Chimera Song Mosaic
Sunday, November 28, 2004
The last post is in no way indicative of my present state of mind or past state since the last few weeks or so; I just don't get time to post, so I can't very well update as my mood changes. This isn't a freaking mood blog, for goodness sakes. To tell you the truth, I'm a little embarrassed about that last post, so why don't I just delete it? Well, I'm somewhat opposed to that revising of history anyhow, and anyway maybe it got me the smallest bit of attention, so the cry might have been worth it.

But now, seriously, I have no time to post anything. I am losing my mind from all this grading of research papers, literary and otherwise, that I have to get graded in the next week and a half (I actually have two weeks until grades are due, but I'm in something of a competition with some other English teachers to get grades turned in early. It's silly, yes, but it's such a powerful motivation. Perhaps we should put some money on it this time). Boring/

Mostly I have been reading. That's what keeps me from blogging this semester, and I must say, it's a favorable trade off in many respects. I should probably just update the blog with what I'm reading right now since it is substituting for blogging. So right now, I'm reading Lady Chatterley's Lover. Not just skimming for the sex scenes, actually underlining stuff. That's how I read. Nice and slow like. Also whizzing through The Catcher in the Rye yet again for my composition class. We have one week left of shcool to discuss it, then I get to sit back while they write their final essay exams, comparing and contrasting aspects of TCitR with The Bell Jar. Boring/

What was fun this thanksgiving: Lance's mom and dad and brother and his wife and their 3 little girls came to visit for a couple of nights. His mom made the best cornbread dressing, which I have been slowly weaning myself from every since. Lance was on the couch, so I went over and sprawled on him, which prompted the two seven year old twins to sprawl on me; lots of butterfly kisses and Eskimo kisses and deer kisses (we made that one up) ensued; then I sang out a line from one of Dave Chappell's skits: "I'm gone pee on you . . ." which caused both twins to look up sharply and say, "No! Gross!"

Also one night I woke to a real little girl's cries: "Mama!" I had been dreaming, something elaborate and vivid about an inner-city shake down in a flop house, or something, and some bad guy was trying to lure us out of a bedroom (my old bedroom at my mom's house) with a little girl crying. That's where my actual niece came in, but it took me a while to realize this. In the dream, I was puzzled because the little girl's cries did not stop, even though she was being tended to. I don't want to get too far into it because dreams don't translate; they just sound boring/

But when I went to the front room where the girls were bedded down together on a pallet, I was so sad to see the little one, five year old Hannah, awake and uncomfortable. She said, "Can you go get my mom?" I felt her chest, and she was wet. I said okay and left to knock on the door where her mom was. But you never know how hard to knock. So then I went back to her and offered to take her to her mom. I tried to pick her up , but she said, "No, I don't want your dress to get wet." My dress! I was just wearing a silly nightshirt. I was so touched, and little girl pee does not offend me, so I picked her up, I told her that I was planning to change nightgowns anyway (which was true; it had just turned cold enough for pajamas), and I dropped her off at the door. The last thing I heard was her pushing open the unfamiliar door into the darkness and asking, "Mom?"

The next afternoon, the nieces and I made homemade hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream from a can and decorated them with tons of colorful sprinkles.

Friday, November 19, 2004
So full of self-loathing right now. It just doesn't translate.

Actually, I may be mad at lots of other people, but that just doesn't seem fair.

Musn't take it out on the dog. They are blameless; if they had their way, I'd just nap with them on the couch all day long. Which suits me fine.

I got in an elevator this morning and pressed the alarm--on accident. I panicked slightly, but luckily nothing happened. The doors just closed and etc.

See? That's how it happens.

Saturday, November 13, 2004
Something I haven't done in a long while but was cheerfully reunited with: checking my words in the dictionary to be sure that I meant what I heard (the fit is usually so that I don't bother changing it even if the word turns out to mean something other than what I thought it meant, the association misleading and telling and welcoming at the same time).

Anyway, I often get lost in the dictionary, finding all kinds of new words for things I thought there weren't words for and reacqainting myself with old words. I usually cross check several different dictionaries. I find a thesaurus useless. But this time (is it ever otherwise?) I had a great experience: I saw the word "stove" as an index word at the top of a page in the "s" section, and I recognized it to mean some kind of bird. So then when I read the definition I was shocked to find that it actually referred to a kitchen appliance and referred to heat. Nothing at all about waterfowl. But at that moment if you had asked me what I stove was I would have said I thought it was some kind of a bird. I had no connections with modern man or his language or female domesticity whatsoever.

To further shore up Josh's comments about Berryman's influence on live poets (me too), check out Joyelle McSweeney's "Animal Instruction," which includes this evidence:

"At the postmaster's soiree
I wanted to be filled
as with risotto . . ."

compare to these lines from Dream Song #4:

"Filling her compact & delicious body
with chicken páprika, she glanced at me

And the end of McSweeney's poem:

"The yellow eye boiling, the
beak pointing blackly to the floor
it goes over it again, and again
nothing is skipped."

compare to the end of Dream Song # 29:

"He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody's missing.
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing."

(I did not post McSweeney's poem in its entirety. For that, go to CROWD 2, 2002, or The Red Bird.)

Saturday, November 06, 2004
The Blue Tail of Texas

The Rio Grande Valley did Texas proud (as did El Paso, and Austin, and everybody in the other counties who voted Democrat but who were in the minority--sometimes as little as 8%). Still, thanks for trying.

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