Laura Ingalls Wilder

July 20, 2018

Tags: Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Ingalls Museum in De Smet, South Dakota.
Laura Ingalls Wilder was ours, we South Dakota kids. DeSmet was an hour away & we would go their sweet hokey pageant in the summer. I was startled that Hollywood made a TV show—startled that people other than us were interested or had even heard of her. She described the natural phenomena that we observed, & she connected us to a pioneer past & made it mine.

Now the Association for Library Service to Children has stripped her name off a prestigious award for children's literature. I do see both sides: (more…)

Socket to me

July 19, 2018

I do see the pig snout aspect, although not the link to a plow blade. I suppose if I were closer to my prairie roots, it would be obvious.
I was sitting next to Michael Lally at Bob Holman's place, after the Barg memorial & he said how everything is interesting—I think the context was about the definition of a poet is someone is who is interested, although now I am not sure he said that at all.

Today I randomly looked up the word SOCKET. It didn’t seem like a particularly fascinating word, probably not a word I’ve ever used. Like I say, random. I had been thinking that I needed to know the words I use better—their exact meanings, their origins.


Viking tattoo

July 18, 2018

Not that I'm getting a tattoo or anything but this is pretty cool. According to the guy who has it, who had recently come back from Iceland, it's Aegishjalmur or "helm of awe" & dates back to Viking times. "The lady who did it used pokes, the traditional Old Norse way." Also called stick & poke, it's basically a jailhouse tattoo, although this one is beautifully done, unlike the fuzzy teardrops you're more likely to see.

The Poetry Project

July 17, 2018

Whiling away a thundery afternoon at the Native Bean on Ave A with the Project's new director, Kyle Dacuyan. We talked about poetry & poets & what he has in mind for the Project. I approve! It's not up to me to say more, but I did want to register how great it was to hang out. Something I've been doing for 40 years, talking the day away with smart interesting people. Lucky life.

I say nothing about treason & treachery!

Monday Quote

July 16, 2018

Tags: Thomas Hardy

Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.
~ Thomas Hardy

Johnny's next tattoo?

I asked for a response to the quote & he said, "I'll put that on my leg."

We all have those stories that are too unlikely to be good fiction & too suspect to be nonfiction. (more…)


July 15, 2018

Yesterday I read my favorite section of the Torah, two columns of Matot-Masei known as the Journeys. I like it because I love lists & the heart of this read is a long list, sans detail, of the places the Israelites camped in their 40 years wandering in the desert.

The pattern is: They traveled from (more…)

One day in New York City

July 12, 2018

Whoohoo, I finally figured out that my stupid insurance covers a cleaning & visit so I was reunited with Dr. Lucente and the wondrous soft-handed hygienist Alma. Everything else is ala carte; I cheerfully & gladly dropped $150 to have a loose crown soldered back into place.

Meanwhile, my insane but lovable husband got a new tattoo. I have to admit that they all fit him perfectly in some wacko way. This one's the catchphrase from his brilliant novel Mangled Hands: I Tarcisius Tandihetsi say so.

And while I was sitting in Tompkins Square Park, two NYU marketing students interviewed me about electric cars & family brands—I'm not sure what their main topic even was. They said I was the best person they had talked to. And I thought, I'd better be!

Johnny's Universal Botanica Mystical Shop

July 11, 2018

4th Avenue, Brooklyn.
I love to find businesses run by Johnny. There've been bars & maybe a shoe repair shop but this is the first botanica. His secret life.

World traveler

July 10, 2018

Brooklyn, baby!
Will I ever stop marveling about leaving my neighborhood? It really wasn't tough to get to Park Slope, only took 1/2 an hour, door to door including the several blocks of walking, & I got a nice lunch from Martha & Baz, plus brainstorming about our next season of Prose Pros & a few minutes of this complex architecture. Outdoor subway platforms—my happy place.

Martha writes in a memoir that when they bought this house in the 60s, someone they knew shook his head and said, "Brooklyn? Are things that bad?"

Monday Quote

July 9, 2018

Tags: James Baldwin

Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.
~ James Baldwin, Paris Review Interviews, II

True, true, true. Endurance through illness, dissipation, poverty, distraction, shiny desire. Talent is such a small part of anything. Pouring yourself into something is what creates or discovers talent.