creative ramblings & reverie

Friday, June 25, 2010

Writing Spaces

This would be the perfect place to write (or paint), during the summer months.

image: Le Bateau-atelier, 1876, Claude Monet

His Sister's Wedding

We drive all night from Stanford

to his sister’s wedding, with

Old Black Joe the labrador between us,

a tuxedo and a pine tree in the back.

We stop at daybreak on the beach

at Mendocino, where the two of them

(and Joe) rented the house one year—

convalescing and chain-smoking, fighting

the wind and screaming at each other

from the rocks; reading aloud from Poe

long nights and drinking so much gin

from Grandmama’s bone china teacups—

after her lover’s suicide that summer

in an L.A. canyon (selfish to the end,

he took the yellow Fiat with him).

We buy thick coffee, fried potatoes, clams.

In a public beachhouse, wet from swimmers

of the day before, we change clothes for

the wedding; and, still yawning, we emerge

as fresh as laundry into the young day.

As we drive on he tells me of when they and

puppy Joe played football in the street

and cards under the sheets by flashlight;

how he watched, not breathing,

from the curtain shadows, her first kiss.

Juliet in the highschool play—he fell

in love again; Lady Macbeth—he hated her

(“why did you have to do that, anyway?”).

He bought her a purple Italian ice; lost her to

a real Italian with thirty-three hectares of

stony vineyard in Apulia.

He slayed her dragons, fought off indians

from the pine-tree fort, flourishing

his long tin-foil sword; he filled her lap

with streams of colored marble jewels

and stolen roses from next door.

For wedding presents we bring Joe,

Napa champagne, a pine tree in a bucket—

when it grows fine and fat he says

she can lie hidden in its dappled arms,

held there as safe as childhood from

the dragons, indians, phantom lovers.

—Christie (1982)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Writing Spaces

That notebook in all likelihood is mine . . . the writer out of sight off in the lefthand window, an espresso just finished, the curl of lemon-peel quietly fragrant and evocative on the saucer, the day of wandering in Venetian byways yet ahead.

image: Florians Cafe, Venice,
Jeanne Boleyn

Sunday, June 13, 2010

At Twenty-five

At twenty-five you wake early, thinking.

You make a pot of strong black coffee,

open wide the back door and look out:

it has been raining, but for now it's clear.

And it will rain again, maybe this afternoon,

but for now the drops, like a fine bracelet

of diamonds, circle

the slender white arm of the birch.

At twenty-five the world doesn’t confuse you

anymore, its many-faceted array of promises

as bright and false as the rhinestones

you gave your mother when you were only six.

The world no longer frightens you—

dark glare of water you could not cross.

You drive into it now headlong, throwing

bright wings of water up to either side.

Now you have plumbed its depths, and

calculated its circumference; and to the inch

you know the worst the world can do.

The coffee is bitter. Close the door, can’t you,

someone says—don’t let all that cold air in.

But you are twenty-five,

and it won’t rain again now for a day or two.

As you hold a finger up to test the wind,

a rusty tigermoth lights on it, in passing.

And, being twenty-five, it is enough for now.


Writing Spaces

A good vantage point for a summer morning! What might I write from this "Beach" Chair St. Anthony, Newfoundland Canada? Rugged stories, stories about distances, eclectic individuals, big dogs.

image: digital photograph taken August 6, 2006 by Kevin Bunt

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Writing Spaces

A table somewhere in Crete, which I happened upon while there doing research for my first novel, Reading the Stones.

image: Christie B. Cochrell, Unknown Table