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On Sixth Street (III)

This is my favorite. A real photographer could make this shot poignant & evocative. You will have to do it with words.
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On Sixth Street (II)

This was next to the stuffed dog head window. Same apartment.
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On Sixth Street (I)

Amazing how often I walk on Sixth Street & how little I see. Until I do.
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At the laundry

From top to bottom:
1) This facility is for our dearest Customer Only!
= I have never dared ask if that could be me.

2) Rest room out of order sorry!
= Whoever saw fit to write & print all the other signs was still loose enough to leave this one.

3) NO tissue paper in there! Please prepare your own!
= Repeated in Spanish.

4) Take the KEY out. Turn the Light Off. LOCK the door. Control your Usage within 10 minutes.  Read More 
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On being conspiracy minded

I've long wondered why it is that people believe in conspiracy theories. Is it something in their basic makeup? their political leaning? the part of the country they're from?

As it turns out, a lot of researchers and thinkers are interested in this.

University of Miami political scientists Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent, in American Conspiracy Theories (2014: Oxford University Press), report that believers in conspiracies  Read More 
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Croeso i'r Cymraeg

Dych chi eisiau afal neu lemon?*

Eich bod yn synnu fy mod yn siarad eich iaith mor dda!**

DuoLingo launched their Welsh course this afternoon & I was one of the first people to sign up. I already know the days of the week & some greetings, although the words are pretty mushy in my mouth.

I remember going to visitmy relatives in Cardiff, and Aldwyn insisting I try to use Welsh, so I dutifully told the taxi driver I was going to 4 Llanfair road in as clicky a Welsh accent as I could manage.

The driver shrugged: Never heard of it.

It's a big street! It's right off of Cathedral Parkway!

I gave in & said "lan-fair" & he said, Oh! and took me right there.

* Do you want an apple or a lemon?
** You are surprised I speak your language so well! OK, I got this one from Google translate. It's the one sentence the brilliant & hilarious Barbara Barg knows in a dozen languages.

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Not snow

After the excitement of 26.8" of snow (a near-record), plus the unneeded, unpleasant excitement of having the roof alarm biting my ears for 15 hours (until a locksmith came & drilled it out), necessitating leaving the roof door open to let the sound fly away, and by the way the heat in our building was off, I'm relaxing to the serenity of this Japanese print. Ah.........

The patch of white that caught my eye turns out not to be snow, but I like it anyway.  Read More 
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I Heart Even More Snow

In the end, we got 26.8" yesterday, .10 short of the record. This South Dakota gal is happy.
More things I love about snow:
= The excuses. Normally I always/never, but it's a blizzard, everything is permitted.
= The pretty. Big snow is the only "disaster [sic] that leaves the afflicted region more attractive in its wake."
= The camaraderie. I love hearing people's stories. I could look endlessly at photos of kids, dogs, pigs, pandas frolicking.
= The frolicking.  Read More 
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I Heart More Snow

I love poems about snow. I love snow men. I love "nothing that is not there and the nothing that is." I love being inside & the snow is outside. I love hot chocolate & the possibility of snow on my February birthday. I love not losing my hat or mittens. I love kids sledding on cafeteria trays. I used to love ice skating. I love reading books about the Arctic. I love thinking that I could theoretically walk to the North Pole. I love the Northern Lights. I love books set in Alaska & the Yukon & northern Norway. I love photographs of snowflakes. I love cutting snowflakes out of paper. I love having an excuse to go for a walk & not to work. I love everything I can think of about snow, "the most benign of big weather."  Read More 
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I Heart Snow

As with a lot of things, anticipating snow is the most exciting part. Well, one of the exciting parts. Today is when it's still possible that we will have a blizzard! A foot of snow! Two feet of snow! Three feet! I love the squeaky quiet of my feet on the snow when there's no traffic. I love the bicycle- and hydrant- and car-shaped heaps on the street. I love too white to see. I love the wind. I love having to walk with my back to the wind so I can breathe. I love looking out the window and being inside. I love being outside. I love being cold. I love thinking about the people I know who also love snow (Steve!) and even the people who hate it & think we're nuts. I love remembering the snows of yesteryear.  Read More 
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Yes, of course I know there's a fire

But I have to charge my phone.
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Free North Korea

One thing about living in New York, it makes everything seem tinged with irony. Maybe whoever wrote this on the subway wall was simply expressing a heartfelt, considered political sentiment but it makes me think of the "Free Kim Agnew" signs I remember seeing (hearing about?) in around 1970, when she was maybe 14 and wanted to go to an antiwar demo & her dad, Spiro, the vice president wouldn't let her.  Read More 
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I'm the princess
luxe galore
hot choc & sparkle snow

& adoration
& there's one
little pea

one little pea

& nothing else
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Vin Bruce

My new favorite musician is Vin Bruce (1932–), the "King of Cajun Singers," from Cut Off, Louisiana, son of a trapper and fisherman who played fiddle at local Cajun dances. (Er)Vin Bruce was one of the first Cajuns to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

His French version of Hank Thompson's "Wild Side of Life" is pretty crazy but mostly I listen to waltzes and songs like "Fille de la Ville" and "Jolie Fille," full of accordion, fiddling, good beats, & catchy melodies.  Read More 
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My city?

