Monday, October 31, 2016

Auden's Funeral Blues

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

An old, much beloved, friend of mine is facing his mother's death this week. I have shared e.e.cummings "I carry your heart in my heart" to remind him that his love for his mother and her love for him will always buoy him. I will directly share this poem with him once she has passed.

I knew this friend in Minneapolis. He came to some of the five-day intensives my biz partner and I offered in the eighties. And he occasionally helped me out with some childcare. Katie liked him and was glad when he would pick her up from her great AfterCare program at the YWCA. then he'd either take her to his house, which was a cornucopia of delights for any child of any age or else take her to our house. And he would buy her sme frozen yogurt at the corner of Lake and Hennepin.

I remember so well how good it felt knowiong my little girl was in such sweet, loving hands.

And Craig, the friend I am writng about, hit it off with my mom. Not many hit it off with my challenging mom although my mom regularly said that as an artist, she felt she had much in common with 'the gays'. My baby bro is gay and mom lived with him and his partner for many years and she often voiced that lunkheaded line about how, as an artist, she had a special connection to gays. My bro and his long-gone, longtime life partner (he's dead but they broke up before he died. . . ). Craig was in the Minneapolis Gay Men's Chorus. He invited my mom to come see his Christmas show and she made a special trip to Minneapolis to see that show. She visited us regularly and Katie and I were not her only kin in the area. My mom's parents grew up in Minnesota and mom (and me, I guess) till have lots of blood kin in MN. In the early days of mom's clan, there was no birth control and always big families. Thirteen kids. Nine kids. And then they all had kids so the list of relatives neverending.

But that one time mom came to see Craig. When I ased her why she made a special trip just for one gay men's chorus show, she repeted her grating line about as an artist, she had much in common with 'the gays' but she also said, and no one who knew him, or knows him, would ever deny this, Craig is a sweet peach.

So his mom must be a super sweet lady if she raised such a sweetie.

I wonder if my Ktie remembers Craig. I also wonder if she has any appreciationo for the intereting parade of humans we shared our lives with. No suburban vanilla for me. I think she longed for upscale, suburban vanilla but, geez, how many people does she know ever had a deformed dwarf named Cheryl as her babysitter? And does it ever cross her mind that by exposing her to the wide range of humans that I did that I was opening her world in ways few children get.

I love this Auden poem.  Maybe Katie will read it when she learns I have died. Although how would she learn of my death? No one in my life now even knows her name.  Everyone knows I have a daughter who shuns me named Katie but no one I know knows her last name. Why would they?

Sunday, October 30, 2016


I ducked out of my evening date early, the event I attended just didn't grab me. He was angry and wouldn't go out to eat. If I have any talent that amounts to being at agenius level, it is finding easily angered men. Or maybe men get more easily angry at fat women, like they are thinking "hey, you are fat so I can treat your shabbily".

Anyway, feeling bad and wanting to cheer myself up, I remembered that the movie "Moonlight", based on the play called "Black Boys Look Blue in the Moonlight", a picture that has been called full of poetic grace, is showing at the Embarcadero Center. It will turn up in Berkeley eventually. I hope. I hope. I hope.

I don't like to go to movies in SF and pay for BART when I live within a block of three multiplexes that tend to get all the movies eventually. But there I was, going home alone, which was not what I had anticipated, and feeling, um, incomplete. I so totally wanted to walk to the Embarcadero Center and see Moonlight. Well, I wrote that wrong. If I were a person in a Marc Chagall painting and I could have floated down market and then cut over to the Embarcadero Center, I really wanted to see the movie. I didn't know the show times. My knees creak all the time these days and I sincerely believe I'm going to end up getting a new left knee. I limp. I am in serious pain.

So if I had the magic ability to fly or the magic ability to stop my left knee from painfully creaking and if Moonlight was showing soon to the time I was on Market Street, I wanted to go. I had my iPad so I could have found free wifi, like at the Westfield Mall to see the film show times.

