June 22, 2002

David Weinberger Unfucks

David Weinberger is using his head and his hand today. In a mistaken beeping incident, which obviously left David guilt ridden way longer than it should have, he thinks up a new way to say, "um, sorry. my bad." Now known as the Unfuck sign, or by similar imaginative names thanks to Halley, David encourages us to use it accurately and often.

Joe and Mike Talkin Turkey

Joseph Duemer has been drawn into what I've come to understand, from my own experience, as pointless (and actually damaging) discussions with one senior member of the war blogging tribe. I give Joseph credit for keeping the conversation going with Mike--as AKMA has also managed to do. You are better men than me. Oh, wait, I'm a woman!

We won't touch it
can never touch it
so we leave it
sitting unsaid
on the soft pine table top
neatly packaged
arranged just so,
haunting in its beauty,
because unwrapping it
would unfurl misery
like the funeral dress
of a ghost child.


just do it.

Little Exercise at 4 in the Morning
(For Thomas Edwards Wanning)
-by Elizabeth Bishop

Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily
like a dog looking for a place to sleep in,
listen to it growling.

Think how they must look now, the mangrove keys
lying out there unresponsive to the lightning
in dark, coarse-fibred families,

where occasionally a heron may undo his head,
shake up his feathers, make an uncertain comment
when the surrounding water shines.

Think of the boulevard and the little palm trees
all stuck in rows, suddenly revealed
as fistfuls of limp fish-skeletons.

It is raining there. The boulevard
and its broken sidewalks with weeds in every crack,
are relieved to be wet, the sea to be freshened.

Now the storm goes away again in a series
of small, badly lit battle-scenes,
each in "Another part of the field."

Think of someone sleeping in the bottom of a row-boat
tied to a mangrove root or the pile of a bridge;
think of him as uninjured, barely disturbed.


First four stanzas of Manuelzinho in her own voice

From this amazing page.

June 21, 2002

Marek, Did You Bug My House,or My Mind?

I'm not sure which. But the evidence is here. I think I speak for all of us--well maybe some of us--when I say, thank you for the advice, as always.

Off to the liquor store to find some moving boxes

Anyone reading this blog already knows my vision for the perfect world for bloggers, even though, okay, I know it probably can't happen, not yet anyway, but Riley Dog pointed me to Apartment the Earth where it appears move in day has arrived! Nice, nice, nice. Shall we say my digital camera is charging up? Here's this from the "about" page:

"What is Apartment the earth? If it were not for the borders in this world, we could live close together and talk to each other very easily like neighbors of apartments. This is my ideal world. And we can realize this ideal world with the internet because there isn't any borders in there. We can live together here. In this apartment we are citizens of the wrold, we are residents of "apartment the earth."

Beautiful. Happening. Cool.

Back At Ya

Halley and Elaine
Met in Maine

Out on the beach
No sign of rain
Walking in the sun
Playing in the dirt
Hey Ms. Crone,
Where'd ya get that shirt?

June 20, 2002

Call Me Mme

A friend told me recently that my manners and passions resemble those of Mme Germaine de Stael, of whom this was said:

"Mme de Stael entertained in palatial surroundings the most distinguished personnages in the land. The guests discussed topics of current interest and they were entertained by music, poetry readings and plays. Mme de Stael was quite literally the toast of Europe. She has been described as the first female ambassador, an unofficial title conferred upon her for a legendary role as a hostess and writer."

Apparently she also gave Napolean some good hell. All the more reason to love her--I can't stand those little power-monger types.

And so, I am honored, because I do resemble her, in more ways than a couple.

Someone say patriarchy?

bye trees

They're busy tearing down the last big woods near my house. The petition signs gave way to lumber trucks. George, wait until you see it. Apparently an elementary school will be taking the place of the woods. The've blocked off what might be 3-4 city blocks if this were a city, but it's not. It's a town become suburb. And the logging trucks pull out all day long carrying tree rounds, now lumber, to wherever they take them.

The georgia red clay is bright, bare, lonely looking. I wonder what the school will look like. It will probably be my child's school. I wonder why the kids couldn't have just gone to school in those woods. You know? Set up a little building, some camp grounds, something. Made it a nature school. A park. Something to shield the children from the hot Georgia sun. Not now--it's pretty barren.

