Showing posts from December, 2022

Day 922, December 21, 2022

The Quick After noon, the students stopped coming to my office. Even the emails stopped arriving. It was like the surface of a lake just after dawn, a mist hovering just above the water. I was wary to disturb the peace lest I wake someone or something.  We have reached the quick of the winter. Any little slight, one more added task, an additional forgotten thing makes one feel near the breaking point. And yet, after tomorrow, there will be a release, a gliding into the holidays and the new year. The tight spot in my lower back will loosen up, my left shoulder blade will cease to ache, and soon the kids will be home, My earliest memories of Christmas involve loose tinsel strewn on branches. I seem to remember a silver artificial tree. There was one particularly spectacular castle made out of plastic bricks (not interchangeable with Legos), that my father stayed up late assembling after I went to sleep. I don’t think he could help himself.  My mother sewed wonderful felt Christmas orname

Day 920, December 19, 2022

Long Time Waiting For over twenty years, and across three homes, I have carried with me a 1970s era Fender Rhodes. Back when my son was first taking piano lessons, I pulled up to the piano teachers house one day and I saw the keyboard leaning up against a large pile of brush. “Are you going to burn the Rhodes?” I asked, when I took my son inside. “If you can carry it, you can have it.” She said, and commenced the lesson.  I went outside and contemplated the keyboard’s existence for about thirty seconds, and then started for the brush pile. A Mark II Stage 73 keyboard weighs about a hundred and fifty pounds. The piano teacher told me she played that keyboard all over New York, up second and third floor bars. It was considered portable, at the time. You also needed to carry and amplifier. Twenty years ago, I still frequented the gym with some regularity, so I managed to wrangle the awkward rectangle into the back of the Subaru station wagon and was excited by my prize, like a sweaty pira

Day 908, December 7, 2022

On Memories Haruki Murakami. in Novelist as a Vocation,  recommends that you guard the drawers of your memories against unnecessary incursion so that they are preserved for fiction. I fear in these pages (?) I have been emptying the contents of my drawers all around the room like a high school teen. I wonder if it is possible to pick up a t-shirt, a pair of underwear, refold and tuck them back into the drawer for later use. That is the plan anyway.  I have always been liberally free with my memories, whether in fiction, essays, or poems. To a point. There is always a point beyond which it would be too unbearable to admit, or too damning, too embarrassing, so my rational conscious self holds back, becomes coy or shy. It is an enforced self censorship. Always veiled, never a true whole self. The closeted existence. I’ve always considered that lack of transparency to be a flaw and ultimately damaging. But perhaps I am just saving those bits for fiction and my drawers are not entirely yank

Day 907, December 6, 2022

Progeny Watching one’s own child, is like reading a different version of a story you once knew.  The circumstances had been different.  It is like dreaming,  something that feels nostalgic even as it occurs,  disorienting.  Like introducing yourself to a pretty lady  and they tell you that you have already met. Or eating a bowl of bingsu on a hot summer day. I am a dog that has been gifted  with a sudden appreciation for music.  I am in love with everyone in the room.  As I sit, I am aware of every change in posture,  every thoughtful provocation,  the way the breathing changes of the man sitting behind me.  The woman to my right seems to have moments of joyful revelation.  I am peering at the diagrams  and I see the illustrations of the universe,  the firing of synapses,  an alphabet of the occult,  a timeline of the Russian revolution,  seismograph readings from Mars, the landscapes of the mind.  Listen there is the caress of a soft animal,  two river stones being hit together,  the

Day 906, December 5, 2022

Terminal Pursuits  Growing up, anything that was not good for you,  caused cancer.  My mother, the scientist, knew these things.  She would admonish us for eating the ramen uncooked  because it would cause cancer.  Too much French onion soup mix in the sour cream  also caused cancer.  And of course, Slim Jims.  It seemed like everything I enjoyed  and partook in excess,  were terminal pursuits.  I never really questioned moderation,  it was more that we ate these things because  we could not resist ourselves.  It was like my father and his Winstons,  and how mad he got when I took apart his Zippo  and hid the pieces all around the house.  I was equally frustrated when my fingers  were too greasy to open another Slim Jim sleeve.  The shaking frustration of the damned.  \ My idea this morning was to write about the boundary of ice to  Gravel and how the grave grew firm in the frozen earth, But I forgot and wrote about Slim Jims instead.

Day 902, December 1, 2022

Drifting It is hard to sit in a virtual room,  sometimes  the way weariness wears down the facade  until it is only bone and sinew showing,  and who wants to live like that?  Other days,  my attention is pulled to the email,  the task at hand,  the setting sun,  a cyclist riding down the middle of the road,  a resting flock of geese,  a granola bar in impenetrable packaging,  resisting using a toothpick/flosser while on camera,  the dust lightly coating the telephone except for the receiver,  how warm the headphones keep my ears in a cold office.  Or sometimes,  on a day like today,  the technology doesn’t connect  and I am unable to be present,  am counted as absent.  For a moment,  it is like desperation,  and then  it is relief,  to let go and float adrift  for just a few moments.  It is like the smell of hot coffee.