Monday, March 28, 2011


…most of the morning I have been staring at the gray-green water and looking for mermaids.
I thought I saw one once, or the mane of a mermaid. the water swirled, curled, and waved, and something sort of fluttered just below the cusp of the surface, bubbles popping up like all these globes of trapped and now-released air, and when I looked closer I saw her face and I could tell she was a beauty, this one, this mermaid who had to have been lost, appearing here of all places, just outside my window and far from the atlantic ocean where I last saw her, like tom hanks, when tom and I were younger men, and so I got up off my chair and rolled open the window and I called out to her, and a hundred hiding birds shot out of the limbs of trees and then--startled by my voice--she leapt, her skin a translucent lavender with shiny silver scales, each as big as bread plates, her tail a thing of wonder, almost a fish unto itself, and the girl-the mermaid-this one, along with her, tail swished the air and waved at me one last time, and I swear I heard her giggle as she dove under, the biggest tease of my life.

…I have been listening to Spoon, The Bee Gees ("One Night Only"), Sinead O'Connor (still), Jack's Mannequin, Death Cab For Cutie, The Smiths, and Solomon Burke. my son asked me what I would rather give up, my sight or my hearing. what a cruel question. I'm a visual person, very much so. I think that comes through in my writing. yet I can't fathom not being able to listen to music. I think it was Tony Bennett who said, "Without music, life wouldn't be worth living." he's pretty accurate on that account.

…on monday, I like these things:

"I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars." --Fred Allen

"If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week." -- Charles Darwin

"Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself."-- Samuel Butler

"I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Ghandi

"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it." Jane Wagner

"Beauty is a form of genius--higher, indeed, than genius, because it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world, like sunlight or springtime, or the reflection in the dark water of that silver shell we call the moon ." Oscar Wilde

-"Long before Einstein thought up his theory of relativity, any child could explain that some days passed more slowly than others and some weeks dragged pretty much into eternity."
-"Men with money are rarely slim."
--Meg Rosoff, "Just In Case"

-"The dead are as sentimental as anyone else." Stuart Dybek

--"I write in order to feel like a semidecent human being. It's not socially or ethically acceptable for an adult to spend large chunks of time imagining, thinking, daydreaming, and staring into space, but that is probably my default mode. Writing is a way of incorporating those chunks of time into a useful, purposeful, productive activity. (Some might argue with the idea that writing poems is useful, purposeful, or productive, but they've been conned. The standard line that no one reads poetry is simply untrue. Also untrue is the line that only other poets read poetry. Even an obscure poet like me gets nice notes from people who have read and responded to my poems." Kathleen Ossip

-"His piss is not piss, he drinks only mineral water and produces a cloudy chartreuse flow that smells of summer grass."
-"Insects got caught in the warm putty of the windows and horseflies drifted up and down the panes. They were furry and weighted, blunt, and their heads were blue."
-"Laura put Callie down to sleep when they got home. She wondered why sleep is down. She thought it was like a sinking. Callie was afraid to go to sleep."
-"She felt the round covered balls of her eyes, the boned sockets, the hard line of her jaw. Her face felt old to here when she touched it. She hadn't seen her face since she was a child. She remembered seeing it that night in the mirror; the halll light a sudden blindness, her mother laughing, the sweet sick smell as she leaned close to tie a red ribbon too loose in Laura's hair."
--Jayne Anne Phillips

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