Wednesday, August 26, 2009


in lunar landscapes

Retreat Edition DYP! : week 3

While journeying into and through the Great Beyond, destroying appropriated Edwardian ledgers (12"x18"x3.5") following six months of working to restore same:

sinking into the springs

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


In the sense of "the regular business given to a store;" or, in this instance, the local lending library, who gladly extended the due dates for all of my books to early September.

Those who know, know that "reading" and "continuing to completion" are two utterly different sets of expectations. Life is too short to endure mediocre writing.

Retreat Edition DYP! : week 2


Katha Pollitt, "Learning to Drive"
Have you read the Futurist Manifesto?

Cuppy The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody
Guy Williams Making Mobiles
Emily Post's Etiquette ($1, library book sale)
Rombauer The Joy of Cooking

grant applications -- requested total: $36,000; amount provided to the city for cultural enrichment: $7,530
accumulated emails: Remembrance Day equals notes from friends of yore
my own handwriting

anything and everything published by Gaspereau Press, a life altering discovery
the current library list (really): The rough guide to Montréal | Lolita [sound recording] | War and peace / by Leo Tolstoy; translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhons | Salamander / Thomas Wharton | Icefields / Thomas Wharton | Lost in Austen | The new book of image transfer | The glass books of the dream eaters | Sharp objects | The meaning of night : a confession
contemplations on the value of the self

George Ella Lyon
the recipe for carrot cake from Epicurious
the calendar
Cheating at Canasta

exchanged for looking at my newest acquisition -- tax deductible art!
bills bills bills and a happy new year
publicity contacts

subscription to the Economist expired: life is a vale of tears
why isn't my handwriting more legible? and when did I forget how to spell? (Blame the Brits.)
The Economist end-o-year double-issue (thanks for the renewal!)

ski package prices
tutorial for Scrivener
Netflix queue, top dozen
Li Po
film schedules

yet more travel itineraries
No Signposts in the Sea
bank statements
the unreceived email
predictions for Snake in the year of the Rat

contentment in a sink full of suds
Joy of Cooking: peanut butter cookies
election results
Conan Doyle

books about books in the New Yorker: Benjamin Franklin abridged his genius, his character, his life. / Books Briefly Noted | "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks | February 11, 2008
the history of the Mason Dixon Report, as published in the Philosophical Transactions, 1768

Plant Dreaming Deep
the New York Times

The New Yorker: Someone manages to slip snide references about conservators into the most unexpected articles. One wonders if an editor had a bad love affair with a conservator at some point. For this week's example, read Judith Thurman, "Two for One: the marriage of Isabel and Ruben Toledo," March 10, 2008, p. 70+.
March MoMA calendar

??? trying to cram another week into March
I've discovered podcasts. Better late than never. Now to invest in an mp3 player. I feel so ... contemporary. Sigh.
Nineteen for March 19
The bookmaker's daughter | The man who made lists | Then we came to the end |Things I've learned from women who've dumped me
well, not, moping because the cell phone seems to have taken an operational nosedive for the third time in a year

Proust, beginning to end | The wonderful thing about How I Make A Living is being able to listen to audio books all day.
April is the cruellest month . . . April is Financial Literacy Month . . . April is poetry month . . . April is STD Awareness Month, and also features National TV Turnoff Week and Earth Day | In other words, I'm not the only person who really doesn't want to face the reality of tax paperwork.
1040 INSTRUCTIONS / Including Instructions for Schedules A, B, C, D, E, F, J, and SE

Novel: George Singleton
little of note
the fall of light in the lengthening twilight
The New York Times on chocolate pudding
Edgar Allen Poe [why not?]

planting directions for Page's Liberty Garden: forget-me-not, baby's breath, impatiens, aster, and marigold seeds
Gaskell, "Cranford"
a paean to rooftops

a recipe for pumpkin bread, before realizing that the frozen puree was ... frozen ham based soup stock. Not the same thing.
"what makes us "human"? | heavy hearted |in the fresh light of morning |insomnia | something my parents had that I don't | no help for it now | 'There's a personal wisdom to strive for, apart from learning new ways with language.' [Mary Jo Salter]

Learning to Love You More
Fowler's Modern English Usage
budget reports
Our Lady of the Lost and Found
accumulated journals
Great Gatsby
The Wizard of Oz

airline schedules
Not all tarts are apple / Pip Granger
If only I could lose track of time.
wisdom of Pete Seeger
article on string theory in physics [Annals of Science | current New Yorker]
and the calendar

Mountain Park / Jay Ducharme.
No peace for the wicked / Pip Granger.
Tart Noir [the self-described work Lauren Henderson]
ferry schedules

The Paris Review: Georges Simenon
Saw the trailer for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", and assumed it was a direct interpretation of "The Confessions of Max Tivoli." Was surprised to discover that Fitzgerald did in fact write said short story, but still hope that Andrew Sean Greer receives a very healthy percentage of film profits.
Slumberland / Paul Beatty [exquisite]

1. Of Men
2. Of Monsters
Proust has finally paid off.
No time for literature, but finished mock-up #1 (the rough draft) of the portfolio.
Would love to read. Occasionally fitting in an episode of the BBC's "Black Books". Not receiving sufficient sleep.

