It’s the place where the dead are sleeping, barely breathing in the moist black earth along the creek. They will rise when the time comes, and ask the living for a candle, perhaps a dish with a cookie on it.
The inside of a nutshell is chambered like the heart, with little ridges and flanges where the nut grew and prepared itself for falling into the waiting earth. That’s what I smell when I hold up a nutshell to my nose. It is the odor of anticipation, the willingness to be sacrificed to the sharp teeth of an animal worrying the shell until it breaks.
Summer is like old gold, dark with age. You feel its strength become mellow and pliable in the soft breezes. There is wisdom in the heat that still simmers along the edges of noon, as if it were trying to tell us that illness or aging are as natural as drawing breath.
Sometimes it’s painful to watch a group of poets trying to work a room as if they were politicians. The AWP conference, as the wag put it, is comprised of 15,000 introverts pretending to be extroverts.
My mother was Italian, a passionate, sensuous woman who believed in fortune telling and heeding the voice of intuition, which was very strong inside her. She told me she had been born under a veil, meaning the amniotic sack at birth, and that this was the sign of her prophetic powers.
I never mastered the art of the hustle, and the bar, with its stench of stale beer and cigar smoke, intimidated me. I shined my father’s shoes for a dime, and scrubbed the polish off my hands with cleanser. Life is hard, and I was getting beat up by it.
I’m staring out of a large window onto a stone wall where an ancient grape vine hangs heavy with bunches of blue grapes. There’s no one to cut down these … Continue reading
It’s fall here in southern France. The tourists have thinned out to a trickle of rubbernecks aiming their smart phones at almost anything green or shaggy with vines. They hardly … Continue reading