Tuesday, December 29, 2009

(Check Out) These Things

Things I recommend checking out:

"The List" -- Rosanne Cash's renditions of some on the list of 100 essential country songs, given to her by her father, Johnny Cash
From her website:
"When I was 18, I was on the road with my dad. One day, we were sitting in the tour bus, talking about songs, and he mentioned a song, and I said, "I don’t know that one." He mentioned another one, and I said, "I don’t know that one, either." Then he started to get alarmed, so he spent the rest of the day making a list on a legal pad, and at the top he put "100 Essential Country Songs." And he handed it to me and he said, "This is your education."

And check out these books, that I'm taking back to the library today after voracious winter reading:
Barbara Kingsolver's new book, "The Lacuna";
"A Gate at the Stairs" by Lorrie Moore (what beautiful writing!)

And new to the pile of books read but to be revisited to mine the passages I marked while I read them:
"The History of Love" by Nicole Kraus
More about that later, as it was not only the structure of the book but so many passages that I want to look at again ...

Things I want to check out:
The new biography of Raymond Carver, and Stephen King's review of it in the NY Times Book Review

Monday, December 28, 2009

Afternoon visit to the beach

Northern Ocean

White January froth
winter rhythm
midday light burns clear
and blue and sharp
until sudden twilight gray
hours before dark

The sand frozen in ruts,
winter peaks
in the dune where I set
your funeral flowers
long ago

Stripes of twilight colors
blew life into the sky, briefly,
like lips directing the flow of air
to one burning ember
when I walked in the hilly graveyard
yesterday afternoon

So many there dead
at 50, 60, 61 --
ages suddenly a part of me.

This is your life:
The wind soughing through cedars
grizzled and tempered,
green-gray and twigs.
The line of foam,
flat surface and breaking waves,
blood and tears seeped into the ground
hoping for joy to emerge

Greeting Christmas
in Paris and

Spring rain in the railyard, Centralia, Washington