Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama the Writer Celebrates Artists

I am loving the concert - all music I know - which is a rarity.  Forrest Whitaker just read these very lines from Faulkner's banquet speech when he accepted the Noble Prize.  
It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

I read elsewhere that Faulkner was drunk, had to be lied to in order to get him on the plane to Norway, he just didn't want to go.

Thank goodness he did.

Can read the full text here.

Thank goodness Obama is an artist and a writer himself.  A new day.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

AT&T - The Worst Company in the World

This is a pretty funny - because we all have had these experiences with phone companies - rendition of what occurs when in addition to trying to get services up and running you also try and correct grammar.  

Stanley Fish calls it The Return of the Old Grouch, but who wouldn't be grouchy after dealing with such ineptitude? 

What has happen to America?   

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Mother's Family

Here is an op-ed that I would have discussed with my mother.   Her Italian family was from that region of Italy, Reggio di Calabria.  Plus she and my dad were married on the Feast of Holy Innocents (December 28th). 

This bit of personal family history about a catastrophic tidal wave that hit southern Italy on that date, this past Sunday - A Deadly Wave, a Lucky Star.

Quite a story.

New Year Poems

Mild is the Parting Year

Mild is the parting year, and sweet
The odour of the falling spray;
Life passes on more rudely fleet,
And balmless is its closing day.

I wait its close, I court its gloom,
But mourn that never must there fall
Or on my breast or on my tomb
The tear that would have soothed it all.

Burning the Old Year

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.