September 22, 2009

On a Tuesday in 2009

I have a really hard time remembering what year it is. True, it doesn't help that at work we're well into the summer 2010 ballyhoo, but regardless, I've been writing '09 on memos and reminders for almost nine full months. You'd think it would've stuck at some point. Here's to remembering this impossible weeknight, the most beautiful bits from Little Sleep's-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight--


In a restaurant once, everyone
quietly eating, you clambered up
on my lap: to all
the mouthfuls rising toward
all the mouths, at the top of your voice
you cried
your one word, caca! caca! caca!
and each spoonful
stopped, a moment, in midair, in its withering

you cling because
I, like you, only sooner
than you, will go down
the path of vanished alphabets,
the roadlessness
to the other side of the darkness,

your arms
like the shoes left behind,
like the adjectives in the halting speech
of old men,
which once could call up the lost nouns.


And you yourself,
some impossible Tuesday
in the year Two Thousand and Nine, will walk out
among the black stones
of the field, in the rain,

and the stones saying
over their one word, ci-gît, ci-gît, ci-gît,

and the raindrops
hitting you on the fontanel
over and over, and you standing there
unable to let them in.


If one day it happens
you find yourself with someone you love
in a café at one end
of the Pont Mirabeau, at the zinc bar
where white wine stands in upward opening glasses,

and if you commit then, as we did, the error
of thinking,
one day all this will only be memory,

as you stand
at this end of the bridge which arcs,
from love, you think, into enduring love,
learn to reach deeper
into the sorrows
to come – to touch
the almost imaginary bones
under the face, to hear under the laughter
the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss
the mouth
which tells you, here,
here is the world
. This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones.

The still undanced cadence of vanishing.


In the light the moon
sends back, I can see in your eyes

the hand that waved once
in my father's eyes, a tiny kite
wobbling far up in the twilight of his last look:

and the angel
of all mortal things lets go the string.


Back you go, into your crib.

The last blackbird lights up his gold wings: farewell.
Your eyes close inside your head,
in sleep. Already
in your dreams the hours begin to sing.

Little sleep's-head sprouting hair in the moonlight,
when I come back
we will go out together,
we will walk out together among
the ten thousand things,
each scratched too late with such knowledge, the wages
of dying is love

From The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell, via here.

August 7, 2009

Lovely cool weather today. Accidentally got to work forty-five minutes early and went for a walk around Gramercy Park, which I despise and love in equal parts for its big iron gate and exclusivity.

On the stroll back to work caught a glimpse of a four-story tall mural of the movie poster for The Time Traveler’s Wife. Trailer makes the movie look appalling—too light and chick-litty and Claire seems needy and Rachel McAdams has barely perceptible red hair, which is everything. I’ll probably see it anyway, though, and then come back and write about how the book was heartbreaking and revelatory and the movie…

Just ate an entire pint of sugarplums in one sitting. Probably most likely will be sick later, but so worth it. Stone fruit is king at the moment. And I can’t get out of my head: Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold.

July 28, 2009

10 min., real quick

Real quick, real quick: elevator encounters & icebox-cold plums continue to make my day.

I've had to turn the volume on my radio alarm clock to frightening levels. Summer Snoozefest 2009.

Last week Kate turned 11. She wrote me this email in 18 pt. font:

Guess what i'm afficially 11. This is so exciting im going to write to you all summer every day.

I wish she would. I got her a hot pink watch for her birthday and it's so big on her that she wears it around her bicep and flexes whenever you ask her what time it is.

July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, E.B. White

This essay is pure summer. (Via the blue hour.)


And eavesdropping on MGMT in Prospect Park.

May 27, 2009


-going to kickboxing class last night. I can't move my arms hardly at all today.

-not buying French Milk (by Lucy Knisley) sooner. I have to ration myself. I want to read it constantly all day, and it's making me homesick for Paris, but I am saving it for before-bedtime-only. I am also getting to sleep later than I should be as a result, but c'est la vie.

-eating three cookies after making myself a healthful dinner of pasta with sugar snap peas and avocado-tomato salad. Foiled myself again!

-wearing my hair down today. Muggy.

-fuming over my missing New York Magazine yesterday when it didn't show up on my step, silently accusing my downstairs neighbors of thieving it. (It arrived today.)

-not going to see Neko Case last month. Ughh.

-staring too long at this baby I saw in Club Monaco on Sunday. She was maybe probably somewhere around 2 (fuzzy baby hair, dimpled elbows), and she was sitting in her stroller watching a movie on her mother's iPhone, holding the little phone just so and watching the screen with undivided focus. I was flabbergasted. I stared.

-buying French Milk (even though it was on sale). I need more books like I need a hole in the head.

-friending my fifth grade boyfriend in a fit of boredom over the weekend. This hasn't technically become mistake material yet, but the potential is certainly there.

Speaking of old time friends, tomorrow I'm meeting my childhood best friend for coffee. We've been BFF since we were 2 (fuzzy baby hair, dimpled elbows). We've been friends for over twenty years. Yow!

Have good nights, all.

May 17, 2009

About time

It feels like ages, doesn't it? Feels like I've been out of the country I've been away from here so long. Here's where I've been:

-New Jersey
-upstate New York for a lovely potluck in the mountains
-having my first fiddle lesson
-walking in Central Park
-lying to Kate about having been to a certain reading, but only for the sake of a birthday surprise!
-sipping a Honey Dove at the Dove Parlour (which makes me want to wear a feathered hat and carry a lace handkerchief)
-listening to Neko Case's Middle Cyclone on a loop
-watching my fiddle teacher and her band, the Dolly Sods, play an awesome set at Pete's Candy Store under the marquee lights
-in Florida for my wee sister's college graduation, dodging lizards and eating oranges like it was my job (they were AMAZING; I brought one back for my foodie friend Allison and she wrote me an email from work: "It tastes like a flower!")
-seeing Jeffrey Eugenides interviewed at B&N for the re-release of The Virgin Suicides (what a delightful man; completely natural and kind and game for any question thrown at him; I'm jealous of the sods at Princeton who get to call him Professor)
- having my second fiddle lesson; I can now play "Twinkle, Twinkle," a few scales, and two very touch-and-go arpeggios
-reading Amy and Isabelle (highly, highly recommended, even if the only bits you read are her descriptions of the woods; plus, having read Olive Kitteridge for book club and then watched it win the Pulitzer last month, reading A&I  was like reading a first draft of OK, or peeking into Elizabeth Strout's notebook of story ideas--it seemed like all the seeds for Olive were there in that first book)
-doing some long, long overdue spring cleaning

And to top off that cleaning job, I'm now going to walk to Home Depot and buy some household items, including plants. See you soon, I promise.