Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dicky B holding court

The Montana Gang at Tom McGuane’s Deep Creek, Montana ranch, 1973. (L to R) an unknown person, Jim Harrison, Richard Brautigan, Tom McGuane, Bill Roecker, Becky McGuane, and Dink Bruce

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Today's haul + Thrasher


They were hiding behind hay bales,
They were planting
in the full moon
They had given all they had
for something new
But the light of day was on them,
They could see the thrashers coming
And the water
shone like diamonds in the dew.

And I was just getting up,
hit the road before it's light
Trying to catch an hour on the sun
When I saw
those thrashers rolling by,
Looking more than two lanes wide
I was feelin'
like my day had just begun.

Where the eagle glides ascending
There's an ancient river bending
Down the timeless gorge of changes
Where sleeplessness awaits
I searched out my companions,
Who were lost in crystal canyons
When the aimless blade of science
Slashed the pearly gates.

It was then I knew I'd had enough,
Burned my credit card for fuel
Headed out to where the pavement
turns to sand
With a one-way ticket
to the land of truth
And my suitcase in my hand
How I lost my friends
I still don't understand.

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks
and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road
without that load
Brings back the time
when I was eight or nine
I was watchin' my mama's T.V.,
It was that great
Grand Canyon rescue episode.

Where the vulture glides descending
On an asphalt highway bending
Thru libraries and museums,
galaxies and stars
Down the windy halls of friendship
To the rose clipped by the bullwhip
The motel of lost companions
Waits with heated pool and bar.

But me I'm not stopping there,
Got my own row left to hoe
Just another line
in the field of time
When the thrasher comes,
I'll be stuck in the sun
Like the dinosaurs in shrines
But I'll know the time has come
To give what's mine.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Joni Mitchell quote

"I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it's from outer space, but my health's the best it's been in a while, Two nights ago, I went out for the first time since Dec. 23: I don't look so bad under incandescent light, but I look scary under daylight. Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral. Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer – a terrorist disease: it will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year. But I have a tremendous will to live: I've been through another pandemic – I'm a polio survivor, so I know how conservative the medical body can be. In America, the Morgellons is always diagnosed as "delusion of parasites," and they send you to a psychiatrist. I'm actually trying to get out of the music business to battle for Morgellons sufferers to receive the credibility that's owed to them." --

I didn't bother to find where this quote came from, but it is from 2010 and barry sent it to me when I told him that i think Court and spark and Hissing of Summer Lawns are simply the best.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

James Tate Poem

Man with Wooden Leg
Escapes Prison

Man with wooden leg escapes prison. He's caught.
They take his wooden leg away from him. Each day
he must cross a large hill and swim a wide river
to get to the field where he must work all day on
one leg. This goes on for a year. At the Christmas
Party they give him back his leg. Now he doesn't
want it. His escape is all planned. It requires
only one leg.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

from Le HUman Stain

"Eat that raccoon no matter what." 
- Nathan Zuckerman on the m.o. of a crow

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dining Alone in Exquisite Sadness On My 43rd Birthday

King, Queen, Knave

He does not like dancing. He does not understand how fashionable it is nowadays. Fashionable and indispensable

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets

My poetry teacher just compared me to T.S. Eliot!

Something for tomorrow

Tomorrow I get me some food stamps moneys I'm gonna use it to buy some good honey.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Wedding-Wind by Phillip Larkin

The wind blew all my wedding-day,
And my wedding-night was the night of the high wind;
And a stable door was banging, again and again,
That he must go and shut it, leaving me
Stupid in candlelight, hearing rain,
Seeing my face in the twisted candlestick,
Yet seeing nothing.

- a true story (it was the nearest book)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015

Sunday afternoon on the outskirts of Milledgeville

Nipped down to yoga at 5:15pm for the 5:30 class, it was closed, Labor Day and whatnot, I was hurt, so I rode my bike out to the old hospital, past the state prison and all the fences wrapped in razor wire, voluntarily did my time, got back on my bike and found this eerily beautiful cemetery watched by a giant red hawk inside a sun-dappled forest and then I followed a gravel road up a hill to a statue of a beautiful winged goddess with her arms raised to the sky. I was listening to The Clientele.

