Signed Broadsheet “The Dream of a House” Reynolds Price

We’ve been working for the past two years moving, fixing up a house, selling a house, buying a house, painting a house, moving into a house, decluttering the results. So this poem by Reynolds Price, “The Dream of a House” had been much on my mind of late. It was part of the inspiration for an effort of my own.

I was simply looking for the text of the poem online (I have it in a hardbound copy of Price’s Collected Poems, but I was too lazy to get up) when I found a signed broadsheet copy for sale for $45 online (the framing at Michael’s cost more than this).

I feel fortunate to have it. It’s temporarily on an easel, but once I’m sure of the spot it will likely get hung on a wall in my reading room (where it currently sits on a bookshelf).

Used Book Arrival: Blessings in Disguise

I mentioned in a recent post about David Clewell that I had been reluctant in my younger years to buy and collect poetry books. I wanted to buy something that had the poem We Never Close in it, so I found this book available used on Amazon (and in no other form – no Kindle, certainly not new).

I mentioned that I wanted to buy something that contained We Never Close. It took a bit of a leap of faith, because this book didn’t have a table of contents online. Still, just look at that cover. There’s got to be a poem about a diner in there somewhere, right? I also hedged my bets by finding a collection that came out after his poem was published first in the Georgia Review (1989). And sure enough, the poem was in it.

Continue reading “Used Book Arrival: Blessings in Disguise”

Belated tribute to David Clewell

Another sign of my brain waking up again after a long hibernation: I started thinking about a poem that was very influential to me in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s: We Never Close by David Clewell (To read the entire poem for free, create a JSTOR account).

My own internal reading of it has always been a lot more deadpan; listening to this reading by Clewell himself helped me pick up some rhythms to this poem that I’d never quite picked up on.

David Clewell reads We Never Close, from an audio CD collection he created There’s Going to Be Trouble.
Continue reading “Belated tribute to David Clewell”

Real Life Update

A few lines from a pleasantly frittered evening yesterday.

I got a new job recently which features the lowest amount of busy-work and license plate making since the early 2000s. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’ve ever had it so good. If I can get organized I’ve got some angsty poems to write about how the past decade nearly broke me, but for now I will look on the bright side and say I’ve got it pretty good.

Another thing which has brought peace and joy to my heart: I deleted practically all social media from my phone and tablet. This has forced me, with only minor relapses, to read books, and there is something about the process of reading paragraphs and sentences and not reading the angry musings of stupid narcissists that starts tuning your brain up for writing better.

Continue reading “Real Life Update”

Close Call with COVID

Around the end of last year, someone I know went somewhere with me and sort of overlooked the fact that he and his wife had respiratory symptoms. One day later he called me to say he had tested positive, his wife negative.

I spent the next 2 weeks as quarantined as possible. I work remotely, so that was pretty – quarantined. I did not go anywhere in public. There were a couple of occasions where I had to enter a building briefly, but I stayed well away from people. My wife had been to a doctor’s office (routine visit) the morning of the day we got the news, so I told her to call them. Their reaction was pretty blasé.

Continue reading “Close Call with COVID”

Real Life Update (and last Twitter auto-update)

In which I make the usual excuses and focus on the collective, veering slightly to the personal

Very early in the Trump administration, I posted something that began with my favorite one-line poem-within-a-poem. Reynolds Price attributed it to Robert E. Lee, but I strongly suspect Price wrote it himself:

A country emptied by the fear of war.
from The Dream of Lee, Reynolds Price

Continue reading “Real Life Update (and last Twitter auto-update)”

Line Breaks

Test line
Hot damn 
By downloading Apple Pages
from the Apple Store
I now have an editor
which lets me do line breaks.This isn’t really poetry,
but it does have line breaks.

Now if I can turn off auto-capitalize in preferences…

On My Complete Conversion to Apple Products

More of a “still alive” post than anything else.

On one of my blogs back in 2010 or so I dimly remember this “LOL whut” kind of post that I made from an Apple store. My son’s iPod Touch, which was fairly new, had broken down and I was there, and a little bit on the edgy side, to get it fixed.

I seem to remember thinking the iPads were kinda stupid. Now I’ve got one of those, of course, along with an iPhone, a Mac Mini, and a Macbook Pro. The Mini and the Macbook have only recently come into my life because of a job; I’d remained a resolute Windows user until this past month. I changed jobs this year from a Windows shop to a place where the owner wants everyone on a Mac.

All I lack now is one of those watches, but I’m still in “LOL whut” mode about them.

Participation Mystique

Re-reading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition made me sadly wistful for a time in the recent past, when the book’s heroine Cayce Pollard could seem hip, cool, and high-tech by cabling up a cell phone to an iBook and sending emails to people. She could do almost everything she does in the book now with an iPhone, as owned by every high school student. Continue reading “Participation Mystique”

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