hanger. I lingered maybe ten minutes, put to flight by the ambivalence I’d always felt going to that house, part the recognition of their personal kindness and importance to the cultural life of the city, part revulsion at truly toxic squalor. Strata of artifacts, household implements, theater memorabilia, toys, ancient food, personal memories are held together by aromatic grit. The house could be used as a set for Long Day’s Journey or The Royal Family after a good steam cleaning. Noting these things is a flaw on my part, but I acknowledged the flaw and fled into the spotless night. Daughter M showed me some photos of myself from Montford’s Olympias. It was shocking to me. I was beautiful. I was never used to thinking of myself in that way.

Monday, December 26, 2016

December 25, 2016

Dark morning which one assumes and believes to be bright. Long journey which one assumes will come to merry end. Silence in the house, which one hears as the final reverberation of secret song.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016

Sending Night, Sleep to Carlos took a load off my heart. At he very least, what is out of one’s hands cannot be helped. I can think of everything that can go wrong with this project, barely imagine one thing going right. Nevertheless, I have made the move.

Downtown last night to meet C at Jack of the Wood in his brief sweep through town. He is constant, steady, hard-working, and like A deserves unusual success. He has fully conquered Chicago. His skin is like moonlight. Two others came, and we gossiped, a little about the museum culture here, mostly about the theater. Five hundred miles away, C is more current with the Asheville theater scene than I. We talked about various people prominent in the scene whom most everybody hates and have collected demeaning anecdotes about. In no case did I have similar feelings. I said about one in particular, “He hasn’t treated me like that at all,” and one of our companions responded, “That’s because he’s afraid of you.” The town was beautiful last night, twinkly and merry and inviting. I do love the nightlife, and the ease of sitting home with the remote in my hand makes me forget that.

Took cookies to Steve at the Phil Mechanic. He hugged me–hard and long, I must say–and said “I love you.” A curious thing: when people say “I love you” the first thing I think is “I love you back” if I do, but whether I do or whether I don’t, the second thing is always, “Why?”

Trying to get the 6th Canto transcribed before church.

Friday, December 23, 2016

December 23, 2016

Brilliant day. Took ten pages out of Night, Sleep, and the Dreams of Lovers, and I think it’s ready to send to the publisher. Tried to talk to my mailman, but he’s an ass. Who, under regular circumstances, would know that? Russell and DJ and I at the movies yesterday afternoon, the latest and by no means worst Star Wars. Disappointed by the finish of this season’s Project Runway. Remarkable dreams last night, sexual dreams, extended, playful, satisfying sexual dreams, not the usual thing for me. I woke once or twice and put myself back to sleep, to enjoy more of the dream. Signed the Night Music contract with Greensboro City Arts. Looking for the source of my unease, but it’s not visible. It may be pathological, or it may be prophetic.

December 22, 2016

Strange day. Drove aimlessly down Brevard Road, where I bought seeds I didn’t need at Eden Brothers and stopped at an antique store and got two old glass tree ornaments. Made it through most of choir rehearsal with my voice intact, so maybe the humidifier was not a waste of money. Pulled back oddly from the flood of poetry that had been gushing forth each morning. Minor, yet inexplicable, dread. Perhaps I really am that affected by world events. Trump is a danger not seen in the West, ever, so maybe I should allow myself dread and quiet action. The crows holler at me when it’s been too long since I left something on the lawn for them.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

December 21, 2016

Longest night.

Before 10 AM I had worked out hard at the Racquet Club, written a Canto, baked a batch of cookies. Autumnal warmth for the first day of winter. Everyone at the gym is friendly enough, but there seems to be no pushing past that toward a deeper relationship– probably because I go so early in the morning, when everyone is strictly business. You know a little of each enough to make some guesses.

Questions from the director of Night Music show how careless I am capable of being, but also elate me, because SOMEONE is paying close attention.

Maud makes tiny sleep noises as she naps in the slash of sun beside my desk.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 20, 2016

Stood in the Racquet Club parking lot at the exact instant of dawn. The sky was low and radiant dark gray, embroidered with the paths of flying crows. The Infinite seemed very close. I danced my dance there in the graying darkness, and when I was finished I looked around to see if anyone had seen, and all the world was empty, but for the One for whom it was all intended.

