Saturday, July 02, 2005

Books I Bought Yesterday & the Ones I Finished Writing

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan - "This world-historical consensus about the beauty of flowers, which seems so right and uncontroversial to us, is remarkable when you consider that there are relatively few things in nature whose beauty people haven't had to invent."

Molecules of Emotion by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. - "What we had seen in our research is that the brain, the glands, the immune system, indeed the entire organism, were joined together in a wonderful system coordinated by the actions of discrete and specific messenger molecules."

Rooms Are Never Finished by Agha Shahid Ali -
"3. There Is A Sky Beyond the Sky For Me"
"There is a sky beyond the sky for my return, but
I am still burnishing the metal of this place, living in
an hour that foresees the unseen. I know that time
cannot twice be on my side, and I know that I will leave—
I'll emerge, with wings, from the banner I am, bird
that never alights on trees in my garden—
I will shed my skin and my language.
Some of my words of love will fall into
Lorca's poems; he'll live in my bedroom. . . ."

Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry by Alan Dugan -
"Takeoff On Armageddon, for Ronald Reagan"
"As we tour the field in the pause
before the final battle, you can see
the flowers growing upside down
among the opposing troops. The roses
look like hairy turds in the dirt. . . ."

Selected Verse by García Federico Lorca (bilingual edition) -
"Omega (Poema para muertos)"
"Las hierbas.

Yo me cortaré la mano derecha.

Las hierbas

Tengo un guante de mercurio y otro de seda

¡Las hierbas!

No solloces. Silencio. Que no nos sientan.

¡Las hierbas!
Se cayeron las estatuas
al abrirse la gran puerta.

¡¡Las hierbas!!
"Dead men hate the number two,
but the number two lulls women to sleep
and since women fear light,
and light trembles before roosters,
and roosters only fly above the snow—
we'll have to graze on graveyard weeds."
~Trs. by Greg Simon & Stephen F. White

Danger On Peaks by Gary Snyder - "She Knew All About Art"
"She knew all about art—she was fragrant, soft. . . ".

That's the random stack, bought like picking flowers as they come to you on the path, opened to a first look—random. Spooky. What does it say about desire on this day, particular molecules of emotion in rooms I never seem to finish, these books, seven now as I'm working on the last? Seven now as I've finished and sent to the publisher four & a new chapbook (And the Earth Did Not Forget Them/ Y no se los olvidó la tierra) comes in the mail these dog day beginnings & finishings, thinking of Lorca's Sonetas del amor obscuro: "Love of my flesh, living death/ In vain. . ." I arise before the danger of peaks, stiff-lipped in the biting wind of Frost.

Random. Except for the last, bought for T's birthday which was the day before yesterday, June 30, and I tell him, "Well, you'll be able to say, in answer to 'What did you do on your birthday?': My wife was in labor. "36 hours," I tell him, "going on 48." He laughs. "I'll forever associate your X birthday with the birth of my book." "How cool is that?" It's only taken me 25 years for this pentych. He understands. Says, "Last year I went to the dentist." True. Who goes to the dentist for their birthday? What biology of desire is that? Good day, that. Tender. I finish everything except the last, long Hard Drive, the poems for him. For hymn. Not exactly praise. But, heart.

Lighthearted today. On the verge of dancing. "How do you know you've written a good poem?" I cry. A good wash. A recognition. "She left a light." Then, I want to go dancing.

My son got us tickets (scored comp) for Garage Mahal tonight, a band I actually really like. And like to dance to. Ran out of ink last night, new printer but ms. is over 300 pages (64x5, you do it) and T found me an old, but excellent, "Quality Standards" manual/manuscript box. It says "International Learning" embossed on the front and spine. Cool. Will keep the stray paper, receipts for taxes I never send, grocery lists, out from between the pages of the files when I go off to read.

I read it all night, a complicated knitting project, colored popcorn stitch—if I drop one I have to start over or the wrong color will show. Love how it looks on the page (love having a publisher/editor that will let me play at my own page). Love that this techno-mensa has finally figured out the new printer do-all. Ah, print at last! Print at last! Thank God, Almighty, there's print at last!

Ever try to write 5 books on a computer screen?

Off to the bank machine, off to buy b-b-que stuff for T (forgot to marinate chicken last night), off to buy mangos, off to look for Epson DuraBrite Magenta, as much as they got, and black, black, black. . .I see a white page and I want it printed black.
To T, on his birthday: "Another day. Another elegy." Ofelia passed away Wednesday. I read it in the news thursday. Breast cancer. I think of Ro's controversial painting, "Lies Cause Cancer." Not for the liar, the lied to. That bending of reality that sickles the cells.
my Sweet Tea ("Sweet Tea, Sweet Tea" ~GS)
my guy
because everything on this blog is for me, in line of sight, my vision, c/o The Dead and, with love, from the living.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dang! that is a fat manuscript! :)

2/7/05 22:28  
Blogger Thivai Abhor said...

Botany of Desire is one of my favorite reads of the last year--enjoy!

4/7/05 21:05  

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