And the days go by

Non-writing activities have kept me busy this summer — work, Collected Poets planning for 2012, reading, afternoons at the state forest beach with the boys (that season pass was the best $35 I’ve ever spent!) — July slipped by like a field of fireflies winking out. Despite the surfeit of grief, it’s been nice.

Come September 1, Vincent will begin kindergarten (full-time!) and Aidan will begin attending pre-school (two mornings a week!). So this is a momentous sort of summer after a momentous sort of year.

This morning’s air had a touch of autumn to it, and I saw some leaves already beginning to turn.

My mother’s birthday was on Sunday, which meant last week I dreamed about her every night. A first, the first dream, and then an unimaginable gift, each one that followed. In the first, she’d come back, quite aware that she’d died. We talked about it, how well she looked now, and then she apologized for how she died: “I’ll do better next time.” The sudden sorrow of a dream that had been a comfort. “Next time? You mean you can’t stay?”

Of course not. None of us can.

Confession Tuesday, my occasional contribution:

  • Kelli, January, and others have fuller line-ups of participating confessors, so travel yonder for directions. I’m so far behind I’m still mired in September.
  • My bottom’s still broken, but the pain is becoming more manageable/tolerable; also, my husband took a buzz saw to the stairs — the top stair hung over the second by a good three inches, hastening any missteps — it was quite satisfying, I confess.
  • I never used the word “bottom” until I had kids. I remember the childbirth class instructor saying “bottom” at least 10 times per class, and it amused me endlessly. But,without going too deeply into it, using “bottom” averts numerous scatalogical references. It works.
  • Between Collected Poets work & Tupelo work & my broken bottom, I’ve written not a single poem since August. However, I sent my MS to one contest, plan on sending to one more, I’m awaiting word on many submissions, and Cave Wall accepted two poems for next year. Not too shabby.
  • Elisa Gabbert has a post up about top pop songs, and I confess that I adore this sort of thing. Maybe it’s because I’m a child of the 80’s — a dreadful decade for fashion, but arguably the best for pop music. Some perched high on my echelon:
    • A-ha — I actually love the entire cassette that features “Take on Me”  — “The Sun Always Shines on TV” is clever! I need to find this on CD.
    • OMD — “If You Leave” — what teenager doesn’t have this on her personal soundtrack? Don’t tell me, I don’t believe you.
    • The Cure — “Just Like Heaven” — this song makes me want to twirl around and around really fast. It just does.
    • Martika — “Toy Soldiers” — remember Kids Incorporated? Forget Fergie, I loved Martika.
    • Pat Benatar — “Wide Awake in Dreamland”, not as well-known but just as pop-worthy, is my favorite of her albums. She was my first concert; I was 16, only about 6 rows from the stage, and it was a pretty small venue. Spoiled me for life, I can’t stand a stadium-style show — I crave the intimate.
    • Heart — “Alone” — Elisa already has this on her list, but pining was my adolescent art, and “Alone” is the paragon of pining songs.

I haven’t even come close to a partial accompaniment to Elisa’s partial list, but hey, it’s a start. There are wicked big gaps here. Add to it. Confess, c’mon, you know you want to.


Summer drives

I spent a long weekend at my mum’s with the boys, where they played with their cousins and created an aura of general pandemonium. Driving home last night the two and a half hours was actually wonderful: the day had been beautiful, weather-wise, breezy and dry, and as we drove down the highway towards the setting sun, Aidan slept a carefree sleep and Vincent sang along to this song. Over and over. Which is how he likes it. Whilst wearing his blue goggles against the solar glare. (Try listening to him say the word “goggles” sometime and not have a good day remembering. Just try.)

Moses Supposes a Rose is a Rose is a Rose.

I’ve had a lot more visitors here than usual.  While I hoped they came by to check out my chapbook (which is now available for pre-order…) (HA!), based on their Google searches, they arrive in search of Gene Kelly.

At first I was distracted, wondering what it is I’m missing out on, that suddenly so many are looking for Gene Kelly.  What’s happening?

But then I felt badly that folks ended up here just because I mentioned earlier this year how much I adore him.  Thus I feel duty-bound to provide more for their troubles.  Below is one of the best song & dance sequences ever, from “Singin’ in the Rain”: “Moses Supposes”, with Donald O’Connor, one of the only dancers that could keep up with Gene without breaking a sweat.

And, if you listen to the words, well, it’s all pure poetry.

Tift Merritt.

Driving into work this morning, I heard Tift Merritt interviewed on WRSI 93.9 (“The River”) during their Sunday morning music show, “The Back Porch.”  She has a new album, “Another Country,” due out on Feb. 26. 

 I’ve been a fan of Tift Merritt since I heard an NPR piece on her a year or so ago, and immediately went down the street & bought her previous 2 albums–which means something, because I reserve most of my impulse purchases for books.  “The Back Porch” is the perfect description of her sound–guitars, harmonicas, tremendous rhythm section–head-bobbing, heart-thumping music. 

Her website lets you listen to a different cut off her new album each week.  Right now, that song is “Broken” ( ) which they played this morning and is my new favorite song.  I only heard it once, but I double-checked the lyrics on her website,  so this is the refrain:

‘Cause you’re broken, and you don’t understand

what is broken falls into place once again

the hand of kindness gathers you in like a rainstorm

But don’t take my word for it, click on the link, go, listen, fall in love.  No, really.