aftermath

we dream, we create, we change, we love

Archive for July 2014

All Plugs Save One

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Starting today, I am making an unplugged period a regular part of my daily routine.

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Written by macheide

27 July 2014 at 12:08 pm

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Women’s Poetry?

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Women’s Poetry?

Undoubtedly gender does play an important part in the making of any art, but art is art and to separate writings, paintings, musical compositions, etc., into two sexes is to emphasize values in them that are not art.

— Elizabeth Bishop, 8 June 1977

 

That quote comes to me courtesy of The Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, which I am currently reading, thanks to the first of the two renewals I’m permitted for borrowing the book from our county’s library system. Editor Fleur Adcock quotes Bishop to open that poet’s section of the anthology, observing, “Elizabeth Bishop’s executor has requested us to record the fact that the poet objected on principle to appearing in a women’s anthology for the following reason, which she stated in a letter dated 8 June, 1977….” Oh. So over your objections, which we choose not to respect, we’ll make you appear anyway, no reason given for why we do so. (Like, if Bishop were to object strongly enough, how could copyright permission even be granted to this anthology, since Bishop is not like Frost or Yeats, not yet having crossed the line into the public domain?)

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Written by macheide

27 July 2014 at 8:32 am

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Book Angel

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BAP 2001Little Prince

 

“Beware a man of one book,” warns the bumper sticker I use for the category this post will fly under? Thanks to a precious angel, as of today’s postal delivery, I am a man of at least two!—

  • The Best American Poetry: 2001, guest edited by Robert Hass — the only BAP that I had been missing in the stretch from 1999 through 2013! Just this very morning as I was reorganizing my poetry shelves following a generous land grant, I reserved space for the forthcoming BAP2014 by leaving my Spring 2014 Ploughshares shelved next to my BAP2013, planning for Ploughshares to move to my Closet Bookshelf when BAP2014 reaches my hands. Now Ploughshares moves early, everything shoves to the right to make way for BAP2001, and BAP2014 will have to find one of my other front-row poetry books to displace. These days along with my usual rounds of daily poetry reading, I’m heavily into Dylan Thomas poems, aiming toward his 100th birthday this coming October. Even so, I expect to carve out enough poetry reading time to give this BAP2001 its first cover-to-cover reading by Labor Day.
     
  • The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — the first Harcourt, Brace & World edition, 1961 hardcover. Ah, whose heart hasn’t been tamed by this uniquely exquisite tale? I have previously owned then lost several more recent paperback editions. Now I get to read it again . . . and again . . . and many more agains in this well-preserved hardcover edition.

Oh well, there went most of my plans for getting much anything else done the rest of this Saturday afternoon. I’m losing myself in great poetry and soft romantic fantasy.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - grolier

Written by macheide

26 July 2014 at 6:05 pm

Posted in grolier

SRBSs

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SRBSSRBS1-6Thank you so much, Suzi!! Courtesy of our fave house craftsmen, the inner wall of Suzi’s sewing room now has a handsome new workdesk area for one of her machines, aside of which she had them build a new bookshelf stretching from floor nearly to ceiling, set up for us today. Which she has reserved for me to shelve my books! This bookshelf might actually be able to hold all of my existing collection, yes. But maybe we can let it just mop up my extras, recent purchases that hadn’t yet found a good shelf, leaving intact most of my books that had already found themselves a home, then use these new spaces for a new book-buying program? Hmmmmmm?

Whatever, for making shelf assignments I’ll be numbering these shelves bottom to top, SRBS1 (Sewing Room BookShelf 1) through SRBS6, leaving the top of the bookshelf unit unnumbered. On a purely preliminary basis, I’ve started with the top three shelves. Briefly, from the top shelf down —

  • SRBS6 — Active Porch. On the left side are currently borrowed library books (except for “Century,” a book of photographs from the 20th century, which is my own). On the right side are recent copies of the tax code and pension regulations (topped by my hardcover Turco). All the items on this top shelf will be quite active, rather likely to be off the shelf any time I am doing my reading in Suzi’s sewing room.
     
  • SRBS5 — Pensions and Mathematics. I’d already begun the final emigration of my pension book collection from the Cube. With the space given by this bookshelf, I’ll now give the rest of that collection their tickets to come home. Round that out with the few math books I’ve kept (or recently bought), and this second highest shelf will soon enjoy full occupancy.
     
  • SRBS4 — Poetry. Given the height and depth of these shelves as contrasted with my other shelf spaces, I’ll be keeping my smaller-covered poetry books on my Closet Bookshelf. And at least for now, I’ll be keeping my Living Room Poetry Shelf intact. So for this upper-middle shelf on the new bookshelf, I’ll start with some of my larger-faced poetry books. Not as yet in any order, and possibly to be replaced by other of my poetry books as I reshuffle things over the next several days as I settle into these new quarters.

Again, thank you so much, Suzi!

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - grolier

Written by macheide

24 July 2014 at 5:36 pm

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Turning Lights Back On

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ingrid michaelsonPressure-washing the rust from these halls has been one task to be done for aftermath. Replacing burned-out bulbs and turning all the lights back on will be another.

Like, getting the music libraries on my iMachines back up and singing. Shifting laptops, strange things going on in my iTunes software, several reinstallations on the iMachines and general confusion following my shenanigans have left my playlists in shambles, in many cases with very little of my original stash left on hand. During clutter control this past week, I did locate back-up of some of the old stuff on a dusty flash drive, and will be refreshing all that soon. But also have been picking up a few new CDs.

