Archive | Book Matters

Midsummer Songs, Midsummer Singers

There’s real hubris in sliding a snatch from my book next to a glorious Robert Frost poem. But in a climate in which September scalds, this is midsummer, and midsummer wreaks glorious madness. Especially when eclipses are afoot.

From Robert Frost:

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

From mid-book me:

I was a child with balled fists,
Who winked,
Who loved her daddy,
Who knew to watch grown men’s hands.
I was a child who already was ancient,
Who longed to be young,
Who craved the biggest love,
Who despaired of being loved at all.
I was a child.
It’s hard to believe.

Paintings: Florine Stettheimer

Kairos in the Koncrete Jungle

Mercury Retrograde begins next week and we’re already cowering in its shadow. Tonight’s lunar eclipse is unleashing everything we’ve been back-burning. And it’s August, so all the shrinks are on vacation. I’m unplugging, baby–strolling my finely feathered city like the flaneuzy I really am, seeking signs and sirens in all the right places. Continue Reading →

The Church of Slow-Food Literature

Summer harvests are in full swing, as are all kinds of inspired cooking. This time of year, Mother Earth doesn’t just entice us to stop and smell the roses; she invites us to savor the tomatoes, shuck the corn, can the berries and pickle the cucumbers. It is time to compose meals from greenmarkets, farm stands, and our own gardens. It is time for slow food.

But “slow food” – a movement emphasizing local agriculture, livestock, and cuisines – is not just a literal concept. It is also figurative, a handy metaphor to describe the great pleasures and rewards of unplugging from the hustle and bustle of our fast-food culture. More than ever, summer is a wonderful time to surrender – to fruit, to flowers, and to the power and pleasure of a good, long book. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy