Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Book Reports are Overdue

Books on the stack, waiting:

Selected Poems, by Mary Ruefle

Nox. by Anne Carson

Tuned Droves, by Eric Baus

Other Flowers, by James Schuyler

10 Mississippi, by Steve Healy

Oneiromance (an epithalamion) by Kathleen Rooney

Undersleep, by Julie Doxsee

I have looked at all of these except Nox. I am avoiding Nox because I suspect a book about a troubled and missing sibling will consume and obsess me, and I am not in the mood to be consumed and obsessed. Maybe not brave enough, just yet. But I will be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Amid the Chaos of Churn and Foam

One more nod to the humpback whales off the coast of Provincetown, MA, via Michael Cunningham's elegant, succinct book, Land's End.  A fine guide to the town, or, a wonderful look back if you have been there  Thanks to Darwyn J., traveling companion, for loaning me his copy.

"The whales don't jump often, at least not for the benefit of whale-watching boats. They are more prone to breaching, therir heads underwater, showing their scarred, glistening backs as they take in owygen through their blowholes. After a minute or teo they dive again. Their backs disappear underwater, and a moment later, as they angle themselves to dive, they dip their two-pronged black tails up from amid the chaos of churn and foam they've created."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Home again, home again

I got back from Provincetown, MA on Monday night, and since then the regular workday world has succeeded in pulling me back into its orbit. But I can still summon images of the whale watch, of the huge dark bodies suddenly there, right next to the boat, and how frail the boat suddenly appeared, and how vast the ocean. It was not my element, it was theirs, and so was the sky. As the captain turned us back to the direction of land (I had no idea what direction that might be) I heard someone next to me shout for joy, and saw, where he pointed, a whale leaping clear of the water, that rising, and the white spray of return.  And then another whale, also leaping up and out. That stupendous and distant delight.

I have been hardly able to do anything else since but re-read Mark Doty's moving and intense memoir, Heaven's Coast.  I picked it up again because I knew Doty described the landscape and feel of Provincetown so aptly.  I had forgotten how darkly joyful and full of grief the book is.  It's a memoir of Doty's partnership with his lover Wally, and an account of Wally's death, and an account of living with and through grief, and sorrow. It's the kind of book that makes me want to try and love this world as much as I possibly can.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Add This to Your List

Things To Do

1. Look for animal tracks.
2. Look for animal homes.
3. Look for animals.
Watch them eat.
4. Look for animals in the zoo.
Watch them eat.
5. Bring animals into the classroom.
     A. Put wire over a box.
          Put a rabbit in a box.
          Feed him.
          Give him water.
          Keep his pen clean.
     B. Put a bat in a cage.
         Give him a little raw meat on a stick.
          Watch him eat for a little while.
          Then let him go.
6. Put out food in winter for squirrels and rabbits.
7. Collect pictures of animals.
8. Ask someone to read to you stories about animals.

--From What Animals Eat, Little Wonder Book #315