Lost Poems Like
By Mary Kinzie
those streets down which
sun never falls
stories cloud up
with a god onlooking
twisting about the sky
The poems to burn through into code
like an opera in silver
When death begins
the muscles under the teeth and jaw
disintegrate down to the chest
That is death that
the flame goes on rotting
in the windless bony dusk
From Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World, in which Robert Pinsky writes that Kinzie's new book California Sorrow: Poems "reflects on itself and on poetry in a spirit that is engaging, expansive, venturesome, sometimes comic or surreal." The book includes sections of prose, in one of which "she uses the phrase 'windless, bony dusk' then reflects that the phrase is too showy and 'pleased with itself' for prose, though it might be appropriately 'chastened' in a poem she has not written. A few pages later, the phrase comes back (without its comma), in a poem...the last phrase is no longer a bas relief standing out, polished, 'rather good,' above the smooth ground. It is desolate. Anger watches it. Fear drains it. Spirit is already gone from it. It is an afterwards, not an apex. Nothing follows." The tone of the poem is not melodramatic, adds Pinsky, although "the poem considers the resemblances among various kinds of absence: sunless streets, lost ideas, unwritten poems, death itself...the word for that tone of voice, weighing its own formulations along with their object, is 'reflective.'" Mary Kinzie's achievement is to make the reflective into something lyrical, as well."
We had to drive my parents to the airport in the middle of the afternoon -- they are on the way to California, first to visit my father's brother and his family, then to a conference that my father is attending in San Diego -- so we hung out at home till lunchtime, drove them to their flight and then went for our annual October hike at Scott's Run. The leaves are changing late here -- we aren't getting the spectacular long fall of years with more rainfall -- but yesterday's rain and the cool weather left the woods shiny and colorful. The river was higher than I expected, though still very low compared to last year at the same time. There were lots of people with dogs, and two policemen doing a survey of them, apparently about whether and how they clean up after their pets.
The leaves are a rather thorough mix of summer and autumn colors.
From some angles it still appears to be mostly green...
...while from others, the changing seasons are apparent.
Here's a view of Maryland from across the river in Virginia.
And there is still evidence of previous storms lying on the riverbank.
On the way home we stopped at both Home Depot and Lowe's to look at replacement bathroom cabinets for the one in the kids' room (36" white preferably two-door) and discovered that while Home Depot still has lots of Halloween inflatables on display, Lowe's already has their faux Christmas trees and light-display snowmen, penguins and Santas. Still haven't settled on a cabinet -- since it's in the kids' bathroom we expect it to get a lot of abuse and think a military-grade rubber one might be best, if such a thing existed. *g* Had homemade pizza for dinner, then somehow younger son found Revenge of the Sith on cable and we ended up watching almost the whole thing, for reasons I cannot explain. I remember that when I saw it, I thought it was better than the previous two prequels, but at this point I think I'd rather watch The Phantom Menace and the non-Anakin parts of Attack of the Clones.
I'm about 90% out of any and all fandoms, unless writing for TrekToday counts -- I think of that as work, not fandom. But if I weren't already, I would definitely have been inspired to extricate myself after some of the inanity I've read this weekend. Oh that nasty, devious J.K. Rowling, proving her homophobia by making the most powerful wizard in the world gay. If only she'd done as so many seem to wish and pretended that gay people simply didn't exist at all in her universe! Seriously, folks: you want to ally yourselves with the people who want no gay characters ever, just because she picked someone who by your own standards is too old/too imperfect/too marginal to have sex? And you complain that Rowling put Dumbledore in the closet? Seems like certain enlightened readers want a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it comes to fictional characters. Yeah, you're striking big blows against heterosexism for bashing Rowling.