Then I got to a BART statirway. I couldn't see an elevator to BART. There are almost never any down escalators down to BART tations. My knees hate the tall stairwells required to get into the bowls of our underground transit system. I have to take the steps two feet on each step, like the old lady I am.  teps don't hurt. My pride is hurt, as people always rush by me. So far, no one has said anything unkind about my slow teps. And I usually use a BART elevator or escalator.

I was at some BART steps. Moonlight was still about four blocks away. I still didn't now when it started. And I knew I could be home and live it up with some lemon sparkling water and a green smoothie. So, because I really am a stiff old lady, I hobbled down those stairs, then hobbled to my building once I got to Berkeley. And I'm thinking about the smoothie.

The way smoothies happen for me if I have to think of all the ingredients for a little bit of time:  let me see, I have to think, is there kale? I like kale better than spinach in a raw smoothie. Do I have lemon? Check. Kelly gave me four of her abundant meyer lemons a day or two ago. Apple?  Check. I actually bought a frozen bag or organic apple slices -- in hindsight, a foolish choice, since it is apple season and pink ladies are tasty and these apples have no name. But they have convenience. Who needs convenience with an apple and a smoothi in a Vitamix?  I just cut the apple in half and toss it in. I just cut a lemon in half and toss it in. I toss in some fresh finger, rind and all. Cinnamon if I think of it.

I have done my thinking. Time to make, then drink, my greens.

I had kinda stopped doing raw green smoothies, because I was very sick for several months. Very very sick. But now I am back on coumadin and transitioning back on is hard. I had to eat a stable amount of greens daily and I don't eat stable mounts of greens. I just toss in whatever I feel like. Or, when braising spinach in garlic infused olive oil (yum!), I don't measure. I use a whole lot cause it cooks down.

But my coumadin test are all over the place and it isn't fair to my dear primary doc to take up her time.

A secret:  I love my primary care doc, in a perfectly platonic way. I left her for another primary doc last year and when I told her he actually said "We should get together for lunch." Aww. . . . shucks.

I left her because no one was monitoring my coumadin. and, bless my doctor, she doensn't know how to monitor couadin like Gwen did, the nurse practitioner who monitored my coumadin for years.

Isn't this a dull, run-on post? someone who loves me recently said even my most rambly, run-on messes always have something good in them. Cutting out everything but the good is the work of writing that I skip and why I don't submit.  I won't edit. It's boring. The fire of first draft is awesome sauce. Editing is boring.

Anyway. If Moonlight doe not turn up in Berkeley by this coming Friday, I'll make a date with a friend in SF and see it at the Embarcadero Center and pop for the BART costs.

SF is every bit as charming and beautiful as everyone thinks but I don't hang out, don't get to savor the city, explore its endlessly fascinating neighborhoods. I need a boyfriend. For SF adventure. And please, goddess, let him have a car so we can take impulsive drives in the country and go camping with ease.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

you carry me with you

"You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage."
-Anais Nin

This reminds me of the great e.e.cummings poem "I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart". Or something like that.

Friday, October 21, 2016

medicine for melancholy

Medicine for Melancholy is the name of the first picture directed by Barry Jenkins, director of a new, very interesting-sounding movie, Moonlight. Jenkins is a black man and he tells stories of blacks. Medicine for Melancholy is on Netflix streaming, set in SF. I recommend it.

Moonlight is based on a play called something like "Black Boys Look Blue in the Moonlight". It got a majorly enthusiastic review in the NYTimes. I can't wait until it opens in Berkeley, which it surely will soon.

In the NYTimes, the director talks about his frustration that it took eight years to put out a second film.  I guess his genius needed some incubation.

His first film, Melancholy, was interesting, especially since it is set in SF eight years ago, when the rising housing crisis had already purged so many blacks out of SF and the male character in the movie really cares about this purging. The female is a harder read. For me.

I don't see the medicine in Mr. Jenkins first picture but I am eager, eager eager to see Moonlight, said to be poetic, lyrical, visceral and tough. Like life?