Encountered K at High Five. He purged in an instant all sadness that was between us. The honor is his; the relief, mine. It was the best way to start a day.

Wrote a Canto, watched T and W working at their futile screenplay, they like Sisyphus, useless but possibly content.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 19, 2016

Was useless at the Cantaria concert, but kept flapping my jaws as though sound were coming out. Bought a humidifier, which turns out to be a giant vaporizer, which I’d cast off in disappointment in the past. This one is, at least, silent.

Weights at the gym, writing in the gym café, then writing in the High Five. Another Canto accomplished.

Taking out the trash, heard a rustling above my head, too loud for just a bird taking off from a branch. It was my red-shouldered wrestling with a squirrel. I think I startled the hawk and, this time, the squirrel won, clinging to the pine limb trembling as the great predator sailed away. I’m sure the squirrel is reassessing its life.

Huge naps with impossibly vivid dreams.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

December 18, 2016

Walked out in the dark of morning to a world soft and damp and misty, sweet as spring.

L wished me luck in my application for a state arts grant this year. I’ve stopped wondering how people know the things they know. It would be ironic to get one this year, after 22 failures, the very year my hatred of my adopted state’s government has reached the level of ecstasy.

Celebrated Russell’s birthday with our traditional trip to the movies, this time to see the Harry Potter prequel, Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them. Sweet, I thought. Dinner afterwards with Kyle. I wonder if I keep my friends sufficiently supplied anecdotes concerning my adventures and foibles. It seems to me I live the blandest of lives, partially intentionally, from a lifelong habit of fending off distractions.

A complicated day ahead, partially dependent on the status of my throat.

The gas heater breathes like a cat over in the corner. The real cat curls on my left foot.

The cry for years has been, how do I incorporate the political into my work, the way Yeats does? And still leave it poetry. The answer may have come in the High Five yesterday morning.

December 17, 2016

Party at the Gs last night, in part of the town where I never go, so there was a lot of driving around in the dark squinting at addresses. Met a throng of fascinating people, most of whom I did not know. One explained how to make mead; one starred with Dolly Parton in a TV movie;  one studied the making of tablas in one town in North India, and now is a dissertation editor; one is head of publicity for Asheville, and reveals that Lonely Planet has named Asheville the Destination of the Year for 2017. I pretended to think that an unalloyedly wonderful thing. C’s interests are evolving and eclectic, and the wide variety of guests often had nothing in common but having met him at some point in his journey.

There are times when I cannot even speak, and singing is a distant improbability.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 16, 2016

Got through the Cantaria concert, but was only periodically an asset. The coating of mung in the throat was too profound.

Good work-out at the Racquet Club, good writing at the High Five while it was yet majorly dark.

My sassafras arrived in a long box, six feet of green wand with a little wad of frozen mulch on the root. Decided I must plant immediately, so went to the hardware store and bought soil and mulch. The boughten soil was frozen so that I had to bash it with the spade to get it around the roots, but the ground itself was soft and malleable, but for a lace of frost an inch below the surface. The spot is still lumpy, but rains are predicted, and I’ll trust them to settle the area. Maybe THIS is, finally, the last planting of the year.

Friday, December 16, 2016

December 15, 2016

Took recycling out and saw the bamboo bent horizontal by the weight of wind in the backyard. Everything is more frightening by night.

The Republican state legislature, having lost the governor’s mansion, now introduces bills to strip the new governor of his powers. You expect mischief, but not outright subversion and treason. The election has been effectively nullified. The level of indignation could not be enough unless the state house were in flames.

Night Music is cast. I don’t know them, except the Internet photos testify that the boys are cute.

Stomach bug. Cannot sleep enough, Cancelled massage. Planning on carrying on with Cantaria, despite my hoarse frog voice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14, 2016

Vehement students attack works we’ve done in class for not conforming to their world view. Someone somewhere along the line persuaded them that prejudice is an actual critical strategy, that an artifact’s not honoring one’s illusions is a form of disrespect. I do not try to correct. I ride it out.

Good days in the studio. Ray hammered nails into the brick of the entrance hall so I could hang some of my work along with the others’.  I’ve worked for years and produced rather little. But I haven’t worked like Ray or Steve, who are there full work days, every day.

