Monday, August 25, 2014
Well, that song. It's been sung to me (facetiously) all my life. It's a WWI popular song, by Geoffrey O'Hara (1882-1066) from a time when we weren't so politically correct as we are now. I imagine a tall, skinny,shy cute boy, nervous about waiting for his girlfriend at the kitchen door where she's been washing up the dishes from the family dinner. Katie in the song has blonde hair like I have. So the boy turns out to a computer whiz, and they get married and have a bunch of kids and live happily ever after.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
In college, 55 years ago, Poetry is what I wrote. Never fiction, never memoir, nothing prosaic. I wrote poetry. Then I quit, not reading or writing poetry until my divorce in 2002. Then, unaccountably, I began writing poems again. I've done it now for the last ten years. The first five years' worth were about my divorce, my life since then, my delirious falling in love for the first time. I read poetry daily now, trying to keep up, and I realize I am in love with words still, but they are demanding other forms than the ones in my 21 books. I might see if any of you relate to any of my "modern" poems. Here is one. MIROLOGUE I leap on it in Zorba like a jay on a junebug: a word I'm sure I never met, certainly not in my first delirious rush-through fifty years past: it sends me on a race through Random House, Noah Webster, the Concise Oxford. No trace of it, so breathlessly into the cul-de-sac of the OED: it's not even there. Miro is solely New Zealand fauna, flora, a miro bird, a miro tree. Stumped. Online, the stern verdict: The Word You've Entered Isn't In the Dictionary. I won't give up easily. I introduce myself to George and Charles Merriam who, in 1847 put a new face on Noah's Model T. They never heard the word either. Dead end? Back to daylight's ornature: in context, it's a funeral speech Zorba’s Boss takes in. Intuition, that indispensable deus ex machina, says mirologue is cousin to admire and miracle, so, evitably, on to Miror in the lingua mater: to marvel, be astonished. (Logos is a word, mere empty words, a jest, or The Word, too profound to contemplate.) Backing up an ill-lit alley, where nothing can be traced, where the garbage truck has been and gone long ago, Zorba’s astonished at the death of an old woman? Maybe at the face of death itself? In the beginning was the Logos. I think intuition works best after long tutoring through tattered texts, long stumbling without the thread of Theseus. The aftertale of the chase: Kazantzakis is as dead as Icarus long fallen into the sea, and I have to choose. In the beginning was the Jest.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Only last night at a dinner party with some old friends, my friend Beatrice told me how, when at 17 her mom (following a divorce from her husgand, Bea’s father, quickly decided to move the three of them, Bea, Marjorie, and herself, to France, to the house where her mom’s family had lived for four generations (late 1880s) she woke one night, unhappy to have been snatched from her California life, and sulking, though she loved her grandparents. In her room a party was going on, and she felt kisses on her face. Waking, she realized it was all her family who had died, all welcoming her to this house in the French countryside, all so happy she had come, and welcoming her as one of them. From then on, she loved the house, the area, the new life.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
From Joann Ware: Sometimes my dreams have taken on a slightly psychic bent. One night in May 1998, I dreamed about my grandmother, who had died the previous February. She told me, “Frank Sinatra was up here singing for us last night and it was just grand!” I was puzzled and said, “But Frank Sinatra isn’t dead.” She replied solemnly, “Oh yes he is, child. He died yesterday.” When I turned on the TV the next morning, I heard Katie Couric announce, “Today the world mourns entertainer Francis Albert Sinatra, who died yesterday at the age of 82.”
...that phrase came into my mind, and I knew it applied to him as well as the robe. He'd been a devoted Christian all his life, and "re-accepted" Jesus as his personal Savior from a wonderful evangelist I'd known as a real rascal from college. I was briefly surprised at how young he was; but mature. Then I was standing right in front of him and could feel his hands lightly holding the backs of my upper arms. We looked into each other's eyes and I heard the word "brother" but I noticed his lips didn't move. Then the scene became dim--I was just behind the right side of a concave line of maybe a dozen people, wearing robes and Lawrence of Arabia-type head coverings. Dad was in front of the middle of the line, and someone stepped up behind him and put a similar article on his head. I knew he was now complete, and I found myself again lying on my bed. A few minutes later my brother-in-law called and told me Dad had died. This "earthly" verification of what I already knew sent me into a crying fit. Eventually it tapered off, and in the early pre-dawn light a simple rectangular representation of a face appeared on the ceiling: horizontal lines for eyes and mouth, and a triangle in the middle. Everything but the triangle faded out. I thought to myself "I don't understand," and the face came back. It faded again, and this time I said out loud, "I still don't get it!" A voice in my head said "Blow your nose." That was what the triangle represented. I blew my nose and smelled a marvelous aroma, strong and throughout the house. I wish I had remembered the smell every few days or so, so that I could remember it now like the way I can remember how a rose smells
From a friend named Toly: Dad had lung cancer from a collapsed lung from a fall--he never went to a doctor and didn't know he was in trouble. As he was in no pain--ever--he told the doc he missed his wife and had some questions for God about Newton's second law. I was supposed to bring some friends to Bartlesvile who'd flown into Tulsa that night. It was said he'd last another week or two, but based on things that happened to him in his 30s he could've walked outta the hospital if he wanted to. For some reason I tidied up my house and then went to sleep lying on my back on the bed. At 4:45am on Feb. 28, '78, I saw a large brilliant--but not shiny--gold oval in front and above me. Through that my father stepped, in a white robe brighter than anything possible on earth but not dazzling. The Biblical phrase "without spot or blemish"