Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Coinkydinks revisited-3 of them

Reading Paul Auster's Red Notebooks for the third time I think we should collect people's best coincidences.  I love and treasure mine and am going to give you a few that come to mind. I remember that when I was in high school and we read Charles Dickens, the question of coincidence came up, and I seem to recall that some of his plot turned on unlikely occurrences. As young women we didn't find it plausible, and Ms. Hickman, our wild and wonderful English teacher concurred.  As adults I find them not only plausible, but essential.

I'll start with yesterday and go backwards,

Frances and I flipped a coin on whether to have sensible oatmeal with walnuts or go out.  When staying home for breakfast won the coin toss we decided to tempt chance and go out. So as we were having breakfast at Flying Star in Albuquerque before I was taking the train home, in the middle of our always engaging conversation, the phone rang.  It wasn't the best of manners, but I answered and Judy Goldberg invited me to a birthday party for that very night. Judy Goldberg's husband has been a friend of ours for almost 40 years. No way was I going to go home to La Puebla and come back to Santa Fe. On the train, having dragged up to the top level for the view, I called Mike to tell him about our friend's presumably 70th birthday.  As I am leaving a message I Iook up and the man's son is two seats away, coming as a surprise from Portland.  He's on the phone too, and tells his mom, "Joan Logghe's on the train talking about my dad."  His mom says, "Welcome to New Mexico."  Then there was someone I knew across the aisle.  And when I went to the bathroom, the door didn't open, occupado.  When it opens a second later it is an old student of mine who looks at me and not missing a beat says, "I was waiting for you."  I could not remember any of the three names, but Forest, for that was the son's name, came and sat by me and we talked deeply the whole ride home, even as we passed the geese and sandhill cranes in the farmer's field.  I went home, got Mike some clean clothes and we met up for the party.  I was one of the few who spoke and any last minute feeling I had about the party dissolved in the sweetness of the beautiful event.
By the way, the woman in the bathroom, whose name still escapes me, gave me my first persimmon,
her hair the color of persimmons, so though I just recalled she is Sally, I think I will call her Persimmon.
The other woman across the aisle, whose name I have forgotten twenty times is Adela, pronounced in Spanish. She is always sweet when she reminds me of her beautiful name. Adela.  She is coming from a film editing job in ABQ and was the student of TJ, the very friend who set up this very blog.

2.   It had been a difficult and amazing week at Hollyhock, the retreat center on Cortez Island, near Campbell River in British Columbia.  My fellow teacher told me right away I wouldn't be invited back, since we only attracted ten students.  I felt sad,as if I was being booted out of paradise, then thought of all my friends living with AIDS and the line of Linda Gregg, "I am filled with all things seen for the last time."  I decided to live my life more  the way my dying friends did.

Then there was the Queen of England on the neighboring island. They set up a telescope to see her and we went over in kayaks with an opera singer to a little rocky place to sing "God Save the Queen."  I had a wicked crush on a large carpenter who got it and told me he was celibate and that he and his wife found it worked best that way.  And one of my students gave me a Jewish name, Jocheved and I think had a little crush on me.  I thought I taught well, I was content. The Book of Miracles sat on the shelf in my little room and I didn't even have to open it.  One afternoon a women talked to me about grace.

On the final day of the week I was preparing to leave Hollyhock and Cortez, and tying up the loose threads.  I wanted to give a gift of milagros to my favorite staff member, a woman named Eve Marie who sang folk music divinely.  I told her that here people make such deep eye contact, and that in New Mexico it was not culturally proper, at least among the native people.  We said our goodbyes, eye contact and all.  She walked off, her arms full of towels for the laundry. As I waked into the lodge,
I saw a card from my House of Cards, the childhood deck by Charles Eames that I had given my students to write from.  When I turned the card over the image I met was a pair of eyes, a carved mask but only the eyes.  My heart flipped.  I walked outside for a breath of air and several deer were waiting, their large eyes fixed on me.  The coincidence knocked me into a holy dimension for days.  I said to the deer, "Thank you" and there was an answer, "You're welcome."

