Haiku
Monday March 18th 2019, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Boozy,friends,memory,New York,transitions,vacation Tags:

That’s what Ellis wrote. Novels, a memoir of sorts, but every day for years and years and years, haiku. Not hidebound, but an astonishing exercise in writerly discipline. And a remarkable commitment to perceiving beauty in the world, to taking in the fullness of a moment and saying, ‘this moment, those colors, that sound, that feeling. Three lines, three ideas’.

There’s a monthly calendar with a haiku a day for this year (and last), possibly still available for purchase from the Harvard Bookstore. I read them most days – for a while in the morning, but some of them are unbearably sad, so now usually later in the day.

The last texts I exchanged with her were a haiku that I wanted her to write – an orange construction sign on a deeply gray day calling to mind the winter hours and days we’d spent at Mud cafe in the East Village, grading papers and nattering and not grading papers. The bright orange-handled tin mugs and the signature orange of the cafe indelibly inscribed in sense memory.

Her last words to me: “It IS a haiku!” So too, alas, her life and her death.

I’m trying to be better about pausing to see something beautiful every day. It’s fucking hard. Hard to remember, and harder still to be honest about it. Like photography or writing or music, I suppose, you have to toss out a lot of the moments as not actually worth preserving in this particular category. The temptation to declare it done just because the feeling was close enough for government work.

But, I’ve got something to work with. She told me – orange sign, gray day, coffee house of a lifetime ago: it IS a haiku.



unbounded or burdened
Monday April 02nd 2018, 9:59 pm
Filed under: calendars,change,HelLA,himself,transitions Tags:

The car, sold. A one car family. My sixteen year old self is horrified. My 23 year old self elated. My 40 something self undecided. She did well, 11 years, 85000 miles of driving there and back again, the ultimate question of vector versus scalar, which bugged me no end in high school. How is it possible to have driven so far and gotten nowhere? A question that returns, as it were, a million miles later, minus the 15 or so I’ve actually managed to travel (vector, that is).

A day without a car, tomorrow. Bicycle and perhaps a park by the beach with a boy. The boy. A new quarter, new classes, busted deadlines. But 8 or 9 hours each week I’m determined to do something with, to not allow to disappear into the daily texture of surviving. Anything. Or a few things. A hobby, perhaps, or even an interest….



Stress, and grief

She said, to answer my question what points she was working on. Also, where your spine meets your ribs, so, a major parenting spot. Not really an empty center. And her “hot hands” (shared, apparently, by her 11 year old daughter but not her 11 year old son) healing. And also disturbing, working through old and newer ambitions and desires, aspirations and intentions. A Greek meander left to right, hyper rational and logical, and all I am, a Celtic knot, mystical and magical and all I’m not very good at being and have, frankly, neglected. And a not very empty center.



tempura tempora
Wednesday September 10th 2014, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Boozy,himself,seasonal,something new,tired,transitions Tags:

Deep fried time. A few more local deadlines – a final exam tomorrow, papers to grade and finals to grade. And then a few weeks to sort myself, solo, to get some work done. And then, TIME. Time ticking down to the arrival, of course, that’s one of the only clocks really pressing on me. A strange lull, this evening, as YCT meets with her writing group, her own work nearing a pivotal series of moments that will, in’sh’alla, lead from private to public. A strange lull, this, with a few weeks of the archive on the horizon, and then a YEAR of time (well, 9 months, but subtract and then re-add 6 weeks at the end, and there’s some uncertainty about the status of the 10 weeks after that, which could go either way). But, a YEAR (loosely defined) of time to work, to write, to think, to be properly miserable and DO something with the misery other than shut it down to get the devoirs done. To find new rhythms and new habits and new ways to indulge, no, to engage in existing hobbies. It all goes out the door, of course, in some ways, but so what? Burn the shit? I have time. I’m where I want to be, if not quite who I want to be, and certainly doing what I always said I would, and I’m not that fussed whether or not I feel I haven’t won at all. As half of ABBA would write. “Coming up for air” sings The Acid on KCRW, and I think, yes. That. Exactly fucking that.



the space between notes
Wednesday June 04th 2014, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Boozy,transitions Tags:

Music, that is, said Debussy. Another quarter, and with it another year, ends. Papers yet to be submitted and to be graded, meetings and exams and all do the other rituals. But IT, dear Jeff whose last name I’ve never known, appears to be ON, barring the disasters of the excessive and the supernumerary. Weeks, only, to know.