image: Evangelist with Lion (probably Mark), Geoffroy Tory, Book of Hours, Rowenwald Ms. Library of Congress
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Chacun à son goût,
my father always liked to say,
having been a French major
in Missoula, Montana
and man of decided tastes.
Those ran to
crumpets with milkshakes
up in British Columbia
since he detested tea,
on the riverbank at Pecos
near the Indian ruins
in a thunderstorm,
Manhattan deli style
with horseradish mustard
and kosher dill pickles
across from the Santa Fe library
after mowing the lawn
and before the Met broadcast,
green chili and pork
wrapped in the Norwegian lefse
my mother made, instead of
white “library paste” tortillas,
huckleberry pie in Yellowstone
after helping to pick a bowl of
lively purple berries in the woods
(big grin of ecstasy across his face),
chocolate quite anywhere,
his good cheese sandwiches,
smoked oysters, pickled pigs’ feet,
espresso he brewed for himself,
and those godgiven eggs he got
in the bar in upcountry Kamuela
with his fellow Marines that Christmas
after the November landing on Tarawa.
Friday, February 17, 2012
The leaves are beginning to turn there
at the end of September, and the last light
hangs a little yellowed too over the valley
before starting to pale into dusk.
There are watchers in the windows,
looking out across the aqueduct
to the far bank, the deeply wooded slope.
But what are they watching?
What is it they can see that I cannot?
When the bus drops us off
I feel how far I am from home, how far
from understanding where I’ve come.
And yet I feel a strange sense of belonging,
finally, of being at the heart of things,
as if I might now simply walk across
the ancient long-dry water channel
of this aqueduct into my life.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Mills College was always a good place to write, and it was there I learned letterpress printing, and spent many spring nights setting and printing poetry for the literary magazine, The Walrus (while listening to frogs outside the window, and the counting off of quarter-hours by the Julia Morgan campanile).
image: College Book Art Association
The first two of these haiku inspired by my time at Mills College were published in the Winter edition of the Mills Quarterly.
setting type on late spring nights,
minding “p”s and “q”s.
time passing calmly
sitting at its feet, steady
grilling sausages late nights
on a smoky fire
reading Shakespeare comedies
on a Meadow porch
rainy winter night,
cleaning crab from Chinatown
in a dorm room sink
an early French class—
crossing chill Lucie Stern bridge
ahead of the sun