Every day up here in what used to be off the beaten path, the City of Atlana edges closer, and woods give way to complexes, plazas, and overdone houses. Now a new school. Why does it look so much like a crime scene? I saw a house way back, deep inside what used to be the denseness of the trees today. You couldn't see that house from the road before. It looked to be a very nice house, big, with a little barn next to it. I could tell by the gouges in the sides that they'll be knocking it down too. I don't know. Maybe it's the dark cherry colored glasses I've been wearing lately, but the world doesn't seem quite right.
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June 19, 2002

hurry home

Jimi Hendrix

Oh, remember the mocking bird, my baby bun
He used to sing for his supper, baby
Yes he used to sing for his supper, babe
He used to sing so sweet
Since my baby left me he ain't sang for two long days
Oh, remember the blue-birds and the honey bees,
They used to sing for sunshine
They used to sing for the flowers
They used to sing so sweet
But since my baby left me they ain't sang in two long days
Hey pretty baby, come on back to me
Make ev'ry body as happy as can be
So, baby, if you'll please come home again you know I'll
Kiss you for my supper,
You know I'll kiss you for my dinner, yeah!
But, ah, if you don't come back you know I'll have to
Starve to death
'Cus I ain't had one kiss all day now
Please remember
You've got to remember
You've got to remember our love
Come on back, baby, come on back in my arms,
I'll make ev'rything that better
Come on, baby, hurry up now
Can you hear me calling you back again now?
Come on, baby, stop jiving around, hurry home, hurry home.


June 18, 2002

Accidental Tuesday

Tuesday is the day we have everything to do. My work. Baby Blogger's school, then dance class, then piano lesson. It's a draining day, made more draining by the dead-stop traffic on the way back home at the end of it all, the lights and sirens up ahead indicating it might be a long wait. I inch forward, with all the other bumpers, in typical Atlanta fashion, waiting on line to get home.

When I'm finally close enough to see what all the fuss is about, I do the other Atlanta thing--the one I'm compelled to do every time I see an accident (which is too often)--and tell myself, "Quit your whining about the traffic and be glad you aren't the one they're shoving into the ambulance. Your big wreck is still ahead of you." It's a kind of metro "do unto others oath." We all take the pledge, this prayer to the jaws of life.

I remember when I was new to this town, how it would knock the air out of me the way people talked about wrecks (southern for car accidents). "I saw a good one on the way to work today." I heard that more than once. The news blink-blink-blinks these firey orange explosions on the traffic map every morning, not relaying that someone just lost a husband, wife, mother, father, friend, set of legs, but letting us know that taking an alternate route would be a good idea.

So as I pull up to the remnants of the wreck this Tuesday, I'm smack dab next to the paramedics working on one man, with a birdseye view into the ambulance. I notice someone's inside, being attended to by animated medics. I quickly turn my attention to the mangled truck and the small white sedan it ate. I edge past the scene and get the expected result that no one wants to admit is pure relief: traffic disolves instantly as you pass an accident--it's always a faster-than-usual drive from there onward.

Relieved to be past the mess, able to once again haul ass, I forget there's an innocent bystander in my back seat, until I hear:

"Mommy, was he dead?"
"Who honey--you mean at the accident?"
"Yes, was he dead?"
"No, I'm pretty sure he was alive. They're just taking him to the hospital to make sure he's okay."
"It was a boy."
"Well, it was probably a man. They had the stretcher on the grass. I think I saw a man."
"No, mommy, inside the ambulance."
"Oh. Yes there was someone inside. Probaby the man driving the other car."
"No, it was a boy," she insists.
"Well how do you know that?"
"Because his feet were very, very small."

it's Ismat to you

I just discovered Ismat's Top ten things not to say to the judge while defending yourself in court for a traffic ticket post. It is a good giggle, and her blog is a good read. The post just below the Top Ten Things is ripe with voice:

"I cut through the construction-muddled street, my bag flapping against my side. I notice the 'I'd rather be in Ann Arbor' bumper sticker on a passing car, and smile at its irony since the little Honda is most definitely in its favorite city. I wonder for a moment if it's not referring to an Ann Arbor gone by, much like the one I want to grasp on now. The air is thick, replete with enveloping humidity, swirling dust and the sounds of hulkish machines stabbing through concrete. After safely crossing on to the paved pathways surrounded by grass, old buildings and tall trees, I wipe the dust from my eyes and continue on to the Diag."

Read her.

June 16, 2002

Fatherless Day

This is my 34th Fathers Day without my dad. It's not easy for me to believe that--that this is the 34th, I mean. Because the girl-child watching him play, sing, then die an excruciating death from pancreatic cancer, only 38 himself, lives at the surface of me. That little girl is my skin, I've never had the luxury of pushing her down, sending her back, taking her off. God knows I've tried, but she won't go.

She's the child who sits crying on her bed while classmates glide off to father-daughter dinner dances; she's the one who stammers when asked, "what does your father do?" thinking that "rot under the earth" isn't a great answer to give. She's the one who hates being told "I'm sorry" by people who don't have a clue what it is to have your father's hug disappear before you ever got used to it, being asked "Do you remember him," and wanting to strangle well-intentioned adults; she's the one who listens to the recordings alone trying to summon him back, imagining he didn't really die at all--maybe he left us--maybe he's playing music somewhere in Europe, coming back from the road any day now. She's the girl who got married with a brother, not a father, on her arm. She's the girl who got cheated out of an entire lifetime of love.

This day, 34 years later, I think of his grave in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, mourn for how far away I am from that place, that man, that grave, that faith, and I hug the little girl-child who doesn't leave me still.