Julian Barnes "Nothing to be Frightened of"
New Yorker on artistic development [10/20/08, Late Bloomers, Malcolm Gladwell]
as a nor'easter streams into the region: quite a few new authors' first novels, recommendations culled from the NYT or the New Yorker, and mostly they make the errors common to the first novel, of an ambitious story but a still developing style.

The writings of the Gilbreths, edited by William R. Spriegel and Clark E. Myers.
Defining the World : Henry Hitchings {a fantastic biography of Samuel Johnson}
itineraries for the upcoming fortnight: from here to Chicago, to Jersey (not UK), to Dallas.
Literary History of Persia, the poetry of Attar

inspired by: George Leonard Herter
on the plane: Nick Hornby "How to Be Good" / quite successful despite unavoidable plot weaknesses
Advanced Origami / Didier Boursin
The West Indies and the Spanish Main / by Anthony Trollope
many Dover pattern books

performance schedules for the area / sparse indeed in January
In process artist's book project: letterpress printed esoteric curses, with the goal of renewing the art of imprecation {available as a set, business-card sized}.

The Invention of Air | the author had a splendidly convincing interview on NPR
Back to Henry Hitchings, his new release "How English Became English;" a splendid book.
Alas, Invention of Air was a fascinating topic rendered in the most tedious prose possible.

Trying to find the first orchid sequence in Swann in Love. Must learn time management.
airline itineraries

Cooking with Fernet Branca, by James Hamilton-Paterson, a contemporary P.G. Wodehouse
James Herriot, much to my own embarrassment. Who wants to become one's mother?
Elinor Lipman, charming and diverting
Le Carre spy stories, when all else fails, and facing a deluge of city regulations paperwork

feigning an interest in “The Shadow of the Winter Palace,” & wishing the Russians were just slightly less intensely morose
Outliers [Gladwell], which raises some interesting points in an easily digestible manner

The most amazing article published in the New York in some time --
"The python’s potential range is roughly a third of the contiguous United States."
the article about neuro-enhancers in the New Yorker, and distressed that these reports rarely mention the perspectives of onlookers; it is heartbreaking to watch friends disappear into a haze of Ritalin or pot and become washed out shadows of who they once were [even with my own moralizing laid aside for a moment].

works of Geoff Dyer, which amuse in process but leave a bitter and slightly unsatisfactory aftertaste
a list of 100 books published since 1900, perhaps 75% of which I have read, the plots and characters of the vast majority of which have been consigned to the shadows of memory
the town's master plan, which, alas!, clearly states a preference for development over historic preservation. O! Woe!

on the plane, "Three Cups of Tea"
why read when there are Ginger Rogers / Fred Astaire / Gershwin movies to be seen? the inspiration of tap dancing on roller skates in Central Park
that entire printed-word-on-paper-bound-into-a-book concept hasn't really been happening recently

Margaret Atwood, the exquisite Good Bones
Arrest Docket [Poems] by Christine McNair
more of the amazing Atwood
On the Way to the River / Laurence

snippets here and there, without delving into any particular texts:
Interesting observations about social and domestic expectations parsed by socioeconomic and education levels.
Books Briefly Noted: Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn | June 22, 2009
Probably won't read the book, but enamored with the review.

Edward Lear by the light of the moon
How lovely when amazing artist's books are issued in trade editions; especially when one knows the artist, and / or friends own the high-end version.

Compiling the August retreat List, which is currently bulging with Rilke and with Buddhism. Contemplating several weeks of caffeine-free vegetarian sobriety, which terrifies. Is a detoxed me, still me?
Pema Chodron, "The Places that Scare You," a book which I would like to hand out to everyone I know and love
to-do lists, emergency phone lists, packing lists, errand lists and suddenly, take off, with a complimentary first class upgrade
Rilke, "Letters to a Young Poet"

Zen mind, beginner's mind / Suzuki

summer absentee splendor

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the weather report

And so progresses the August retreat. The strands of contemplation circle around living deliberately and with compassion; both of which are difficult concepts to grasp in the ebb and flow of reality.

In the almost two years of writing at DYP!, one constant has been the weather updates and a report on the current reading material; a metaphor for the immediate moment, emotionally, intellectually, physically. Here, presented as the Retreat Edition DYP!: week 1, are chronological compilations from the past of living in the present.


a dark and stormy night
trying to rain

not as bad as expected and an amazing sunset
damn cold
so cold the cats are huddled on top of any object of heat and the windows rattle rattle rattle in the wind
ambivalence beautiful cold

full of sunshine

too cold for the butter to soften, even after eight hours
the wasps are still alive, how do they manage?
flannel sheets
snow tomorrow!
between storms
clear, but do we really require a foot of snow?