3. I came back from Hollyhock pretty wide open, knowing I had to be careful.  As I was driving a red car sped past me with vanity plates,  2EVL4U.   I told my husband, my daughter, the experience.
And soon upon my return we found out the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land behind out house, 10,000 acres, was slated for oil exploration.  They would level three three-acre plots and drill sample wells, bring in roads 20 feet wide to accommodate the trucks driving in near the town cemetery.
We walked into the land with a few neighbors and it became clear we had to fight Giant Oil, the 100 year lease holders.  One land owner had wind of the possibility for years and had an environmental lawyer, Grove Burnett, lined up.  Also, the Sierra Club was present as we gathered the community, united that we didn't want our lands destroyed. You should see the formations they were going to cut a road through.  I somehow led the meetings, as the wife of a fireman in the La Puebla Fire Station.  We needed letters to the BLM and when the community said, we aren't writers, I answered, "But I teach writing!"  We met for a letter writing session and the BLM got over 100 letters from a little traditional community at the top of Santa Fe County.  We were in the paper. My phone rang and rang, my husband watched as he headed off to work. We got a letter from Mr Tedford of the Museum of Natural History in New York pointing out the archeological value of the site.  There are the bones of prehistoric mammals and giant turtles here. Whew, it was intense and I was in the middle of it.  I fell totally in love with my home of over twenty years and my neighbors.

They backed off.  Giant Oil went away. We all were amazed.  I was exhausted, pulling up to a store for groceries. I thought, we didn't do this ourselves, all those Guadalupe candles I lit, and other friends prayed to the Virgin of Guadalupe. She helped us, I thought.  When I opened my car door I saw a small wristwatch lying on the asphalt.  When I picked it up and turned it over, there was the Virgin of Guadalupe. Time stopped. I have it still, I can show you.

What are your coincidences.  joanlogghe@gmail.com since messages don't seem to work on this blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

PL Recyled

So much blogable in this life and do I even bother?  I am extremely busy being recycled.  My daughter is pregnant and so my genes are having a party inside her.  She has a site that sends her vegetal graphics of how big the baby is.  We have been through lentil, blueberry, grape, kumquat (when do we think of kumquats?), fig, something, something, and now we are mango.  I can't recall if avocado comes before or we are on our way to avocado.  You understand, I am doing nothing but thanking God I am old and not pregnant and praying gently.  Her husband is off on an elk hunt and they have moved from the yurt to the wilds of far off EspaƱola.  I find out the house is one where my friend Camilla Trujillo lived until age 13.  I want to rush right over and check for the lines on the doorframe that charted Camilla and her siblings. My Pittsburgh friend visiting has no sympathy as his three grandsons are in Kenya.

But besides being a totally codependent mother of the pregnant daughter, I literally recycled and sold at Recycle Santa Fe.  Here is what I was up to for the last year.  I didn't keep records but I am sure I have topped 200 of these Poemholders.  I make two almost daily, and for the show in 100% recycled fabrics.

My other daughter made wrist cuffs and cool belts, sort of like a half miniskirt, out of leather scraps.  We had a great time, sold a lot, and I bragged that I wasn't even tired.  Then I did go into total fatigue days later and have been milking the time change, going to bed before dinner. The time change is great.  I am recycling time.  I use it and then use it again, and then I still have some hours I can use.  Right now I found the time to do this blog when there are chickens still on daylight savings time waiting to be fed.  Get a watch, I tell the roosters.

But really this is how to recycle a poet laureate when the laurels (nobody bothered to wreathe me in) fade.  I have no idea how I am doing but I have a clue. I weathered the Mayor's Award dinner and was happy to talk with current PL Jon Davis and hear him read. Then a few days later Carolyn came up to me on Lincoln near Marcy, mere blocks from city hall, and said, "Didn't you used to be somebody?"
It was the best thing anybody had said to me. It made me laugh at how true it was. I always start Joan and the Giant Pencil readings with, "I'm nobody, who are you? Are you nobody too?"  Emily knows how I am feeling without even leaving Amherst or even being alive.

When my metamorphosis is complete into Nobody, or I am transmogrified as Emily likes to say, I will let you know.  Until then I am watching my daughter beautify in pregnancy, waiting to taste the elk from the hunt,  sewing Poemholders, and pretending that Nobody is what I always wanted to be.  I think I will go recycle some kitchen scraps into egg production and send you lots of hand-me-down second-hand love.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Love Dress

My nine blog followers turned into 33 while I was sleeping.  This is the post I have been wanted to lay down for weeks, but houseguests, students, a wedding with rehearsal, two feasts, a hotel stay, and then teaching and sewing PoemHolders like crazy for the Recycle Santa Fe Arts market have stifled my blogness.

