Another world not quite my own…

I have plans to somehow restore my old blog into here.  Somehow.  I’ve gone into the annals of internet memory to find my entries again and have downloaded them.  So it’s a matter of transposing them (dates and all) back into this blog.  And soon I’ll have added my photos in here…various trips taken over time.  There are journeys I never bothered to document, before the advent of the digital camera.  Entire jouneys into Mexico…lost to only what can be written about.  How reliable is memory?

I’m feeling restless these days. I often fantasize about going to some small town out in the Sacramento Valley and renting a room in a non-descript motel. I’ve done this before.  Just a two day get away to read and write.  But I also like to visit whatever bar is in that town too.  Yes, this could be dangerous for a woman, but I’ve been know to take care of myself, to handle myself.  To read the billboards of intent from a million miles away.  Which is what going to these towns feels like.  Some dipping of the toe into another world not quite my own, but inside of a diorama I became used to seeing and experiencing long ago.  Back when I lived in the valley when I was 19 and off and on again until I was 21.  When I was working as a ride pilot and flight instructor.  I knew the valley well.  My boyfriend was a stunt pilot and the world was full of these dustry airstrips we called home.

But most likely I will not venture off this weekend.  Not drinking for one.  Also, cleaning up my life for two.  And I’m on this physical fitness jag now.  Don’t want to stop it.  But soon, I need to make the trip through the valley to the mountains.  I’m hungry for the ruggedness.  The streams,  For no electronics.  For the smell.  I always bring a Stegner book with me.  I remember one summer driving the mountians around Mt. Lassen with “Angle of Repose” hanging out in the backseat on top of backpacks jammed up against the window for all to see.

 

 

Poets bombing other poets….

I do my best writing when I’m at work.  This is something I probably shouldn’t cop to, but there it is.  It certainly must go back to Catholic school and the desire to get away with things that were otherwise discouraged.  Since I got back from Berlin, it was hard to focus for the first 2 weeks, but today it’s better.  I’m in a more settled category now, as I’ve been subsumed straight back into the high octane world of startup engineering.  My employer is back to hailing me in the middle of the night for things and I’m back to stealing an hour or two a day for poetry from my employer.

I’ve quit drinking for the moment.  It’s an odd experience.  I have so much time now…but I’m putting loads of pressure on myself about how to USE that time that I’m getting nothing done.  It’s almost like I can’t function with too much unstructured vastness of hours and minutes piling up.  I begin to fret about chores or paperwork or something equally mundane and unimportant to the larger tasks at hand. Or I experience sadness, depression, joy, boredom, ennui with no way to stem the intensity of said emotions.  It doesn’t matter really.

Anyway, today I was thinking about the fact that Richard Hugo once bombed the village where Charles Simic lived.  And about their meeting in San Francisco to discuss it. I think this might be the only example we have of a poet bombing another poet. It’s not one of Hugo’s best poems, but here it is.  Taken from this fascinating account of the actual meeting as posted here:

Letter to Simic from Boulder
-Richard Hugo

Dear Charles: And so we meet once in San Francisco and I learn
I bombed you long ago in Belgrade when you were five.
I remember. We were after a bridge on the Danube
hoping to cut the German armies off as they fled north
from Greece. We missed. Not unusual, considering I
was one of the bombardiers. I couldn’t hit my ass if
I sat on the Norden or rode a bomb down singing
The Star Spangled Banner. I remember Belgrade opened
like a rose when we came in. Not much flak. I didn’t know
about the daily hangings, the 80,000 Slavs who dangled
from German ropes in the city, lessons to the rest.
I was interested mainly in staying alive, that moment
the plane jumped free from the weight of bombs and we went home.
What did you speak then? Serb, I suppose. And what did your mind
do with the terrible howl of bombs? What is Serb for “fear”?
It must be the same as in English, one long primitive wail
of dying children, one child fixed forever in dead stare.
I don’t apologize for the war, or what I was. I was
willingly confused by the times. I think I even believed
in heroics (for others, not for me). I believed the necessity
of that suffering world, hoping it would learn not to do
it again. But I was young. The world never learns. History
has a way of making the past palatable, the dead
a dream. Dear Charles, I’m glad you avoided the bombs, that you
live with us now and write poems. I must tell you though,
I felt funny that day in San Francisco. I kept saying
to myself, he was on the ground that day, the sky
eerie mustard and our engines roaring everything
out of the way. And the world comes clean in moments
like that for survivors. The world comes clean as clouds
in summer, the pure puffed white, soft birds careening
in and out, our lives with a chance to drift on slow
over the world, our bomb bays empty, the target forgotten,
the enemy ignored. Nice to meet you finally after
all the mindless hate. Next time, if you want to be sure
you survive, sit on the bridge I’m trying to hit and wave.
I’m coming in on course but nervous and my cross hairs flutter.
Wherever you are on earth, you are safe. I’m aiming but
my bombs are candy and I’ve lost the lead plane. Your friend, Dick.

In Another Room I Am Drinking Eggs From A Boot

by Frank Stanford

What if the moon was essence of quinine
And high heels were a time of day
When certain birds bled
The chauffeur is telling the cook
The antler would pry into ice floes
Swim with a lamp
And wed be shivering in a ditch
Biting through a black wing
There would be boats
There would be a dream country
The great quiet humming of the soul at night
The only sound is a shovel
Clearing a place for a mailbox

Second time around…

This is my second attempt at a long running blog.  I kept the previous incarnation of this site going for 13 years.  Which is a really long time in blog years.  And then I went to Cambodia and Thailand and somewhere during the journey, in Phuket, I lost my credit card.  And I also forgot it was tied to paying for the hosting of my long running blog.

That’s ok.  Life is full of loss and those blog entries weren’t that great anyway.

Here’s my second attempt to get things right.  Including my writing life.  For whatever reason, it helps me to keep a blog.  Maybe it’s the imagined audience?  I don’t fool myself that anyone actually comes here and reads anything I write.  It’s more a vehicle to remind me to write outward, here and there, and to enjoy the endeavor.