Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Alvaro read like a dream and we had a fine time at Collected Works, and Annie Lamott, of which I was but the intro person, was fine as could be. I am allowed to be happy. I am letting my tribal leanings go with the cheery Hungarian half of my family right now, and not the dour Lithuanians. Those four Hungarian women never stopped smiling and saying they were proud of us. I am letting them kvell and tsk with pleasure. Go Beti! Go Pearl! Go Ida! Go Ethel! Knock wood and all that, a happy day, a breathing day is fine by me.
I got to share chocolate ice cream with Rico, my friend Miriam's husband, and I am not the best sharer but on the Poet Laureate diet it's all about sharing the chocolate.
XXX----JL for the PL
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Not able to eat totally as a locavore, I write out of New Mexico as my Museum of Modern Art, my left bank. The United States is so huge, that one state could be Germany and another Belgium. When I first met fellow Pittsburgher, Gerald Stern, I overheard him saying. "Any place can be Paris!" I have been flirting,and I mean only flirting, with the idea of reading only local authors for a year.
I don't think I can do it. I mean, the New Yorker alone would be too much temptation and deprivation.
Or to not read poets from other states and lands. I can't live a year without Emily Dickinson, Stephen Dunn, or Linda Gregg.
Coming up is the Women Author's Festival, year number three. I'll be there and get to intro Anne Lamott.
To live a year without reading her would be like a year without salt. So, I will be living la Vida Local in my own way. If you want to join me, look at the archive for August and see my Dates to Date.
WRITE LOCALLY, SHOP LOCALLY, DREAM LOCALLY, LOVE LOCALLY,
READ LOCALLY, DANCE LOCALLY, AND SING LOCALLY.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Preface : Pablo Neruda said, a Nobel Prize is good
and I’m sure he could use the money,
but the best is when the miners, coming from deep
in the earth recited his poems to him.
He was that kind of poet, and those odes
he wrote to common things, the socks, the spoon,
the loaf of bread, a violin in California,
to me are stand-ins for common folk
when maybe it isn’t safe to say how much
you love, how close you’ve grown to earth.
And so I dedicate this poem to him,
over the heads of families, under the Santa Fe
blue sky and living wages in at least a few pockets.
I myself have all I need times ten. We built
our house, we carried water seven years.
I volunteered to simplify, here’s how and why.
Labor Day Poem :
The best job I ever had was driving a school bus
right out of college and I thought it a job suitable
for a poet, cruising the upscale suburb in a Blue Bird
bus and my family hoped I wouldn’t be recognized.
the best job I ever had was teaching kindergarten,
the kids in the morning and the kids in the afternoon.
I taught them the hora and the Mexican Hat Dance
and Woody Guthrie. Even now, all in their 40’s
they wonder where they got these tunes.
The best job I ever had was working in a firehouse
with the lost children. Every staff meeting we’d disagree
about autism and how to hold the children when they
couldn’t hold themselves. That was a job I walked to
past a corner bakery on 9th and Judah that sold pirogues.
The best job I ever had was selling garden plants
1973, I watered all the trees, carried bags
of steer manure to cars. I learned to say maybe
you watered it too much, or maybe too little.
The best job was not substitute teaching.
I got the spitballs and the thumbtacks on my chair.
I got the attitudes and how by high school
even then, they’d given up.
The best job was waiting tables at El Paragua in Española
My old boss still knows me, says, “Oh Joanie, I remember
when you dropped the steak and lobster.” And I recall
the sopapilla basket I set on fire, too close to the candle.
But even then I felt the joy of work and customers
treated us as humans not as servants, but still I tip well
in homage to those days.
In Santa Fe, on Canyon Road, I swept the patio
in my apron as the tourist bus passed by the Haven.
I tried to look like local color. Then I was a chiropractor’s
right hand until my third child came onto the scene, I mean,
I was a mother almost all along and that was a hidden
love and job of work.
And all along I gave my life to poetry, which begs
the question, am I management or labor? Thirty years
and here I stand. I always thought if I aimed low,
kept my feet on solid earth, I’d be myself for the long haul.
My self, the best job I ever had,