Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Analect 2.787x




27 September 2010. Another hot one.

Workmen across the way--their brown faces, brown arms--setting to some concrete work. While inside, Carolina, a wandering Italian with sweet eyes, pens a letter to her rental tenant. Spoons and chairs--contract details...

Yesterday: The Normandy, Oceanside, years ago. Fish tank in the lobby, stocked with piranhas, feeding on proffered bits of raw beef. Tremont Street, the train tracks. King's Men...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Analect 2.786x



24 September 2010. Big morning, Dr. Ho. Don't ask... Let's just say they drilled...

A quick hello to Jay Sordean following--with Diana at her desk, in the burrow. Smells of incense and herbs, small rattan matts tucked over back of file cabinet, blue curtains, hand sewn, draped across shelves at back of narrow room. An appealing clutter... Choir...

Earlier in the morning--revisiting Walters--the counter and register, with my father standing alongside. Varnished plywood tables with distinct piles of folded shirts--the white paper size tabs stapled on at lower left. S/M/LG. Behind, racks of jackets, also set in varnished wood, and a silk-screened banner, Lay Away--$5 a Pay Day.

A pay day--yes, that's the idea. Marine Corps salaries in a sometimes desolate beach town--Oceanside. Well, no, desolate isn't the word. More a sense of anomie. The gray beach light, heading down Third Street to the pier--clean swells, gray-green ocean beyond...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Analect 2.785x



23 September 2010. Sun-filled autumn morning. Standing in the succah, under a cover of palm fronds--white cloth on small table with scatter of rye and caraway seeds from the evening before. Full moon rising through heavy branches of the mimosa--a golden friend...

Later--a line from Derek Walcott, in Tiepolo's Hound. The sharing of something so personal amongst the very many...

As with Leadbelly--Caddo Lake, far northwest corner of Louisiana. Then Sugarland, Angola. A life of song...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Analect 2.784x



22 September 2010. James Wright, in the aftermath of a difficult evening. Anger in the air--at the raw blindness of violence--or simply frustration--at the great patience demanded when you take on something unknown. To put down a line, or a patch of color, following its life to conclusion--or to a new beginning. These kinds of things.

Hope...

* * *



James Wright

AUTUMN BEGINS IN MARTINS FERRY, OHIO

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Analect 2.783x



21 September 2010. Anna Jacoba--an old Hollandse seafarers' song--on the rowdy side, especially as recorded by Pekel, the Rotterdam group with boisterous voices, set to the clanking of mugs and glasses...

But who was Anna Jacoba? A quiet Dutch girl from a garden in de Haag. White collar with a bit of lace set against her gray dress. Wide-brimmed summer hat, discrete with flowers, the black ribbon tied under her chin....

Silk Road...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Analect 2.782x



20 September 2010. Voice of Scrapper Blackwell, on a scratchy disk, sometime long ago. Launching into each new phrase, that particular slide up, slide in, slide out, with a smooth return...

Guitar balanced effortlessly, oriented...

Last night: Napoleon on the banks of the Neman, looking east. Prince Andrei's last visit to Lysiye Gory. Princess Marya's parting words...

To forgive...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Analect 2.781x



17 September 2010. Gray morning...many songs...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Analect 2.780x



16 September 2010. Sun, on an early autumn day...

Voice of an Irish flute, begun slowly, notes elided, lyrical and plaintive, building into the rhythm of a dance--her foot tapping the wooden step, evening dark, playing to gathered friends, family from afar--the father, Adolfo, with his beautifully formal and somehow delicate words--"mi hijo..." and the others in turn, speaking of Maradona, on a small tv at 4am, the boatyard, "I am a sailor," in borrowed coat, waves breaking over the bow... A life in the making--Zamba de Mi Esperanza...

Stories, poems, songs--in all their immediacy, to re-enliven a being...

"Do not forget him..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Analect 2.779x



14 September 2010. Chestolyubov'--the love of honor, Russian for ambition--a strange usage. But that would never describe our Pierre. Better Prince Andrei's words, "he has a good heart..."

Questions of forgiveness--Princess Marya, listening to the stories of the wanderers... Their lives of devotion. And Natasha, whose tears of grief become for a moment those of gratitude... Blagodarenie...

* * *

This morning, a living form emerging from the bushes at side of the house. Her sizeable gray presence--graceful back and narrow legs--Lydia's daughter--stopping now just in front of the house, on the street, ears up, nose twitching slightly--then moving on...

* * *

Pierre, in the very last words of of Book II, "...his softened and torn soul..."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Analect 2.778x



13 September 2010. "And they talked late into the night..."

Natasha Rostova, scene with Marya Bolkonskaya, their first encounter--and the sudden shuffling footsteps of her father, the old Prince--both unexpected and expected... His disdain for Natasha--and emphasis on the word God...

"Old and sick, but a good man...," Princess Marya's letter.

Anatol Kuragin, troika at the ready... "I will love you to the ends of the earth..."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Analect 2.777x



10 September 2010. The place of the church, or the church of place. Pala Asistencia, in the back country, as my mother used to say, San Diego. Mid-summer afternoon, hot, the dry grass of a small park, surrounded by eucalyptus and sycamore. Formerly--a single ruined bell tower, white plaster over river stone, or at least this is how you imagine it--the rough cast iron bells themselves, ringing out through the valley...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Analect 2.776x



9 September 2010. Gray clouds, sun pushing through.

A group of women in the doorway of a train, somewhere in Mexico, 100 years ago. To the day, perhaps. Their homemade dresses, algodón, shawls...

Films of Robert Bresson. A certain kind of quiet--no sound but for that in the scene itself. Footsteps on wooden stairs, creaking... A memory...

Just outside now--the Solano bus. Recorded announcement announces Solano. Whoosh of breaks, one figure emerging...

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Analect 2.775x



8 September 2010. And where that shy star? The one in the Babel story, that bit of Jewish biscuit... "a Jewish glass of tea, and a piece of that retired God in the glass of tea...?"

Blustery clouds, chill wind. All possibility...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Analect 2.774x



7 September 2010. Cat apparition, early fall. Clouds and cool wind...

Two German women alonside, writing something together at the computer. Their soft voices, sylibants, rising, falling... "Er kommen..."

Yesterday--a quiet afternoon, warm, the streets empty. Sikh driver with carefully wrapped turban, earpiece tucked in on the right. His smile from afar...

Friday, September 03, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Analect 2.772x



1 September 2010. Still morning, warm day...

La China Poblana. Catarina de San Juan--remembered and forgotten, remembered again. An East Indian girl, Mirra by name, carried off on a merchant ship from the Philippines to be the personal servant of the Viceroy of New Spain, Diego Carrillo de Mendoza y Pimentel--but kidnapped en route by Portuguese pirates, who took brought her to Cochin--where she managed to escape (this is getting elaborate!) taking refuge in Jesuit convent, and baptised Catarina de San Juan, only to be re-kidnapped--by the same pirates--taken to Manila, where another merchant finally delivered her to the Mexican port of Acapulco--not to the Viceroy, but selling her as a slave (for ten times the price) to Miguel de Sosa, a private citizen from the city of Puebla (hence "Poblana"). De Sosa died within a few years, but provided in his will for Mirra's manumission. At which time she again took refuge in a convent--and was said to have had elaborate visions of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus...

Venereated as a saint until the time of the Inquisition...

* * *

(The word china in Hispanic cultures is commonly used to refer to all persons of Asian descent... Mirra's practice of wrapping herself in a sari is said to have led to the china dress.)