So here it is.  The Story of the Love Dress. At the end of my Ghost Ranch week, Poetry Alchemy with ten totally bright and shining writers, we soaked at Ojo Caliente and then dined at Abiquiu Inn.  We had to check out the gift shop at the Inn and I came in to see Karen modeling a dress the others encouraged her to try on.  Karen is from Montana, lives in a log house, but spends some months each year in Scottsdale where her husband sells his ironwork.  We all loved and approved of the dress which fit her very fit body like a glove.  We wanted her to buy it.  It costs a small fortune.  $275 dollars.  I mean, who could?
Here she is in the gift shop.
We drove off , the dress giving off an audible sigh on its hanger.

In the morning we all still could see Karen in her dress.  I had the end of week, wild idea that we should scholarship the dress, give the dress a home, send it to Scottsdale on Karen.  Everybody chipped in and Karen never said, "Oh no, you shouldn't. I mean I couldn't accept."  She just smiled and received. She and Margo went back to the Inn and purchased the dress.  It became known as The Love Dress, since the group love supplied the financial energy to send this beauty where it belonged.
Karen wore it to our final class reading and I read my poem, "Dressing Down for Love," to accompany the outfit.  Afterwards we all talked about the gift of the dress to all of us. We got a story.  We saw graceful receiving of a gift. We sent that dress to Montana where it resides until the drive to Arizona this winter.
Here she is again, on her log cabin's porch, glowing.  Here's my poem which also shines a bit more thanks to the Poetry Alchemy we enacted, embodied, and dressed up in style.

Dressing Down for Love

Put on your love dress.
Take off your other garments
the ones that cost you most.
Wear your heart our.
Become a transvestite
for love. Dress as a heart.
Establish a municipality
with eyes you meet on the street.
Enter the election for Darling.
Let kindness reign. Put on
no airs. Be plain as feet           
which also may carry you away
along the Love Highway.
Hello. What is your name?
I have forgotten. Remind me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Joy Harjo (Women's Focus, KUNM, Sat. 7.21 noon 89.9) Carol Cellucci, & me

A guy just tightrope walked over Niagara Falls.  They made him use a safety line cause they didn't want him to plunge to his death on a major TV network, not even cable. Poets usually work without a net, and we don't even need one cause we're usually sitting down.  But these two women definitely have saved the day.

I once went to Aspen since I had won, against all odds, a National Endowment.  The wonderful and cranky poet who happens to share my hometown, Jerry Stern, taught me a lot.  But we had also sent manuscripts and I sent him my messed up poems to help me sort them out.  Little did I know that everyone else brings the cream, it's Aspen after all.  He hemmed and hawed, asked me what I was willing to sacrifice, and told me I had "sort of a voice."  I was devastated, after all I had just won an NEA and the next stop was a Pulitzer for sure.  So I wandered the streets of Aspen, bought nail polish,  weeping.  I happened to run into Joy Harjo in the grocery store, she was teaching also, and I told her my tale.  She offered to meet for dinner, and we did, hours later, she toting her saxophone which she was learning to play.  Her kindness was the safety net for that two week event.

Listen to her on KUNM radio on Saturday, Women's Focus, July 21, 2012 at noon with the ever wonderful Carol Boss.  If you miss it on Saturday it is streamed for two weeks. Joy is also reading at Collected Works at 6:00 on Sunday July 22. She reads from her memoir, Crazy Brave and what a perfect title.  It makes me feel a little braver, as she did in Aspen.

Then, as if life isn't good enough, today I had cheese enchiladas with Carol Cellucci, my amazing writing teacher from the 1980's.  In her class I met so many dear friends, Judyth Hill, Katherine Shelton, Jonelle Maison, Janet Holmes, Sarah Kuth, and David Treeson to name a few. And we all learned so much about poetry.

 We had a near three hour lunch event, poetry history being made as we ate. This is another sweet example of weaving the loose threads back in, not quite the safety net at Niagara Falls, but a necessary delicate net of connection. I wrote two poems for her and gave her the PoemHolders.   We shot poetry ideas back and caught up on everybody we knew and some we didn't remember.

So, the moral of this story is, Listen to KUNM and Joy Harjo, write your memoir and don't forget me, get in touch with the old dears from you past and make them a non-funcional pot-holder.

The only thing I can download is this, from my Poets Laureate Mixer with Hakim Bellamy, the new ABQ PL and very urban hip. He will shine the poetry stars even shinier is what I said.

