Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On not giving up (Pt. 5)

[[Very touched by this story recently about the poet Virginia Hamilton Adair, who was born in New York City in 1913. Must confess I haven’t read her poems, but her book Ants on the Melon is on my Amazon wishlist. Nice interview with her on Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour here]]

Her father was an insurance salesman and an amateur poet. She grew up loving poetry, and she published many poems in magazines as a young woman. But after she got married, she stopped trying to publish. She said, “Publishing takes a sort of canniness that I didn't really think went with poetry. I was afraid of writing to please somebody else instead of myself.”

So she went on writing poems, without publishing them, for almost 50 years. It wasn't until after her children were grown, her husband had died, and she had lost her eyesight that she published a book of her work. They went through thousands of the poems she had written to find 87 for her book Ants on the Melon, which came out in 1996. She was 83 years old. She went on to publish two more books: Beliefs and Blasphemies (1998) and Living on Fire (2000).

When asked where she got her inspiration, she said, “A cup of coffee. Always black, always strong, and always just one. It takes the cork out of the bottle.”

Friday, April 25, 2008

Indiana Edition.

This was one of the first successful collages I made in New Harmony (meaning that it was the first one that I was actually happy with). On the back of an old textbook...I think I’ll keep it for myself.

Back to doing collages with satisfying regularity.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ominous warnings.

“Are you sure you want to delete the 10,926 photos permanently? You cannot undo this action.”

Know that I have all of the photos on my laptop backed up, most of them several times, but still pretty scary to empty this special load of “trash.” Talk about your bad “what if” scenarios...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Moondog and JFK.

[[“Moondog” by Susan Donnelly, from Transit. © Iris Press, 2001. this struck me from Writer’s Almanac...from a time when 7-foot blind viking stockbrokers and respected presidents roamed the earth. Have always been really curious about this Moondog character. Have liked this album cover for a long time.]]


He just stood there,
at the corner of 43rd Street
and Sixth Avenue,
nearly seven feet tall,
dressed as a Viking.
Everyone, it seemed,
in New York in the ’60s
knew Moondog. They said
he’d been a stockbroker,
from a rich family.
They said he was blind.

I was writing a novel that year,
but didn’t know how,
and falling in love,
and everything moved so fast,
but the Viking was motionless.
I know he wrote songs,
but I never heard any.
He just stared outward.
I’d wake up, write myself dizzy,
then go walking, fast,
through the streets.

One day, a stranger
stopped me: JFK had been shot!
This was in midtown. The bells
of St. Patrick’s began tolling
and I joined all the others
going up the cathedral steps.
I’d seen the President
just last month — young,
glinting like silver,
in a limousine going up Madison
to the Hotel Carlyle.
He waved to all of us
and we waved back, cheering…

Or are these tears
for the broken love,
the unreadable novel?
Anyway, the years.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Barney Googlin’.

[[Haven’t Googled my own name for fun in quite a while... Besides the expected design and collage links, and stuff about the Norman Conquest, I found another Griffin Norman—an accountant— in Chicago (I’m thinking about calling him). Apparently there’s a hot young college basketball player named Blake Griffin, who got way more than his share of Google hits in my search. I stopped looking after about 65’s addictive!]]

Apr 6, 2008 ... 10 a.m. April 19 (registration required); graphic design tour of downtown led by Griffin Norman and Dan Brawner, 11 a.m. May 10; ...

After the Norman conquest of Sicily, the new rulers showcased their ambitions ... Look also for the lion and the griffin, symbols of the Norman kingdom. ...

Griffin Norman & Judith Grobe Phil & Annie Grubich Marion Guyton Germar, Inc., DBA Evans-Gzesh & Co ... Preferred Professionals - Dean's Team ...

That picture was taken in a park near my house, by our friend Griffin Norman. 1:09 PM. Anonymous tuckky said... I bought it !!! lalala~~ ...

Norman Griffin AKA Louie AKA Big Al AKA Five Star Shippers AKA Franklin Ripped me off $3000 for secretarial work done. Wrote me a hot check for services.

Feb 15, 2008 ... Today we took Griffin to Langport with Norman, a male Rottweiler. Griffin had a great time, he really enjoyed himself. ...

Joel Siegel, Ingmar Bergman, Merv Griffin, Norman Mailer, Leona Helmsley, Sean Taylor, Evil Knievel, Ike Turner, Marcel Marceau, and Benazir Bhutto.) ...

Our 800-page catalog features "The Adventures Of Bullwhip Griffin" and other hard-to-find titles ... Category: Family / Live-Action Director: Norman Tokar ...

One problem with Griffin is his inactivity. This will be only his second bout in two years. In his last fight he comfortably outpointed the southpaw Norman ...

Mar 24, 2008 ... Ah, but will Capel be in Norman for that conversation? Or will Griffin have to make it a teleconference, phoning his coach in Columbia, ...

The Cambro-Norman Invasion of Ireland summarizes the events, circumstances and people ... Griffin nephew of Fitz-Stephen Raulfe Fitz-Stephen Walter de Barry ...

ride was graphic artist and photographer Griffin Norman who shot snaps while we talked.] We’re. going to make it brief, because you guys got sound check and ...

Griffin is hot, tearing through his set with Norman Simmons at the piano and the underrated trumpeter Dave Burns. Favorites include "Good Bait" and ...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Democracy to the fish.

[[We Bring Democracy To The Fish by Donald Hall, from White Apples and the Taste of Stone. (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007).

It is unacceptable that fish prey on each other.
For their comfort and safety, we will liberate them
into fishfarms with secure, durable boundaries
that exclude predators. Our care will provide
for their liberty, health, happiness, and nutrition.
Of course all creatures need to feel useful.
At maturity the fish will discover their purposes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April Foolery for the Typophile.

The news media have been responsible for some of the greatest April Fools’ Day pranks in history. In 1977, the London newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page supplement commemorating the anniversary of the independence of San Serriffe, a completely imaginary small island nation located in the Indian Ocean. The article described the geography of the nation — it consisted of two main islands, which together formed the shape of a semi-colon; the northern one was called “Upper Caisse” and the southern one, “Lower Caisse.”

The island's natives were of “Flong” ethnicity, but there were also the descendents of Europeans settlers who had colonized the nation: “colons.” The two groups had intermarried over the years; their offspring were “semi-colons.”

The capital of the nation was Bodoni and the national bird, the “Kwote.”

[[The Guardian apparently received hundreds of letters wanting to know more about this fantastic place, some of the letters were from travel agents]]