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NauenThen

Quenching!

One time Maggie & I went into a tiny shop in Chinatown for something to drink. In the case were cans of jellied grass drink. How is it? we asked the lady. Quenching! she declared. We bought a can. IT TASTED LIKE JELLIED GRASS. It was the most horrible thing I ever drank. We spewed it out into the street. To this day "quenching" is our adjective for GAAACK.

 

And now this. Has anyone called it divine? 

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Snow snow snow snow snow snow

I've been bummed out ever since my birthday turned out to be warm & gray. I want snow! We haven't had any this whole winter, except for a 10-minute flurry. A couple days ago I checked out a bunch of books from the library with "snow" or "winter" in their titles. One turned out to be (I think) a romance novel, so now I've read a romance novel (I think). At least it had impossibly attractive people with unlikely talents, but it also quoted Christina Rossetti: "Snow had fallen, snow on snow on snow." I just found a book of British mystery short stories set in winter called Crimson Blood. That's the one! I want to be cold & look up & see quiet white outside my window. 

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Monday Quote

It is hard to be finite on an infinite subject, and all subjects are infinite.

~ Herman Melville

 

And what else do you want or need to know about Melville? One great thing about him is that Moby-Dick is kind of like the I Ching or the Bible—you can open it anywhere & find a great line, one that speaks to what you need right that minute. How does he do that? And why is his prose so much more poetic than his poetry? 

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Not quite the neighborhood

I sometimes forget how interesting it is to wander around New York, especially way downtown where history snaps at you on every block. I had a lunch meeting & she chose the Fraunces Tavern, where I'd somehow never been. We soaked up the breath of the founders & tried to feel hopeful, the way they did, fighting a king & starting something remarkable. 

 

I tried the Impossible Burger, which not only did not taste like meat at all, was both salty & bland. 

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I said it's my

Really fresh & delicious!

BIRTHDAY. 

Yeah, & Dot bought me banana cream pie at Veselka. 

But it didn't snow

So it wasn't the best birthday ever. 

But I'm still here

& that's OK.

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Monday Quote

It's really hard to take pictures of black cats! Here you can see how lithe he is, but not how little or his face. Imma keep trying.

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact. 

~ William James

 

This isn't an exhortation I need, or have ever needed, but it seemed like something I would like to hear the day before my birthday. (Let me know if you need further reminders.) (Happy to oblige.) 

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Holman & Matisse & Boog

Holman singing Matisse (Cutouts) at the BPC. 

Totally great to see Bob Holman open yet another Boog extravaganza with his singing dancing music machine. He has made such a welcoming space at the Bowery Poetry Club. So happy to support it. Then a bunch of poets & musicians & plays. Fun afternoon! 

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In the neighborhood

The Marble Cemetery from the outside, very early one recent morning. Abandoned? Forgotten? A purposeful display? Yet another New York mystery. 

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Meet Lefty

Meet Lefty, the newest member of the Stanton-Nauen household. He was found in front of a church in Brooklyn a month or two ago & taken in by the wonderful organization Loving Touch. They rescue lost & abandoned cats & dogs with love & kindness. Since he got here, Lefty's been purring, exploring, talking... biting. He slept with us the first night. I still miss Buster, intensely, but we are so full of love & wanted to share our home with a cat again. It's like how they say your sweat glands are established in the first few months of life—our love glands have been permanently opened. He's not a replacement for Buster—not in the least!—but he is a chance to love more, love again. Which we will, as we get to know each other. 

 

He's tiny, young, & a yakker. Very different from Buster. I'm trying not to compare. 

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Monday Quote

One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by thir intentions rather than their results.

~ Milton Friedman

 

Oh it's so hard to decide. My instinct and preference is towards the center: I think the president should be the president for one & all, whether or not they voted for that person. And definitely the grander the plans, the more I distrust the promulgator. Those who support the so-called visionaries of course disagree, and for sure it's hard to present an inspiring vision of the ordinary, the pragmatic, when you could roll with idealism. I distrust revolutions—it gets worse for many & only better for the same few who always come out on top. Friedman is saying the road to hell... unintended consequences... but hindsight is 20/20, isn't it? 

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In the neighborhood

That creamy golden light of dawn, gone in seconds. I love being out & about when almost no one else is. 

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In the neighborhood

This was on a wall on Avenue B and 3rd Street. Did it go up before the demeaning-to-them vote? Did whoever do this poster make ones for the 51 other spineless Republican senators? The 12-year-old I was with asked who he is. 

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Buster cute as pie

What makes pie cute? 

 

The day Buster died Johnny said, We have to get another cat! There's something about loving one that makes you want to love another. The sorrow is so hard & painful but the day-to-day pleasures & delights are worth it. All my sorrows have been for love & I accept that, with gratitude. We are going to meet Griffin this weekend, if all goes well, but I still love & look for Buster around the house. It's hard to believe that every day he's not here. My mother always spoke well of my father's first wife, who died before my parents met—she didn't put him off marriage, she concluded. Buster has opened my heart to all the possibilities of loving cats.

 

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I have this power

I was reading The Translator last month when its author, Ward Just, died. 

 

I was reading After Babel this month when its author, George Steiner, died. 

 

Anyone want to pay me not to read their book?

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Health at last

I'm bored by being sick so feel free to skip this update, but I have to say, I was so happy to wake up this morning & feel like myself at last. A whole month of dragging, coughing, coughing, dragging. I took my first karate class in a month. Not sure I was gonna make it & glad I couldn't see the clock, & then suddenly, I started to sweat & instantly felt better. Thanks, A.J.—you were so right when you said it was better to sweat it out than lie about. 

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Monday Quote

Poetry is like fish: if it's fresh, it's good; if it's stale, it's bad; and if you're not certain, try it on the cat.

~ Osbert Sitwell

 

No comment. 

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