Sunday, August 23, 2015


My life this last week has been: 

Travel trauma due to bus sickness.

Epic laptop crash resulting in loss of many things including Office, rendering all necessary documents unopenable.

Network connectivity issues.

I am not a fan of sitting in front of two laptops (this one and the old one my son is supposed to use) trying to figure out how to write and send off stuff that needs to get to people in good enough time.

Naturally, this means a bout of extreme bad temper. Kindly excuse while I get over it. 

(Wait. In nine years I have never needed a tag that said disasters? How?)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

The Sideways Door: August prompt, July response

Oh hello, blog.

The Sideways Door for August is now up. I kind of drag Dr. Seuss in there and I am not sorry at all.

Last month's response column went up ages ago and I don't know where my head was at, I seem to have forgotten to post links here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

the vampiric old south

I am fifty pages from the end of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman and - not being in the best of moods this month - I cannot bring myself to finish it. I read five pages or a section, want to fling the book across the room and then I just stop reading instead of whipping myself into a frenzy.

Yes, it's that bad.

Alternatively, I want to do a Vanessa Place-lite* and cherrypick the egregious bits and blog or tweet them, one hot mess at a time. I mean, there's an art project in there, right? One that will get me attention and a place on some important jury?

I may write about it but I doubt it. There's nothing others haven't said before and I don't really have anything to add except maybe notice in public that it's the money the book was always going to make that made this a "good" idea, in a year such as 2015 has been.

You should go listen to Prince's Baltimore instead as antidote.

Oh, also - I happened to turn the TV on and watched to the grim and bitter end the ridiculousness that is Joel Schumacher's A Time to Kill. I mean, it has a star cast but what are you going to do about the cliches, the white saviourness and the background score? Just how clueless are these guys?

I'm done ranting. I have a column to write and friends to meet and cats to feed. Oh yes, I must do a post about them. 


* I'm making the Gone with the Wind comparison deliberately, seeing as how much the grown-up Scout, or Jean Louise as she is now known, shares with the honourable Ashley Wilkes, going all Götterdämmerung on Maycomb county.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

two things

Two things I read this morning seemed just right for the moment, day, time.

1. From July's issue of Asymptote, Jose Eugenio Sanchez's poem 'czeslaw milosz gets off the train at fuengirola', these lines:

there was nothing on earth that I wanted
as if I existed only for the perishing of land and men

there is no witchcraft in my words
I speak silent as a cloud
or tree

2. Next, from Sheridan Hay's The Secret of Lost Things, very early on in the book (page 15-16 to be precise):

The orange, red and yellow heads worked against melancholy; their unopened leaves, like little green tongues, reproached me. I picked a few red ones, Mother's favourite colour, and put them on top of the box.

I knelt down to inspect a large, open leaf, almost a perfect circle. A silver drop of water balanced on its surface, shiny as a ball of mercury. Carefully, I picked the leaf and spun the bead of water inside its green world - a tiny ball of order, isolated and contained. Focusing on the drop relieved an increment of anguish, about the same size, near my heart.

"Help me," I prayed to the water drop. "I want Mother. I want it all back. I want my life." 
there was nothing on earth that I wanted
as if I existed only for the perishing of land and men

there is no witchcraft in my words
I speak silent as a cloud
or tree
- See more at:

José Eugenio Sánchez

José Eugenio Sánchez

czeslaw milosz gets off the train at fuengirola
- See more at:

José Eugenio Sánchez

czeslaw milosz gets off the train at fuengirola
- See more at:

José Eugenio Sánchez

czeslaw milosz gets off the train at fuengirola
- See more at:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Second Half

Now that the first two weeks of this month are done, I feel I can say this. July is so difficult. Every single day of the first half of it is somebody’s birthday or death or something significant. I remember everyone’s anniversary, sometimes two people sharing the same day. I have known these people almost all my life, or for a large enough portion of it to call them significant.

But I don’t call or talk to any of them. Well, if they’re dead, I can’t. It should make me want to talk to those who are left, to – oh, I don’t know – make some gesture that says we’re sharing the same world. I don’t. I remember all of them on their day and then I stay silent. My phone stays silent. It always does.

And it’s lonely. Because I remember them and their special days but I have nothing to say to them and the thought that is might be reciprocal is also a little frightening though I may not always/even now be able to admit it to myself.

And every day the evidence of how little time is left piles up. It paralyses me. That is a different thing than silence though I suspect I am only now learning to tell the difference.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Sideways Door July Prompt

I wrote this month's column and then realise I'd left out Serafini. So I had that put in. It's a strange time of the month and year. Naturally the prompt reflects that.

Here is is: All kinds of strangeness. Am looking forward to entries this month.

I also forgot to link to the June's response column, so that's here.

Friday, July 03, 2015


Whatever happened for the last eight hours, it was not sleep. It was an inventory. A low-grade counting off of processes.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

No title

I need to get through the next seven days.

(KM, look away now.)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scroll VI

My last column for Scroll on poetry was up some time last week. 

Here it is.

It's too beautiful outside to be online, so.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Sideways Door June Prompt

Better late than never - counting today, there's 10 days left.


Yes, I continue to be fascinated by borrowing, conversing and writing back.