For one, Ingrid Michaelson‘s Lights Out. Tracks added to my iPod’s Music —

  1. Home [4:24]
  2. Girls Chase Boys [3:41]
  3. Wonderful Unknown [5:01]
  4. You Got Me [3:13]
  5. Warpath [2:27]
  6. Handsome Hands [3:36]
  7. Time Machine [3:32]
  8. One Night Town [3:14]
  9. Open Hands [4:06]
  10. Ready To Lose [3:33]
  11. Stick [3:35]
  12. Afterlife [4:04]
  13. Over You [4:43]
  14. Everyone Is Gonna Love Me Now [5:17]

And all my online track listings have gone belly-up. Mainly because I made the gross mistake of trusting them to Google – really really bad choice. But it’s a good example of where cross-device online public access to my content is useful to me. So although I’m rebuilding my track listings under my offline system, one of these days I’ll turn the lights back on for my combined listings.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - vision:m

Written by macheide

24 July 2014 at 4:31 pm

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Floor Fadin’ From View

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jellybeansI’m losin’ sight of my floor. In danger of slidin’ up the stairs to the next story up. Lettin’ my jellybeans go stale.

Let’s remind me how I got here. I knew I was miles above where I needed to be, what with not even my loosest clothes fitting anymore and my rings getting too uncomfortable to wear but nigh impossible to remove. Then that photograph of Suzi and me as Sonny & Cher last Halloween was simply embarrassing. Even so, Thanksgiving and Christmas were looming, so I postponed my best intentions. Then mid-December last year I was asked to play and sing as Tennessee Ernie Ford in a production to be held late April of this year. Playing a pregnant Cher was bad enough, but I had no good excuse for doing a tubby Cousin Ernie. So even before Christmas, I started working on bringing my weight under control.

As near as I can estimate between October and December weigh-ins, I peaked at something over 225 sometime late November 2013. By the time Nat gave me one of my fave treats for Christmas – jellybeans!! – I was back to 220 and headed down. So instead of eating my Christmas jellybeans, I turned them into a visual aid showing progress: one jellybean got saved to a jar each time I lost another tenth of a pound from any previously gained floor since Christmas. Over the course of the spring, I had to increase the size of the jar twice to the current size, which will be my last jar even if I return to healthy weight control, since filling out this jar would take me back down into unwanted underweight territory.

My target for my Ernie performance was the mid-180s. That target I didn’t quite reach, but I managed to get close enough: 191. And kept at it well enough during late April and May to set my current floor at 188. At which point a tech issue on my iPod – where I’d been keeping track – erased a portion of the most recent records I’d been keeping. And as yet I have not yet resumed regular weigh-in. And have been less strict with my food choices and portion control. And have been exercising much much less than I did during winter and spring. And we shelved the jellybean jar during an extended visit from the children we frequently have as guests. With the inevitable consequence: bye bye floor, and no new jellybeans for the past two months!

It could be worse. But as of my most recent irregular weigh-in this past weekend, I weighed 195.2 – still cruiserweight, yet uncomfortably floating up. For the first half of 2014, I have three motivations pushing me: I kept our Sonny & Cher snapshot handy as a continual reminder of what I didn’t wish to see; I had a target image and a deadline for that TEF performance; and I had my jellybean jar. For August, let me set this single goal: by Labor Day, let me be able to add at least ten new jellybeans to my jar.

//www.internetbumperstickers.com] - cruiserweight

Written by macheide

24 July 2014 at 5:25 am

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Doubting Thomas a Little Less

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Doubting Thomas...a Little LessAh, nice, quite nice! I’m on a self-imposed routine to re-read one of Dylan Thomas’ poems per day through the rest of this summer and into the autumn, anticipating completing that re-reading course on October 27 of this year, the 100th anniversary of the birth of the poet.

To set my re-reading schedule, I’d relied on my own personal collection’s copy of Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas 1934-1952 (1971 New Directions paperback), together with a few other DT poems picked up elsewhere along the way. But then a few weeks before I was set to launch my DT re-reading, I lost track of where I’d left my book. Turns out I’d moved it from my bookshelves to my transit bag seeing most current Starbucks action . . . then hadn’t been to Starbucks for several weeks due to other activities. But by the time I relocated my own book (thanks, Suzi), I’d requested backup from my local library, which had to order theirs from another library branch somewhere else in the county.

Theirs came in sometime the past several days, but I waited to pick it up until I was ready to return the Stevie Smith poetry book I had out on an extended loan. Because I’d since found my own Dylan Thomas volume, I came close to just leaving theirs, which after a 9-day holding period would have been shipped back to its own library branch like an illegal immigrant. Ah, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep the library’s copy on my nightstand and send my own copy back to my Starbucks travel kit, right?

Turns out that I did right to proceed with borrowing the library version: The Poems of Dylan Thomas (1971 New Directions hardbound). Hardbound, paperpack, whatever – either way, they’re both New Directions publications copyrighted in 1971, so the library gives me a suitable substitute, right? Ummm, no . . . better! At first perusal while waiting in the check-out line at the library, it appears that this library book has all of the poems of my book, plus all the extra ones I’d collected along the way plus several I don’t recall ever having seen before! (I shouldn’t be so hard on myself about it — after all, I’m a general poetry reader, not a Dylan Thomas scholar, so I only had a vague impression that there was more out there beyond this DT-endorsed set I’d been re-reading since my college days.)

Anyway, since I’m already a week into my re-reading schedule, I’ll be doubling up on a few days, first re-reading the poem I’d originally scheduled for a particular day, then adding a first-time reading of a DT poem I’ll not have seen before, how many newbies on how many two-poem days yet to be determined over the course of the coming weeks as I explore this library book.

Sometimes you have to lose something you know you still have in order to find something you didn’t know you were missing.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - grolier

Written by macheide

23 July 2014 at 4:03 pm

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