Dry, hoarse throat. I can hardly speak. It doesn’t look well for the Cantaria concerts. Almost faint after the long lines of the Lauridson.

Began composing Cantos.

Emotional roller coaster. I think this happens every Christmas break, and I forget about it from one year to the next.

Nine handsome men at one table in the High Five this morning as I ate my toast and sipped my cappuccino and wrote my poem. An environment can be too rich. One doesn’t know where to look. They were having some sort of business meeting, and were not only handsome but sharp and well dressed. One woman was present at a table over by the window. She stroked her boyfriend’s back as he read.

The nursery people inform me that they’re shipping my sassafras now. It will be my Christmas tree from now on if it lives.

December 11, 2016

Picked up a literary journal to see an old friend’s (an old crush’s, actually) work. We’re both still slogging along.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 10, 2016

Gave an exam, popped in at the department Christmas party, skipped two other parties on the schedule for the night, all of which was well.

Had an extraordinary day at the studio, long and productive, during which kindly Ray, my neighbor, introduced me to others of my new neighbors, Sandra, from Bosnia, and her mate (as I take it) a giant and impressive Cuban whose work is quite beautiful. They’d taken the space with a woman I hated instantly, but it turns out that they hated her too, so she is gone. They’re from Atlanta, but rental prices are so high there they think it actually pays to rent a studio here and come on the weekends. I left my studio only when projects needed to dry before I could continue with them.

Sat in the light of my Christmas tree thinking fatal but, queerly, undisturbing thoughts about mortality. I feel disengaged from things, doing the work, at some points harder than ever before, but anticipating no outcome, content, upon reflection, to foresee no outcome. It is as if I’m being invited with unexpected tact out of this world. With unexpected equanimity I expect to accept the invitation when it’s firmly in my hand.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

December 9, 2016

Woke from a dream of incredible energy, wherein I was painting up a storm based on a new image, which I remember: a man crawling on hands and knees, which the dream found mightily important.

Hear the windchime singing away n the garden, blown by this bitter wind.

Decorated the tree. Immovable with body pain by the end of the task; took two aspirin, the pain subsided. One is almost willing for the affliction if the remedy lies close at hand.  Wept when I took out of their tissue the decorations with the names of my dad cats. Covered the second little tree in my room with my spirit animals. Determined to do everything right.

Trump’s cabinet strategy is pure and simple: Appoint the enemy of the thing to be the caretaker for the thing. Appoint an enemy of education to head the Department of Education, an enemy of the environment to head the EPA, so on down the line. Were there no pacifists to make Secretary of Defense?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7, 2016

Day of achievement. Ran a mile on the crosstrainer. It took more out of me than what would have been indicated by complete recovery, but I made it, and walked away on my own two feet. Wrote a poem in the Racquet Club café. Painted well, and blazed a new trail off a new trail. Everyone was solicitous of me because of the flood. Bought and set up my Christmas tree, though I haven’t decorated it yet. Last night I wasn’t sure there would be a tree; as I sat contemplating it, I thought two things. The first was a memory of how on some day before Christmas I’d come home from school and the house would be decorated like a wonderland, every surface covered with elves and bowls containing glass balls and little creches and Yuletide what-nots. Embarrassing for an adolescent, I would nevertheless cry out in wonder. I still don’t know where my mother got all that stuff, or where she stored it between Christmases. But I thought, “I will do it for my mother. I will think of her and decorate in my pale imitation of her grandeur.” The other thought was, odd and unbidden: “This will be your last Christmas, so why not?” The idea that it would be my last Christmas was, unexpectedly, comforting. My mood lightened like a bird taking flight. I have no idea what that was about. The sky through my study window is streaked blue and white, like perfect agate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6, 2016

We who prayed for rain are answered with shimmering curtains of it. My pond is full to the rock rim. There’s an overflow mechanism, but I doubt it can keep up with the downpour. But I think of the bulbs and roots underground battening this away for the winter, and I rejoice.

The end-of-semester crash is upon me, and I dare not pass my bed for the desire to lie down upon it.

