Under the Weather

I suppose if I had to get a cold — though still not convinced it’s absolutely necessary to do so — this is as good of a time as any to get one.

I started feeling like I was getting a cold yesterday afternoon, right after I’d finished buying the last Christmas present. Luckily, I’d finished Christmas candy and cookies Monday. So there’s really nothing left to do but sit around and wait for Christmas day.

Naturally, though, Leslie and I had plans for Tuesday evening. We were going to the Puget Sound Revels, the first play/musical we’ve gone to since last year’s Revels. Of course, we couldn’t go to a play without also going out to dinner at the newly-remodeled Europa restaurant, a favorite of ours here in Tacoma.

Perhaps it was the glass of wine, the fine food, or the infectious mood of the Revel players, but overall the evening went better than I expected and for much of the evening I forgot I was coming down with a cold.

I’m sure I have one today, but by sleeping in and drinking lots of liquids I’ve managed to get through the day without resorting to sedation so far. It seems appropriate that today is the shortest, darkest day of the year and somehow I don’t feel quite so bad having to stay inside when clouds mask the sky and it’s wet and dreary.

I have a long tradition of Christmas colds, though perhaps it merely seems that way because being sick at Christmas seems memorable. Perhaps it’s the stress I put on myself trying to make Christmas better than it can possibly be.

For me, at least, stress and colds go together. I use to make it habit to get colds at the end-of-the-quarter push in college and capped the habit off by contacting a severe case of mononucleosis at the end of my senior year. I ended up in the hospital, and it took nearly three months before I could report to the Army, but that’s another story for another time. Needless to say, I know stress is my enemy, but being a type “A” it’s not always possible to keep stress out of my life, and I’m not sure I would really want to even if I could.

Out of Tune


I felt sorry for Bobby
when his mother
called him off the streets
to practice piano lessons
while we played football,

embarassed when
my teacher asked
me to mouth the words to

“Polly Wolly Doodle?

because the class
followed earlessly as I
wandered off key,

incredulous when
the high school
choir teacher called me in,
asked me to join
the choir after hearing
me perform in a skit.

Finally felt I’d
found my true music
upon reading,
“If a man does not keep
pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because
he hears a different drummer,?

nearly had a flashback,
and broke out laughing
hearing my grandson,
humming the soundtrack
of “Pirates of the Caribean?
while listening through headphones.

Tonight Skye lays
his head sorrowfully
on my lap whenever
I begin humming along with
Baka Beyond’s “Ngombi?
while reading the news,
knows I’m still hopelessly
out of tune.

Robin Blaser’s “The Medium”

In his introduction to Robin Blaser’s poetry, Gary Geddes, says, “ Although the dominant stance here is that of one poet talking to another — through his lyrical, gossipy or scholarly ‘notations’ and asides, his ‘serial’ jottings — rather than to some mythical common reader, there is plenty to learn, enjoy and admire for the eavesdropper in Blaser’s salon.?

It’s hard for a blogger devoted to literary and art works to resist that kind of approach to poetry, particularly when you come across a gritty poem like this

GRAFFITO
Artists are the deodorant pucks in the urinals of life.
(men’s room, Leo’s Fish House, Gastown)

in the middle of his poetry selection.

Still, my favorite poem was

THE MEDIUM

it is essentially reluctance
the language
a darkness, a friendship, trying to the real
but it is unreal

the clarity desired, a wish for true sight,
all tangling

‘you’ tried me, the everyday which
caught me, turning the house
in the wind, a lovecraft the political
was not my business I could not look

without seeing the decay, the shit poured
on most things, by indifference, the personal

power which is simply that, demanding a friend
take dullness out of the world (he doesn’t know
his lousy emptiness) I slept
in a fire on my book bag, one dried wing

of a white moth the story is of a man
who lost his way in the holy wood

because the way had never been taken without
at least two friends, one on each side,

and I believe my dream said one of the others
always led now left to acknowledge,

he can’t breathe, the darkness bled
the white wing, one of the body

of the moth that moved him, of the other
wing, the language is bereft.

So much of what is said here seems to apply directly to blogging, at least the kind of literate blogging I attempt, beginning with the idea that bloggers are mostly virtual, not real, friends ( “a friendship, trying to the real/ but it is unreal?) Any friendship based strictly on written communication seems doomed to failure unless it reinforced by actual meetings, perhaps even extended meetings. Friendship is much more than “ideas,? and language is the domain of “ideas.?

Despite reoccurring attempts at political commentary, I agree that “the political/ was not my business,? perhaps precisely because it’s impossible to examine it seriously “without seeing the decay, the shit poured/ on most things,? “the personal/ power which is simply that?

It’s also hard to blog very long without the feeling that “language is bereft.? I had originally included a short (but still TOO LONG) commentary on yesterday’s entry on how little of what I actually see or photograph ever gets included on my web site, but ended up eliminating it after I came to the conclusion that everyone must already know that, know that no matter how hard I try the person presented here isn’t really me, anymore than the person you see in the mirror is really you.

%d bloggers like this: