Three Persons by Vijay Seshadri

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jeff Kauffman
Recently, Vijay Seshadri's poetry collection 3 Sections quietly claimed the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  I caught a sneak peek of the collection on NPR and the book is now impatiently tapping its foot, waiting in my To Be Read queue.  Here's a sampling of Seshadri's other work and perhaps it will pique your interest as well.

Three Persons by Vijay Seshadri

That slow person you left behind when, finally,
you mastered the world, and scaled the heights you now command,
where is he while you
walk around the shaved lawn in your plus fours,
organizing with an electric clipboard
your big push to tomorrow?
Oh, I’ve come across him, yes I have, more than once,
coaxing his battered grocery cart down the freeway meridian.
Others see in you sundry mythic types distinguished
not just in themselves but by the stories
we put them in, with beginnings, ends, surprises:
the baby Oedipus on the hillside with his broken feet
or the dog whose barking saves the grandmother
flailing in the millpond beyond the weir,
dragged down by her woolen skirt.
He doesn’t see you as a story, though.
He feels you as his atmosphere. When your sun shines,
he chortles. When your barometric pressure drops
and the thunderheads gather,
he huddles under the overpass and writes me long letters with
the stubby little pencils he steals from the public library.
He asks me to look out for you.

It's not your fault

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vikram Kushwah
"It's not your fault that someone is falling in love, while you're falling asleep" I was admonished, the other day.

But how does not one feel anything except for accountable for the emotions of others that we inadvertently cause, regardless of how drowsy we feel at the time?  The things one says before sleep should never be held up to the broad, bold examination of sunlight but kept in the haze-like state that it was muttered in, a peek of the truth filtering through the mists of dream but still shrouded.  The mystery, the romanticism is all lost under the unflinching gaze of day.  Or perhaps in our dreams, we should be apologizing for the pain that we will already begin to inflict.  Perhaps we already do, in black and white.

And oh that feeling of falling... asleep or in love, one and the same practically.  To me, it feels like I am most likely to fall in love right before falling asleep, in that very moment of helpless surrender right before one tumbles off into sleep.  Witless and wholeheartedly is how we should tumble into both of those states.  That we should sleep perchance to dream, of true, non-fairy tale love.  Of real people.  Of those who understand that a way to a woman's heart isn't through the pocketbook or poor spelling and grammatical errors.  How to woo me?  Just let me sleep.

Recent Reads: March 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"I get by with a little help from my friends" should be the lyrics of March's recent reads theme song.  Thanks to blogging friends as well as friends IRL, I've spent the last two months eating books.  TV, you no longer have any hold over me.

I've already expounded ad nauseam on the genius that is Raymond Carver this month but it's also worth sharing the gold mines that Chuck introduced me to with recommendations of Etgar Keret and Patrick Ness.  If you're familiar with the Selected Shorts podcast, chances are you've already heard some of Etgar Keret's short stories before.  Each one is a little quirkier than the last and highly entertaining - he writes them as I would love to be able to do so myself.  Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy falls into the YA dystopian category but really isn't anything like The Hunger Games.  It's brutally fast paced, honest, and entertaining enough that I've finished off the trilogy already.

I've written about Lisey's Story and Get Jiro here on Amy's book blog so feel free to pop on over there to read about those but I think hands down, my favourite book of March would have to be The Snow Child.  Simply speaking, it's lyrical and beautiful.  I put the book down half a dozen times because I expected it to be snowing outside.  If Alaska is anything like what Eowyn Ivey (you've got to love that name) makes it out to be, move me there in a heartbeat.  The book is about family and living and the very elementary happiness and heartache that they bring us.  Pick it up, read it, regift it, you won't regret it.

Others that I recommend from this month include: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (which I swallowed whole in one evening) and Jar of Fools.

When Ryon Met Siri and Three Month Checkpoint

Monday, April 14, 2014

Siri & Ryon
One couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, picturesque, sunny spring day for the introduction of two of my very favourites to each other.  If y'all remember, I got Ryon right before Siri moved to Portland and in her rush to pack and ship everything, as well as set up the new role, Siri never got a chance to meet the big fur ball before she moved.  Since she was in town for a day, I couldn't let this opportunity pass so we trekked over to the barn last Friday afternoon, much to the chagrin of my mom.  Guys, it was love at first sight.  My sister and I used to ride together, as wee ones, and she doesn't have the timidity or apprehension that most people have toward these large nosy animals.  I also trust Ryon a bit more to behave himself and he was nothing but affectionate toward my little sister.