Earlier I had left my office on campus, startling a hawk with a dove in its talons. The hawk flew, but dropped the dove at to the edge of the arts and sciences building. I advanced a little but felt too bold, too annoying. Also I was scared. The hawk flew on. Two prominent hawks in one day is impressive, but the birds of prey are lively in the South.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Every semester it’s the same thing

Found this from last August — still fresh/pertinent. 
"back in Jowrr-djja, that’s Georgia for the folks who ain’t froom rown deez pahts. Somehow sucked the minutes from the hours of the day as if it were the juice from a ripened peach. Now I’m going to bed, having planned so dismally for a class I teach in exactly one week and a day three days"

Thursday, August 06, 2015


B: Rather enjoying these idle thoughts I'm having.

D: Teehee. Glad to hear it. Whatcha got on your mind turkeydog?

B: In consequential. That's the beauty of it!

D: Ah, a true dandy to the end!

Gallatin Canyon

Tom McGuane writes about me in 2003, or who I will be in twelve years, but from a female perspective, in his story Gallatin Canyon:

She had been married, briefly, long ago, and that fact, together with the relatively peaceful intervening years, gave a pleasant detachment to most of her relationships.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A blast in Boise

Nice. I see quail hanging on Mitch's fenceline. I have had his attic space for a month. We went away for a few days at the outset. Hour from the place Hemingway spattered his brains out. It was rather nice. Spent a few good mornings on the deck. The deck was next to an active river. Very meditative.

Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever — Herman Melville

stanley river
Casually, I handed my Bartleby card to a local eccentric, who despite nursing a Hornitos and grapefruit seemed a little wobbly. She texted me this message :
In the bar in Stanley.
  Again. I hope your travels were safe.
Let me know when you come back to
dog town.

Early on I forgot where I actually lived, an episode prompted by me finding gum stuck to my t-shirt. After a spell of anxiety I remembered Milledgeville. Complicating my disorientation was me wondering whether I had a cat or not (I believe this is due to the fact that the last time I had found gum stuck to my shirt I was in Flagstaff and I lived with a cat). More frightening is that I was not drunk nor hungover. I live in Milledgeville and am visiting Idaho. The rivers here are amazing. There is a fly on my foot and there are red-winged blackbirds about. Love those birds. I saw Built to Spill. Local boys done good. Went by myself. Met an interesting artist who bought me a Glen Livet. They drink scotch in the northwest unencumbered by political association. Whereas scotch drinkers down south are unabashedly Republicans and I feel very lowly about those tramps and what used to be my drink of choice.

Had all kinds of fun rafting the Payette. Bought a trucker hat I was so tickled by the tone of our tour guides. I expected frat-boy sarcasm, and there was some (Shane you are wittier than you look) but overall genuine people. No one got dumped in the water sadly. Worst mishap was me slipping down some steps back at HQ after three beers and thought I busted my back. Bruised my arm solidly and nearly cried from the extremity of the impact.

Bit hot for a bike ride today. One-hundred plus. Took me an hour and a half or so to the bookshop downtown, dodging quail, observing red-winged blackbirds. Witnessed an obese whistlepig dash inside a drainpipe, not really sure how. It was probably ninety-something when I sat outside the shop and ate a ham sandwich. Sandwich was warm, but good, though squashed from a 28 ounce Gatorade I purchased on the way. Watched people pass by. Noticed a Boisean propensity for bald men with long beards and short legs covered in tattoos. They were heading into the smokeshop next to my bookseller. Finished my sandwich and texted Mitch. Told him to meet me at the Neurolux — grungy bar where I saw Built to Spill. He said no. Later I asked him why. He said ‘I was busy.’ I told him that I would have liked to put my bike in the back of his truck. He said, “I know that is why I said I was busy.”

James Salter — dead at 90. I have only read Sport and a Pastime, his racy French novel but I can bet his sex life at 89 was better than mine at my sport and a pastime peak! Suppose I should have looked for one of his books. Picked up a posthumous Lowry collection that spends a lot of time at sea, mildly appropriate given the abundance of water in Boise.

Presently reading Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children. A very good book by a Sydney genius. Reads like Nancy Mitford on steroids.

downtown the night of Built to Spill
I did get sick here. About a week in, suddenly my head expanded and I went horizontal for 72 hours. The variance between the air conditioning and the temperature outside is like Greenland to the Sahara. The recycled air pumping from his air conditioner is ravaging my sinuses, but he’s a glandular fellow and presumably likes igloos. I could go outside, but it has become too unpleasant at this hour. 