60's, sunny, gentle breeze

snow snow snow snow
eight inches of snow -- eight!
is this good? is this kind? is this necessary?
three cheers for global warming

still warmish
brittle sunny clear

undoubtedly January
brisk sunshine
winter continues
snow expected
clearing, supposedly
yes, of course, yet more snow


single digits again
you guessed it! more snow!
hot cold hot again
twelve plus inches of the fluffy white stuff for the morrow

pothole season

early spring indeed
first constitutional of the season
the final day of winter: wintry mix of snow, sleet, rain, and slight hail
not bad, perhaps.
smells and tastes and feels like spring!

April showers and all that
bulbs in flower
replenishing the depleted vitamin D reserves
progressing onward through to summer at a brisk trot

first thunderstorm of the season
trees in leaf flowers in bloom birds in flight
hopefully the final frost
lilacs! lilacs! lilacs!

cycling season for we hobbyists who cannot abide current gas prices
delicately cloudy
dawn clouds
windy with a chance of summer
the gorgeousness of May: cocktails and early suntans and bliss

there is a scent which I associate with early summer in New England, a combination of new grass, newly mown, and the freshness of trees after the rain, and a background of flowers and cars and, well, summer. It's almost here.

full moon
strawberries Monday

June rains
July bliss
July heat and humidity in one convenient package

full moon over the mountain
wind, rain, thunder, lightening, summer
how can temperatures still be in the nineties, but the grocery have autumn mums on display?

air conditioner out, duvet in
the desultory early loss of leaves

suddenly September
the rain it raineth every day
endless autumn mornings punctuated by the fog of things to come
Early evening. Early autumn. Perfectly golden sunset. Earlier, clouds.
September skies
perfect, but who is ready for October?

a bite of things to come
cold cold cold cold cold too soon
the cats sleep on top of the radiator as the first snowflakes appear
cold dark & raining
early winter
snow tires on, snow shovel stashed, storm windows in place

slushy: snow, sleet, rain, and more rain
the thaw between storms
four inches of frozen slush covered with a blanket of snow
{all disdainfully plowed, partially melted, and refrozen}
cold cold cold

When the man stated "lows around 5 or 6 above," what I heard was "5 or 6 above freezing;" it was only later that I realized it was "5 or 6 above zero." Ah, delusional optimism. Only four more months of winter!

A burnt hand, a sliced thumb, a bleeding finger, a snowed in car, now covered in a thick coat of solid ice, and the beginning of tax season. Tell me about the weather.

messy and unnecessary and character building perhaps
the great thaw following the February full snow moon
a dusting of late winter snow
sunny with a chance of spring
snow sun and some rain

clearing into spring
the final well earned thaw

moody, somehow fitting for the time of year. Depressive skies set off by flamboyant daffodils, random bits of snow, and the overall threat of rain. The off-stage organist is about to break into the soundtracks for one of the gothic silent films -- Nosferatu or Phantom of the Opera or whatnot -- and we will all cringe before the terror of . . . .

almost, almost, almost gin and tonics
and, oh!, do I miss parties where everyone was sloshed on Pimm's!
the clouded perception of days of cold damp drizzle

everywhere, the satiated scent of lilacs
the deep purple explosion of iris in bloom
not quite amenable to tap dancing on roller skates in Central Park
glorious, mostly
this is June?

gin and tonics and strawberries and chocolate cake and lingering evenings and all that June was designed for
the final ending of a too-melodramatic June
the ephemeral beauty of fresh raspberries

the days of summer when cool lingering mornings give way to sultry afternoons and unceasing evenings of brilliant clouds
from sun to rains and back again
this much rain has not fallen over a summer since that which I spent in Edinburgh, the summer that laundry never dried, endless pots of tea were steeped, and I purchased the umbrella that still serves today
pineapple print summer dresses

Rilke, "Letters to a Young Poet"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It must be true, it must have happened, I was there, I have photographs, memories, images captured on film. Are you quite certain you were there? You don't appear in any of the photographs, film shots, or memories. Of course, if you claim to have been there, you must have, although your memory and the officially recognized archive version are distinctly at odds. At the end of the day, the historical record wins out, memory dissipates and changes and is reshaped by time and accumulated experiences.

But for now, yes, I'll agree you were there, for the purposes of this particular instant. We were both there, but my memories take precedence. I have the data, I'm the narrator. Wait -- stop -- you can't just take the pen like that, draw lines through my notes, lists, and annotate the cross references between recorded media. I don't think the historical record cares one iota if she was badly dressed, if he was unaccountably late, if the speaker's teenage daughter was involved with your nephew's best friend's cousin.

to-do lists, emergency phone lists, packing lists, errand lists
and suddenly, take off, with a complimentary first class upgrade

pineapple print summer dresses