By Landis Everson
I am an old man who writes like the 40s.
My suntan is a period piece.
Young men then spent all day at the beach
to avoid reality.
I stay upright.
Nothing makes me go down dusty roads to change my style.
I don't believe in love anymore, the foghorn
blasted it out of me.
died of skin cancer, his life cooked out on the sand¿
in his coffin waves will break.
Between his knees sandcastles fight back.
How many bathing suits did he wear out
in 70 years?
Among the valleys of the distant waves
we will eventually meet. Hi Jack, I'll say.
Well, it won't matter who got the superior tan.
The orange sun will recognize us. It owes us.
It will be the sun from nineteenth hundred and forty-forever.
O no cloud in the sky! O ocean full of fish hiding!
The sun seduced us before we could be virgins.
Another from Edward Hirsch's Poet's Choice column. "Everson (1926-2007) was born in Coronado, Calif., and became an unlikely member of the 'Berkeley Renaissance,' a group of Bay Area poets," writes Hirsch. "Spurred on by a friendship with the young poet Ben Mazer, Everson started writing again...it was as if he were writing for his old friends again, a few far away, most of them dead, but still vividly present to him...I find a poignant and stinging sense of fatefulness in some of these declarative poems, which remember more innocent times and dwell simultaneously in three time zones: the 1940s, the years 2003-2005, the looming future 'among the valleys of the distant waves.'"
I am still in Bar Mitzvah mode and behind on everything (especially replying to e-mail and LiveJournal comments, sorry!). I had a nice day with family -- my parents had relatives and friends over for brunch, so I got to hang out with Mickey, Garrett, and my sister's daughters, plus one of my mother's oldest friends and my father's tennis partner who gave me my first real job in high school. We had bagels, lox, kippered salmon, tuna, cheeses, kugel, and the leftover cake from the candlelighting yesterday. Nicole and Harris arrived in the early afternoon, so we got to see them for a bit before keeping our promise to the kids to let them go to the pool before taking them home to get organized for their last day of school. Adam will have very little to do since the building is coming down later this week, but Daniel has an English final on Monday.
Adam's friend who stayed with us last night was picked up by his mother to see his father, who was moved from one hospital to another in the middle of the night but who is finally out of the horrible pain he was in yesterday. When I last spoke to the mother, it sounded like they were going to try to remove the damaged leg bone and replace it with an artificial one (I may be describing the procedure incorrectly, I'm not sure she was sure exactly what the plan was). Her son may be coming over here again after school or her sister may be staying with the kids, things were still up in the air; the father is going to be in the hospital for a while.
Here are baby geese from Lake Whetstone last month. I'll be more organized with photos tomorrow. A few people told me they couldn't load the pics I posted the past couple of days, which are hosted on my web site rather than on LiveJournal. Here they are on a web page on my site, if that helps.