7+4+5, or, Happy Purim.

matisse 10Yes, it’s snowing copiously in New York City.  Yes, it is March.  Yes, it is Purim, and I wore no costume, consumed no sugar cookies, did not play Purim BINGO (P, Haman’s horse; U, Grager).  Did I tell truth to power?  Nah.  Still, I had a great day.


Yesterday one of my students hosted this open mic at the school.  We have this Dream program there, and this was her Dream.  One of the security guards agreed to sing if he could stand behind a door with the speaker on the audience side.  He took the mic, he ducked behind the door, and sang, “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye.”

Today when I saw him, I said, “Oh, hey, MISTER MUSIC!”

And he laughed and he said, “You gotta do something.”

For the holiday:

Do you like videos with people in Biblical gear (bathrobes)?  I know you do.

Q: Is there a lot of snow in Persia?

A: Don’t be obnoxious, it’s a great video.

17 Coincidentally Is My Favorite Number

matisse 10

Today someone said to me, “We just need one more big snow to get to a real catharsis, to really hit rock bottom,” and I did not slap this person, which goes to show what self-restraint I can exhibit.

Something beautiful (a poem by cummings I once read to my university classmates and someone told me afterward, “When you finished, I felt like we should bow our heads and say Amen,” one of my favorite compliments ever):

a clown’s smirk in the skull of a baboon

a clown’s smirk in the skull of a baboon
(where once good lips stalked or eyes firmly stir
my mirror gives me on this afternoon;
i am a shape that can but eat and turd
ere with the dirt death shall him vastly gird
a coward waiting clumsily to cease
whom every perfect thing meanwhile doth miss;
a hand’s impression in an empty glove
a soon forgotten tune a house for lease.
I have never loved you dear as now i love

behold this fool who in the month of June
having certain stars and planets heard
rose very slowly in a tight balloon
until the smallening world became absurd;
him did an archer spy(whose aim had erred
never)and by that little trick or this
he shot the aeronaut down into the abyss
-and wonderfully i fell through the green groove
of twilight striking into many a piece.
I have never loved you dear as now i love

god’s terrible face brighter than a spoon
collects the image of one fatal word;
so that my life(which liked the sun and the moon)
resembles something that has not occurred:
i am a birdcage without any bird
a collar looking for a dog a kiss
without lips;a prayer lacking any knees
but something beats within my shirt to prove
he is undead who living noone is.
I have never loved you dear as now i love.

Hell(by most humble me which shall increase)
open thy fire!for i have had some bliss
of one small lady upon earth above;
to whom i cry remembering her face
i have never loved you dear as now i love

19 Days, That’s What I Said

matisse 10Hello from the Atlanta airport.  My flight has been delayed two and one half hours.

We are still going to be all right.

I paid a nice lady to massage my shoulders.

I got a latte.  I am pretending I am “having coffee,” sacred ritual of coffee and reading and writing.  They have a stool for me here, so it’s easier for me to use my imagination .


The third in our Bert & Ernie triad, “Maybe you were using your imagination”:

Vingt Jours

matisse 10Funerals done (we did two in two locations), I am hoping March is kinder to me than February was.

I always hate February, this February challenged me in unusual ways.  More intensely bad, also more intensely sweet.

You think I like intensity, I do, still, it was a lot for even me.  Flying across half the country tomorrow.  Again.

Something beautiful:

The quality of mercy is not strained;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

‘T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown:

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway;

It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice.

Merchant of Venice, your man Shakespeare, of course.