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Monday, July 25, 2011

2 new poems

Today is my birthday. I've nothing special planned except to work. S left yesterday for California to spend 2 weeks at a spa. But we went out Saturday night for dinner to celebrate. So I expected today to just be a day like any other.

But when I opened my email, there was a pleasant birthday surprise. Carcenogenic Poetry sent me a message saying they were publishing two of my poems -- The Letter Writer and The Last Day of His Life.

You can see them here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

50 years ago today

I was 30, and it was my first term in graduate school. Outside, the air was hot and humid, the way it was supposed to be in September in the middle of Ohio. But I wasn't outside. I was in the office I shared with six other graduate student TAs, three of whom would turn Columbus into Paris for me over the next four years. I was the only one there. It was middle of the afternoon and everyone had taught and gone home or gone to the library, and I took advantage of the quiet to focus on the literature I was supposed to digest that quarter. I was sitting at my desk in the corner, my favorite novel of the 20th century open in front of me, reading the wonderful passage in which Jake is riding a bus to fish for trout in the Pyrenees for probably the fifth time in my life, and suddenly, I leaned back in my chair and thought, "For the rest of my life, they are going to pay me to do this."

"Oh, Jake," Brett said, "we could have had such a damn good time together."

Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.

"Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so." (Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises)
It wasn't the right time or the right way for him to die. Ray Bradbury didn't think so either.

"Oh he had readers all right, all kinds of readers. Even me. I don't touch books from one autumn to the next. But I touched his. I think I liked the Michigan stories best. About the fishing. I think the stories about fishing are good. I don't think anybody ever wrote about fishing that way and maybe won't ever again. "
The hunter in "Kilimanjaro Machine" by Ray Bradbury
Read the story, then come back to see the video.

 "I waited one heartbeat, then reached over and opened the door."
"The Kilimanjaro Machine" Ray Bradury
Ernest Hemingway July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961.