Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Songs and fools

Last weekend I had a brief brush with gunfire while driving home early one morning from a friend's house taking a detour. I won't elaborate here, but I'm fine, witnessed the scene in my car and couldn't escape; had to leave my car and come back to get it. The fist fights have disappeared, guns and wars keep growing like adolescents without anywhere to channel their energy except in hate. Our President has to be talked into wearing a tux to meet the Queen (a little boy once put in the corner away from her by his mother so he wouldn't make a fool of himself). Ah, the fools are still out there and we the bystanders are left wondering whether to fight or to leave.

"Siren Song"
by Margaret Atwood, from Selected Poems 1965 -1975. © Houghton Mifflin, 1987.

Siren Song

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Oryx & Crake

Yesterday was my birthday. Today I finished reading "Oryx & Crake" by Margaret Atwood, one of my favorite authors; brilliant, witty, ironic. I had a signed copy from 2003 on my bookshelf that I just now got around to reading. A good day is having the whole day to read, with a break for writing, lunch, and more reading, followed by a good movie. "All best wishes" she writes, and that's what I think about for the start of a new year.

Latest poetry? "Autobiography of Red" by Anne Carson (hence the name of this blog) and Donald Hall....saw both of them on two separate events at the College of St. Ben's in St. Cloud in mid-April. Anne's lecture was composed of 14 sonnets, with visuals of dance and her taped voice. Brilliant. Donald was visited by 'the girls' our poetry group. I've been receiving birthday cards in the mail. I've been calling my friends out of state to say thanks. Auntie M from Connecticut (Bennington) and Gina in Washington, D.C. Good to hear their voices. When will I have time to visit? Corporate jobs have no sense of vacation time needed for an artist.

Wishes for the year ahead.........more writing in my work, poetry is everywhere.

Movies: I'm still working my way through Woody Allen. Can't go wrong, most of what he writes and films has an underlying message spiced with humor. Friday night I saw "Alice" with Mia Farrow at her best. She is married to Jeff Bridges in the movie, has an affair, has fun being 'invisible' with special herbs (what would you do if you could be invisible for a few hours?) and winds up doing what her heart tells her to do.