I love New York, I do. I've lived here two thirds of my life. Ten minutes into my first visit, I knew I was going to move here & live here forever. Today I got my free (courtesy of the NYC ID) membership at the Museum of Natural History, visited the buffalo for that reliable moment of plains homesickness, then set out to Read More 
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A big ol' clump of dyin'

I guess one good thing about people (artists) dying is that they jump back into your consciousness & remind you to appreciate them. I have especially liked hearing how much of an influence Bowie was on so many friends, in so many ways.  Read More 
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I'm thinking of how women tend to feel either vulnerable or invulnerable, neither of which is probably correct. For example, a friend told me that his wife never hesitates to scold people on the street. He thinks she's nuts. I know it's because she thinks no one will attack her, a tiny woman in her late 60s.  Read More 
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Steve Willis at his lake.
I was visiting my friend Willis in Spartanburg one summer, many years ago. He looked up. Not a cloud in the sky. "We should go down to the lake & swim now," he said. "We just have time before it rains."

We went down to the lake & swam, and just as we got back to the house, the heavens opened up.

"How'd you do that?" I demanded.  Read More 
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I'm seeing an interesting style among young men who realize they are expected to carry their weight in the parenting department, but don't seem to think they should have to. So they've developed what one might call Hapless Superiority. "My [year-old, say] daughter can outwit me already," they pronounce, meaning he's smart (having a smart baby)—but he's not responsible for doing anything about it. Read More 
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The other side of discard

I've thrown out a lot of junk but found a lot of treasures. In particular, a box of magazines with poems of mine in them, many of which I didn't remember even writing (cf Ron Padgett, Poems I Guess I Wrote). I read a bunch this afternoon at a fun reading I did with Martha King,

Here's one, which was published in Mag City 8 (edited by Greg Masters, Michael Scholnick, & Gary Lenhart), in 1979:

 Read More 
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The 25th day

Giving up my ice skates (& a giant map of Swansea, a scale, cassettes, a chess set, an autographed photo of Rod Stewart, & more!).
It's like all 24 Days of Discard rolled into one. The great unflappable Emma is helping me clean, discard, sort, toss, tidy, throw out, rearrange, dispose of, get rid of, shed, & cast off a lot of the crap from my office. "Everyone keeps a bag of cords," she reports from her vast experience in other people's trash. I also have found a few things I'd forgotten I had or where they were, like copies of KOFF.  Read More 
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Prose Pros

I don't often write it up after the fact, but I have to say this was one of my all-time favorite readings. Two good writers with real subject matter, who were enhanced by the pairing.

Bob Sullivan (born 1 day after me) led off with a section from My American Revolution, his almanac/history of some of the byways of that war, such as the (very bad)  Read More 
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European royalty

There'll always be an England, 1911.
I had no idea that there are currently 12 monarchies in Europe right this very minute. They are (alphabetically & not by plausibility):
1) the Principality of Andorra
2) the Kingdom of Belgium
3) the Kingdom of Denmark
4) the Principality of Liechtenstein
5) the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
6) the Principality of Monaco
7) the Kingdom of the Netherlands
8) the Kingdom of Norway Read More 
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Buttermilk pie

I gave Annabel a cowgirl's cookbook. She was excited to find a recipe for buttermilk pie that her Texas aunt used to make. So she made it! She whipped up half a dozen mini versions, although I don't know that if you can tell the size from the muscle man & Derek Jeter. We already shared two (with a slice to our waitress at Eisenberg's diner where we had soup this afternoon, Eisenberg's “Raising New York’s Cholesterol Since 1929") & she sent me home with two more. Annabel!  Read More 
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Jeg snakker ikke norsk :-(

I have been listening to a podcast on the "easy" Norwegian news station, & catching very little. I recognize quite a few words but can't remember what they mean in time to string them together. At best, they're so obvious ("California, USA") that I can't help but get them. It's a little discouraging, to say the least. I can read the language better & better (& love it more & more!) but hearing it, not so much.  Read More 
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I do know that when you are talking about the capital of South Dakota it's pronounced "peer" not like the French name. I suppose I knew back when we studied the state's history in 5th grade how it got its name but I've looked it up again more recently.

Pierre Chouteau (1789–1865) was a fur trader (beaver, deer, buffalo) and son of one of the founders of St. Louis, some 800+ miles down the Missouri from Pierre. The fort named after him was built in 1832, a strategic spot for  Read More 
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The Double Yews

Here we are—me, Annabel, Randy (harmonica), Ellen (toy piano)—at the 42nd Annual Poetry Project New Year's Day Benefit Marathon (& I feel like it might have more words in its name). I have never before cut loose singing like I did at that mike. I was channeling my inner Aretha!  Read More 
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