Conversation in the Post Office with a retired colleague. We both noted that the university has finally gotten lucky in its administrators. I’ve heard not one negative word about either the Chancellor or the Provost, and certainly never uttered one myself. It makes me wonder less why they are good than why the others were bad. The present ones don’t seem to be exerting themselves overmuch to stay on everybody’s good side. Our former leaders seemed, even while they were with us, to be going out of their way to offend and frustrate. I wasn’t in on the private councils of any of them, so can scarcely speculate, except to imagine that the present group respects the traditions of the institution, while the former had–and showed–contempt for them..

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016

Caroled briefly at O. Henry’s after rehearsal last night. I was dreading it inordinately, but it turned out to be sweet and sad. I haven’t been there in, maybe, ten years. Looks the same.

Pipeline shut down in North Dakota, finally. Proves that intransigence works. Proves that sometimes the right side wins.

McCrory the Scum is, finally, out.

Maud stands by the window and watches for the crows. Seeing her, I fill the feeder so she has something to look at. Do I train the crows to come or do they train me to feed them? Is it Maud who trains me to provide her with diversion? This is not actually a conundrum. I began it all. They joined in, and now we dance in our circle.

Was noting in the church kitchen Sunday that K, in what is now a rather long association, never initiates a conversation with me, responding cordially if I make an overture, but never making the initial move. As the thought was passing through my head, he contradicted it by, more or less out of the clear blue, accusing me of “impatience.” I knew what he was referencing. The Boy is the end of collegiality, the end free academic speech, the end of scholarship, the end of student-oriented pedagogy, the end of peer review, the end of honesty, the end of academia as a principled pursuit, and yet in at least one circle I am to blame for being “impatient.” I try to find it all funny.

Tom the Furnace comes and fixes mine for $85. My spirits revive.

December 4, 2016

Sweet Lessons & Carols last night.

Phone call about flooding in my studio, the worst yet, and what I think may be the last straw. Someone had cut off the power because water was in all the plugs, so there I was sloshing around in the dark with cold water inches deep, canvases floating, sodden canvases collapsing against the wall, me thinking, “Allow a sign to be a sign. This should be the end of this.”

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 3, 2016

A day at the studio, doing not much painting, but a whole lot of socializing, which is the danger when everybody gets along.  I balance in my mind the joy I find in painting with the expense and bother of a studio. I am either not very good, or people do not respond spontaneously to what I do. Would a wise man keep it up in the face of that? The same might be said of my writing. Our fate at the Phil Mechanic is uncertain. Maybe when they throw us out my decision will be made.

Turns out that two space heaters and the study gas logs heat the house as well as the furnace, and at much lower volume, though I miss the great dragon roaring in the basement, and maybe the space heaters would not keep up with a really cold night.

December 2, 2016

Heat’s off, or rather some electrical anomaly shuts the furnace off after it reaches the set temperature, which means I have to climb down into the basement to hit the reset switch (or whatever it is) whenever I want heat. The cats think this is great fun. Discovered how to work the gas fire logs upstairs, after 3 years. Found the following when I was selecting files to go on my new computer. It’s the studio log I kept when I had the tiny dark space on the Phil Mechanic mezzanine:

August 9, 2009

This is the first day I’ve actually used my office in the Phil Mechanic as an office. Wrote four poems at the café, transcribed them here. It is quiet, cool, darkish. Telemann is on the CD. The chair is the wrong height, uncomfortable. The desk is a door that used to cut off two spaces in my house, or DJ’s, and had been languishing in the garage for as long as I had the property. The brilliant heat of the summer day is masked and diffused here. For the last hour I have been quiet as a mouse, hidden, happy. 

August 29, 2009

Working on the poetry archives, again (or still) to the sound of Telemann. I am finding ways to use this space, glad that I didn’t let it go when prudence suggested I should. High school students are meeting above, in the planning stages of a student literary magazine. Dusty, cool, dark: all in this place shall be well. 