Me & Ryon telling secrets
Today is also the three month anniversary of Ryon's arrival and the boy is getting cheekier and bolder every day.  But don't worry, that doesn't mean he hasn't outgrown his fear of birds.  It's exasperating and hilarious all at the same time.  His summer coat is fully in now and he gleams and shines, like a penny.  I've already received one offer to buy him (clearly they haven't seen him around birds).  Sadly, his thick tail is starting to thin out and look rather raggedy, so I'm looking at getting some natural oils to prevent breakage.  Yes, I said it, I'm going to condition my horse's mane and tail.  Don't worry, I'm shaking my head at myself as well.  He's had several visitors come see him during his third month and he's starting to look forward to these visits as he gets endless amounts of attention and treats.  The hot summer months are heading straight for us so I'll be interested to see if he still gets as frisky when it's 2,000 degrees outside.  Stay tuned folks!

Not enough

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This weekend was really not enough, even with the extra day I took off of work.  Not long enough, not enough time with my sister, not enough time to enjoy the brilliant spring weather that we've finally been walloped with.  Not enough sunny hours spent on the patio, sipping on Pimm's cups, and not enough time catching up with friends either.  Definitely not enough time spent looking for and test driving cars.

The house I'm featuring this week is also something I cannot get enough of.  I might even risk saying that this is the first house that I've found in Dallas that I would actually consider buying.  Sure, Dallas and Texas weather doesn't particularly lend itself to indoor/outdoor living, what with the West Nile scare we've had for the past few years, but how beautiful and light are these spaces?  The trees look like they provide plenty of cover and somewhat contain the privacy of the home's inhabitants while filtering in the sunlight during the day.  At night, lit up, this house looks like a jewel box.   I'll bet this is one great party home.  The only change I would make?  Putting a pool in the backyard.  Then it's just perfect in time for summer.

Weekend do-over

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Valerie Anne Kelly
Oh, how I've missed her, my little sister... is the tune I'm whistling these days.  But some good news finally (no, not about my car.  Nothing on that yet), Siri is in town for a day, en route to a college classmate's wedding this weekend.  So one glorious day catching up, laughing at old jokes, and finally introducing Ryon to her.  I'm certain my mom is going to make sure that her one day home leaves her feeling full for weeks.  It's strange to think that I haven't seen her since January, which doesn't sound that long ago but feels like eons ago.  A part of my heart lives in Portland and I'm glad to have it back, if only for a little while.

I'll be kicking my weekend off early tomorrow night and thank goodness for that because I've got plans.  Tons of baking, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and reading to do to make up for the funk of last weekend.  I feel like this year is turning a corner, no?  The weather is warming up, the birds are chirping, and 2014 is going to be all about good juju from here on out, right?  Come on, who's with me now?

The Iceberg Theory by Gerald Locklin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nomad Slim
Because it's okay to like something because you just plain old enjoy it... and bollocks on what everyone else thinks.

The Iceberg Theory by Gerland Locklin

all the food critics hate iceberg lettuce.
you'd think romaine was descended from
orpheus's laurel wreath,
you'd think raw spinach had all the nutritional
benefits attributed to it by popeye,
not to mention aesthetic subtleties worthy of
veriaine and debussy.
they'll even salivate over chopped red cabbage
just to disparage poor old mr. iceberg lettuce.

I guess the problem is
it's just too common for them.
It doesn't matter that it tastes good,
has a satisfying crunchy texture,
holds its freshness
and has crevices for the dressing,
whereas the darker, leafier varieties
are often bitter, gritty, and flat.
It just isn't different enough and
it's too goddamn american.

of course a critic has to criticize;
a critic has to have something to say
perhaps that's why literary critics
purport to find interesting
so much contemporary poetry
that just bores the shit out of me.

at any rate, I really enjoy a salad
with plenty of chunky iceberg lettuce,
the more the merrier,
drenched in an Italian or roquefort dressing.
and the poems I enjoy are those I don't have
to pretend that I'm enjoying.

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