Yesterday Papa M and Ayla went to buy a sprinkler for the backyard. Kellen stayed back with me because he captured a grasshopper and wanted to watch its movements closely. I gave him some purple lettuce to feed the little guy he named Hops and lil’ Hops took to it immediately. Kellen couldn’t believe the perfect crescent the grasshopper made in the leaf with its mandible. At one point, he inquired about his dad and and his sister: “I wonder what they are talking about right now.” Then, moments later… “I wonder if Ayla is buckled?” The kids are funny.

Getting along well. Earlier at the supermarket, in the backseat of the car waiting for papa, who was inside getting a few things to take to the park, Kellen plays Frosty the Snowman on his phone and it is ninety-five degrees outside and his sister does not not fly into a rage.

I’d say Mitch and I are getting along smashingly, but I could be dreadfully wrong and I will tell you why: he claims I ate his cheese, but why, when I have my own? He said because you didn’t put it back in the Ziplock bag where it belongs. Well he is right about me eating some of it. We don’t get Tillamook cheddar in Georgia and just a little taste means so much to me, but when I took it from the fridge it was not in the Ziplock bag he claims it was. Either way I lose. 

Two more days and then we are off to Portland for more merriment. Been taking it easy here and there, occasionally losing my balance late at night. Once I sat on the console that recharges Mitch’s microphones. The battery connection was lost until a few days later Mitch was able to bend the console back in shape.

Discovered a local gin I really like. It is from Idaho and here is a picture of it with this vermouth I have never seen before that I also like very much.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


"here goes for a cool, collected dive at death and destruction, and the devil fetch the hindmost." — Moby Dick

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Swimming Song

My good friend Sarah sent me this good quote from William Stafford's Writing the Australian Crawl and it made me think of Loudin Wainwright's Swimming Song.

“…writing itself is one of the great, free human activities. There is scope for individuality, and elation, and discovery, in writing. For the person who follows with trust and forgiveness what occurs to him, the world remains always ready and deep, an inexhaustible environment, with the combined vividness of an actuality and flexibility of a dream. Working back and forth between experience and thought, writers have more than space and time can offer. They have the whole unexplored realm of human vision” (20).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


"He was born in Portland, oregon. He then went to prison for taking pictures of a basketball court. After escaping prison, he moved to Australia to change his name and identity. He then moved back to the U.S. becoming a farmer of peppers and onions, a lover of garlic. Even though he likes the open space of the Grand Canyon and farms, he likes the city life as well. Then, he moved to Milledgeville, to become a teacher."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Kafka's lover

He was a hermit, a man of insight who was frightened by life... He saw the world as being full of demons which assail and destroy defenseless man... All his works describe the terror of mysterious misconceptions and guiltless guilt in human beings.
- Milena Jesenka

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Metamorphosis

Nabokov’s note in his annotated copy:
“The soul has died with Gregor; the healthy young animal takes over. The parasites have fattened themselves on Gregor.” 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Au Hasard Balthazar

One of my students on Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (1966): "This last scene was extremely powerful and deeply saddening to me for reasons I can't possibly explain. The bells of the sheep and the music that played just added to the emotional power..."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


“Telling someone to relax is not as aggressive as shooting them, but it’s up there.” 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

sweet splendor by vidal sassoon

Bless her

In Brad Gooch’s 2010 biography of O’Connor, he reports that Regina (Flannery's mother) initially kept Flannery’s lupus diagnosis from her—Flannery found out she had the disease only after a friend let the secret slip. “Don’t ever tell Regina you told me,” Flannery told the friend. “Because if you do she will never tell you anything else. I might want to know something else sometime.”

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The lake was the color of a urinal cake. His grandson’s eyes were this color too: cerulean blue.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

His struggle

"Fighting against the demons of unattractive storylines" -

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Recognitions

“They arrived at a room full of people who spent their lives in rooms.” — William Gaddis

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sonny's Blues

There was a lot of applause and some of it was real. — James Baldwin

Monday, February 09, 2015


I'd say Jim's the Keith Richards of rugged US lit, but Jim knows his diet. Nevermind the dipsomania, he doesn't drink goon, which has probably shaved years off my life, last night being an invocation to the Gods against bad beer.

A girl naked or practically, the important part naked anyway, drinking coffee in my room. I almost wanted to go back home and tell an old friend. I got into bed which was warm and smelled beery —from Wolf