October 17, 2009

Much has changed since the last entry. I’m typing in the numbing cold on the third floor. The season has changed, as have all other things, all equally gray and cold. I’ve moved my office off the mezzanine into my studio, which is mine alone now that Jason is moving out. His boxes are packed and stacked on the floor, a sorrow and an affront.  One day he is promising to stay at least three years; the next, an abrupt email announces he is moving out, now. It was an odd process. He fucked D’s wife, and reacted to that by developing a grudge against D and everyone else on the third floor, as though they had committed a trespass rather than himself. I cannot ask him about this, as he chose to conceal the narrative from me, and insist that D and L and the others fell short of his moral standards in some vague way, and he was cutting them off for that. David  reconciliation—I saw it with my own eyes—but Jason ignored it furiously, rudely, turning his face away as though his former friend, and the man he had wronged, were not in the room. But I love Jason and not them, so I am at a loss as to what stance to take. He has not told me the truth, so counsel cannot be given or taken. To admit to knowing without his telling me is a kind of ambush, and he does not need that now. Of course, he gave no thought to what I need. I have full financial responsibility for this place now, which doesn’t bother me, but it might have bothered him. Partnerships should not be dissolved so airily by one side. Ellen did exactly the same thing to me; I must invite this treatment in some way. In any case, suddenly I am alone, after what was, possibly, the most happy and convivial of the last twenty years. It was thoughtless and coarse and unfaithful on his part, but I can’t think of that through sadness at the bare fact of it. He said he’d meet me here this morning for coffee and to talk, but it is past 3 PM and he has not come. I am being gotten rid of, as I’ve seen him get rid of unnecessary friends in the past. I always think I’m going to be immune to my friends’ darkness, the exception to their customary violence. I could not have been very important to him, for all his protestations in the sweet past. There are certain things you don’t do to people for whom you have basic human respect, much less love. And I will say nothing, and we will go our way in silence. It was lovely for a time.

The little space heater—or two if they are both mine and one not Jason’s—will not heat this place, and I will be writing or painting for six months with the vitality gradually sucked out of me by cold.  Closing the office will save me $3000 a year. I should think of that and gloat a little. The thought is not making me happy yet.

October 23, 2009

Jason’s possessions are untouched since the last visit. I carefully edge my stuff from downstairs in around it. Telemann on the CD, barely masking the AM Country blaring from the fat girl’s studio. Stuck here for an hour while Word Perfect downloads. The boys drift in to visit, which makes me happy. I thought this room would be a blank place on everybody’s map once Jason was gone. Artists are a thoughtless bunch. Ursula has absorbed the common space in the library for her open house—where are my paintings? Gone. I know not where—and the fat girl’s crappy tunes rattle the rafters. I wonder if I can continue the direction and growth in my art of the last year with my mentor—my only mentor in my life as a painter—gone. Kevin the Special stood at my door demanding that I do something.
“I am doing something. I’m writing.”
“That’s not doing anything.”
It is unbearable; it must be borne. This list is forever lengthening.

November 4, 2009

Beethoven on the CD. The floor is quiet. Jason is gone, and a brief phone call lets me know that what is left I am meant to dispense with. The next time I come here I may actually paint. Denise threw Jason out of their new house, and he has moved operations to Tennessee, “for a while,” he says. I believe I will not see much of him from now on. I keep thinking if we were actually friends I would have known all this before an almost random phone call. Clearly I do not really know what passes between friends. Bade farewell to my little cave on the mezzanine, with some sorrow. 

November 14, 2009

Studio Stroll day, and I arrived early to redress disasters that did not happen, so I have an hour to collect my thoughts before what we hope will be the onslaught. I am alone in the biggest, brightest studio in the building, Medieval music on the CD, and I am happy. I have fought for this time, deceitfully shunning other duties. Lord, let it bear fruit. 
Virginia Derryberry has a spectacular show of frowsy goddesses in the Flood. Her interpretations of the myths are wrong, but the paintings are striking. 

The voices in the air sing “Ave Maria, gratia plena. . .”

Miss Jason. Miss Jason. 

November 15, 2009

One would like to have a way to punish studio strollers who turn on their heels at your door as though it were the contagious ward, who stick their heads in and then back out as though saving themselves at the last moment from a terrible mistake, who wander in, ignore the work and tell you what lovely light you have in the room. One wishes the red haired Adonis glassblower came by for something more than to borrow an extension cord.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December 1, 2016

Cleaned the house before the cleaning lady came. Actually worked in my office by the river for the first time. I thought I could transform old poems into new ones, and I was right. Transfigured four poem from 1975.  The spirit was there, but the technique is here. I put out peanuts, and Maud watches the great crows come to glean them, each as big as she is.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 30, 2016

Yeats in one class, discussions of life and art in the other. Rain, and then a softness as of springtime. I assemble my new computer with a minimum of rage.