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Jackie Robinson

Happy 100th birthday to perhaps the greatest male athlete of the 20th century. I read yesterday that baseball was his fourth-best sport, after football, basketball & the long jump.

This is a great opportunity to recommend a wonderful book, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, by Bette Bao Lord, about a Chinese immigrant girl who becomes American through her love for the Dodgers.  Read More 
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Snow Wednesday

It was a brief intense blinding squall. I was so excited I forgot to take a picture. By the time I got my coat & mittens on, it was over. Pretty exciting.

I mean, I know that the really terrible cold especially in the Midwest, and the tire-melting heat in Australia isn't exciting or lovely, but but but but I live for snow so I get to take a tiny personal satisfaction, izzat right?  Read More 
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No-snow Tuesday

What the hey?! They promise & don't deliver. It's cold but it's raining. Everyone else gets snow. OK OK frigging climate change.

My office has minimal heat. I want to write a sweet memory about my childhood snowsuit but my hands are trembling. I want to tell you about walking to school in South Dakota winters in skirts with nylons, but I want to go home & have dinner. I want to read some more Horace but the thought of him in Italy & me in dank watery Manhattan is making me think I'd rather read a mystery.

I don't know how to finish this & I don't know how to move on. Read More 
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Monday Quote

Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.
~ Gustave Flaubert

This is so exactly what it's like. The frustration & the glory! The hope & the disappointment. I want nothing else.
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A day in NYC

Breakfast from B&H. First workshop session in the third iteration of "Writing Your Life," Bob & I have our patter down, 8 fascinating & hard-working writers, happy to be back doing what we do. Barnes & Noble for some Horace, my current favorite poet. The Danish notions store Flying Tiger for an assignment: spend $25 on frivolities: cute notebooks, cute (OK, everything there is cute) napkins, clothespins, bobby pins, stickies.

Coney Island was a couple weeks back but I had this one last photo.  Read More 

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Laundry & Burns

I have been trying to remember where I did my laundry between 1970 & 1976. For much of that time I lived in vehicles or cabins without running water. Did I haul it to town & go to a laundromat? Wash it by hand in the kitchen sink (when I did have water)? In Maine we did our laundry at the home of sleepy, generous Sandy, mother of 5 & mother of all. Reading Lucia Berlin's story "Angel's Laundromat" makes me wonder. I could have been the girl in her story except for not writing down anything about clean clothes: my interests ran to boys, hitchhiking & being as undomestic as possible. Still, right now, I would like to get that back.

Also & unrelated (probably), happy birthday, Robert Burns. Where is haggis to be found in NYC? I'm sure it's here. I remember Doug Oliver reciting Burns excitedly, which probably meant, I see now, that he was drinking scotch.  Read More 
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If only

If only it had been 30° colder today, all that rain would have been a foot of lovely snow.
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A poem

I wrote this quite a few years ago, revised it more recently.

Esto Perpetua
            for Linda, Ron & Jessi

Ida, my Ida, my Idaho

famous for her taters
& Alene’s French heart
& golden thighs
grab rollicking hills

the golden wheatfields of Moscow
the wheatfields’ soothing monochrome

where we  Read More 
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Happy birthday

Close enough to February & in the sign of Aquarius to start being excited for my birthday in 4 weeks. Today I say happy birthday to:
* My warm-hearted, funny friend Roberta, who always stands up for the damaged & undefended.
* John Donne, a favorite poet of mine.
* Sam Cooke, beautiful gospel singer with the Soul Stirrers & later a pop star.
* And the great Byron, from whom I got the title to a book of mine, from his wonderful short lyric "So We'll Go No More A-Roving."* And the second line of which Johnny has tattooed on his back (that man!).  Read More 
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Monday Quote

Random, unconnected photo: Katz's.
He who chases two hares will catch neither.
~ Publius Syrus

If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.
~ Lewis Carroll

Aren't these saying the same thing from different directions?
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