First Paragraph:

“IN THE MYRIADIC YEAR OF OUR LORD—the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death!—Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.”

–Tamsyn Muir, Gideon the Ninth

First Paragraph:

“When we were new, Rosa and I were mid-store, on the magazines table side, and could see through more than half of the window. So we were able to watch the outside – the office workers hurrying by, the taxis, the runners, the tourists, Beggar Man and his dog, the lower part of the RPO Building. Once we were more settled, Manager allowed us to walk up to the front until we were right behind the window display, and then we could see how tall the RPO Building was. And if we were there at just the right time, we would see the Sun on his journey, crossing between the building tops from our side over to the RPO Building side.”

—Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun

First Paragraph:

First there was nothing. Then there was everything.
Then, in a park above a western city after dusk, the air is raining messages.
A woman sits on the ground, leaning against a pine. Its bark presses hard against her back, as hard as life. Its needles scent the air and a force hums in the heart of the wood. Her ears tune down to the lowest frequencies. The tree is saying things, in words before words.

—Richard Powers, The Overstory

Photo by Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Untitled, 1963

Sabbath Poems

XI.

To give mind to machines, they are calling it
out of the world, out of the neighborhood, out of the body.
They have bound it in the brain, in the hard shell
of the skull, in order to bind it in a machine.
From the heron flying home at dusk,
from the misty hollows at sunrise,
from the stories told at the row’s end,
they are calling the mind into exile
in the dry circuits of machines.

—Wendell Berry, collected in The Peace of Wild Things and other Poems


First Paragraph:

O anti-verdurous phallic were’t not for your pouring weight looming in tears like a sick tree or your ever-gaudy-comfort jabbing your city’s much wrinkled sky you’d seem an absurd Babel squatting before mortal millions

—Gregory Corso, from Ode to Coit Tower, in Gasoline

First Paragraph:

“To say the truth, it was not how I expected—stepping off toward America past a drowned horse.”

—Ivan Doig, from Dancing at the Rascal Fair

Clean Underwear

Photo from Shutterstock.

Couldn’t row this morning so I took a long looping walk through downtown. I think my walking playlist is getting pretty good. It’s big enough now that putting it on shuffle and heading out is starting to provide surprises.

It … the rest “Clean Underwear”


Windsock

Wind’s a bit brisk today.

Every morning @5 am, I look out my kitchen window to check this flag. I can see it even at night.

I check for two things.

  1. Does it look like it does in this photo? (Straight out, wind from the
the rest “Windsock”

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.

∽ Margaret Atwood

Socked In

Socked in like a New England lobster fisherman. It looks like snow blowing by but it’s actually fog. Some run-off foam in the water just adds to the allure. (Yesterday morning.)

KU Crew Dock, 2021-03-26, @5:15am

Club

Photo by Inge Riis McDonald.

We have challenges enough, do we not? With every day presenting its difficulties, a multitude of small assaults on our well-being. We build up no credit for facing these struggles, and instead are told it’s possible there may also be … the rest “Club”


The Mower

Photo by Echo Grid.

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found   
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,   
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.   
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world   
Unmendably.

the rest “The Mower”

america

“Bang. You’re dead.”


On this day, when I was five years old, just a couple towns over in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Herbie Hancock was recording this masterpiece.

Freddie Hubbard’s solo on the title track is a career.


Woman making a funny face.
Photo by Maria Lysenko.

Unwokened

I called her beautiful, although I don’t believe she heard it.
But others did, and so began, a little trial with a verdict.

Please demonstrate you understand her journey and her dreams.
And did you consult this 12 point list of all that beauty means?

I was called out I must admit, I spoke before I thought.
I stand corrected once again, as often as is not.

I hemmed, I hawed, I dropped my gaze, I was really on the spot.
Let me re-phrase, I begged the court, I meant to say, “She’s hot.”

d.j.-2021-03-18


First Paragraph:

“After all,” said the Duchess vaguely, “there are certain things you can’t get away from. Right and wrong, good conduct and moral rectitude, have certain well-defined limits.”

—Saki, from Reginald at the Theatre, The Best of Saki


Well gang, I guess it’s time I confess that I’ve been posting these last few months from my cell in a remote Russian gulag.

I finally received a second pillow for good behavior.

I’ve been told I can hang a painting after the next security check.

First Paragraph:

There was once a. boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.

—Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Treats received today from my good friend Will Leathem. I read them immediately.

Books can have so many lives. I wonder where this one has been.