I wish I could show you how great Carol Cellucci looks after all these lapsed  years.  Trust me,
she's beautiful.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Amazing and the Amazon

I may have mentioned a few dozen times that my very husband is on the very Amazon right now, as we virtually speak. I am caught between being proud and telling people in a show off way and thinking WTF, here I am at home perfectly happy and is he the crazy or sane one.  I mean, it's complex.
Since he left I have done a few things. In no particular order.

1. Yesterday I removed cactus thorns from a Western box turtle's face.
I used tweezers and why he didn't pull his head in was a good question.

2. I have watered and kept things alive. This sounds short but takes long.

3. I hugged the major the first time since Joan Logghe Day. He was wearing
a white suit.

4. I watched, with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandkid the procession of 150 folk artists from 54 countries.

5.  I went to a movie with my grandson called Brave.  It was sort of a girl movie but
enough stupid violence to keep him entertained.

6. I got my third pedicure from the Vietnamese poet. That too is complex.

7. I heard Willa Roberts sing Baltic folk songs twice and was as proud as if she
were my own kid.  She did say once that Elaine and I were second mothers.
My first memory has her on a quilt we made, lying on her back, grooving to the music at Laurie's belly dance class. It was love at first sight. Her voice is stunning and she lives in New York.

8. I have sewn at least fifty PoemHolders, made a postcard about them, and been very happy with my new Japanese fabrics.

9. Started a poetry class with a dozen students. It filled so fast I never sent out a call. They are wonderful.

10. Got in touch with the minister who married Mike and me at the "Church of What's Happening Baby" as my brother calls it, or The Glide Memorial Methodist. I found him after seeing the exhibit at the Folk Art, Gamon, art from the Japanese Internment camps.  It brought tears to my eyes and I thought of Lloyd Wake who lived in such a place, Marion, his wife and colleague of mine in 1971, did too. They are alive and in a retirement community in San Francisco. I sent him Twenty Years in Bed (though it has been Forty) and a Poem Holder made especially.

11.  I made 22 jars of Post poet-laureate apricot preserves.

12. I wrote an obituary for Gary Eckard and a poem for Dion, two deaths of the near and dear, and two songs still looking for tunes.

13. Now they have announced Jon Davis of IAIA, Mazel Tov to him.  Please ask me something besides how I am doing as emeritus kicks in, cause I really don't know.

That's plenty.  I feel as if there is nothing to do now that I am Post PL. Oh, I did hear from my high school and then again college boyfriend. He dumped me FIRST, and then I dumped him. We've been sweetly back in touch a little.  I like the internet for it brought me Lloyd Wake, my old boyfriend, my college roommate, and it settles arguments I would be having if Mike were not on the AMAZON!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wassup? Nothing.

When my son talked on the phone to his friends for many years, he was always doing "nothing".
While I may have had some slight confusion to his Zen teenage stance, the idea of doing nothing has me perplexed.  When I am at home I move non-stop from one thing calling out for attention to another.

I remember one day last summer when I had an open day on the calendar.  There ended up being a death on a nearby pueblo, and since I was connected to the woman from two different directions, I went to the very moving ceremony.  Now, my neighbor's life and death fill many moments and my head, and heart.  It's appropriate, but I have to hope that the empty calendar days, rare and wonderful, are filled with life.

I hope to stay home now, see grandkids on their empty calendar days, and swim a lot.  I have also forgotten how to cook, but last night the dinner for two stretched to six in a blink and was lovely on the back porch. I hope to teach deeply.   Here is such an at home moment. That's me against a wall of Catherine Ferguson's retablos, the largest one of Sophia, goddess of wisdom.

I also have a few upcoming events and I wouldn't be Post-PL, in the endless PL Going Out of Business Sale if not for my postings: 

Breadloaf is a famous summer writing workshop and gathering for teachers who are writers.
I am reading for them at St. John's College and you are invited.  This Thursday, June 21, 7:00 in the cafe.
or what I am calling The Not-So-Great-Hall.  Don't tell them I said so.
It is free and a more serious and literary reading than my last one.

I was on Women's Focus Last Saturday, June 17, KUNM at noon, with Carol Boss. It is archived for two weeks from that date.  Just go to KUNM.org and put in the date and time of day.

I wil also be teaching a one-day workshop  for Word Harvest, Jean Schaumberg and Anne Hillerman's production, on Saturday, July 21 9:00-4:00   call for details  471-1565.  I will explore how the practice of poetry leads into other writing. It will be fun, it's a small obsession of mine.

My upcoming Ghost Ranch class if pretty full, but possible.  It starts June 25th. 
But I am really excited about Ghost Ranch in the fall, Poetry Alchemy,, September 30 -October 6th.   Go to www.ghostranch.org to check it out.

Today is not an empty calendar day, but two hours at San Ildefonso day School is pretty darn lovely.

XX ta ta, I must go harvest the lettuce before it wilts, and before I do. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life and Death Post-PL

So the mayor proclaimed June 13, 2012 as Joan Logghe Day in Santa Fe.  It was my last hurrah. I was touched, I was teary, I was clumsy.  I read the city council a poem for children that I wrote. Tom Leech from the Palace of the Governor's Press was there and we distributed copies oft he book he published on letterpress  from last year's poem to the city council.  It is called "April in Santa."

 It was late in the day. I said to myself, as the day was waning, come back, come back Joan Logghe Day.  I was weepy as we went to dinner, almost staggering to ISME cause it was closest and oddly, sushi has become comfort food.  Michael told the waitperson that it was my day and that's why I was sniffling.
After we ate the young man asked why it was my day and I said I was just ending a two year stint as the city poet laureate.  He got a look on his face and I asked if maybe I had come to his school. He nodded his head.  He attended Agua Fria, Alameda, and last year graduated from Santa Fe High.  I was his graduation speaker and he said, yes, he remembered.  His name is Juan. I told him that when I shook the 306 hands at graduation I tried to make a prayer or blessing for each one.  He is a handsome, courteous guy and I thought, see, there is a post-PL life and it is in community.
My first act post-PL was writing an obituary for my neighbor, Gary Eckard. Michael and I met Gary in 1973 when he was building a geodesic dome where he lived with his first wife, where we had belly dance parties, music he played, and were awed by the views of the badlands. He sold us six acres of land in 1976, the place we have lived ever since on the road named Eckards Way, though Gary wanted Dead Thief Lane when the county invited us to name the rural roads.  The obit took two days to write.  I made the wise move to ask a few writer friends their memories of Gary and excellent rewrites were coming in, even as the notice was posted.  Now I am sad I don't live on Dead Thief Lane.

Sad as this was, it gave Monique and me comfort, we had a project, and we shared some laughs.
All during his last days I have been writing song lyrics,  feeding the four horses and Kafka, the dog, and the cat whose name I never got.  Five or six weeks and it's just been "Kitty."

The walking over to feed the animals has been a very meditative thing, and just as Monique is missing, among every other thing, the long drive to the VA Hospital down by the airport, the lack of daily practice of morning feeding feels a bit of a loss.  But the real loss is Gary who lived his musical life here, next door, with a singing voice we all adored, a funky piano style we danced to in the 1970's and were devoted fans wherever he played. That's also why I was weepy in ISME, over my sushi.  Here's one of the songs. Anybody got a tune?
Election Day and Venus transits the Sun

          with thanks to Miriam Sagan

Always vote for Venus,
This ain’t our first rodeo.
little boy at the Ranchitos pool
his mother calling, Romeo Romeo
Sponge Bob bathing suit
Never has the blues looked so cute.
Tell him, Romeo and Venus
will grow up to elope

Election day and this ain’t
our first rodeo.  Our friend at the polls
had 48 weeks of chemo.
The other one lost his hair in a girlie show
Always vote for Venus, you know
it aint our first rodeo.

Everyone’s dying, or else their wrinkles glow
Living below this factory for Pluto
was just where my life lined flowed.
I’m a fool pessimist and an optimist
lying low.  And forget about context
this ain’t our first rodeo.

My neighbor lingers in palliative care.
Three hippies at the ball game shared
the one wheelchair.  My friend in chemo
still has all of his hair. 
This may give him a third chance
I’d follow him to any dance
You know the ballot’s cast for Venus
and this ain’t our last rodeo.

The harmonica and the Jemez are on fire.
The television shows are spitting out liars.
The radio has its Singing Wire.
Fire in the Gila, Tears can put it out
cause this ain’t our first Romeo.

Vote for Venus, cast your glance at fate.
The two of them out on an awkward first date.
Romeo and Venus dance on the blade of a knife.
You’re in the ICU fighting for your life.
Walk on the wild side cause this ain’t our first rodeo.

It’s your movie so you get to dress for the role.
Handlebar mustache on every cowboy you know.
Living on Dead Thief Road, trespassers will implode
cause we’re living for Venus and this aint our first rodeo.
Yes, we’re voting for Venus and it ain’t our last --Romeo.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

PL Finale

Haven't posted.  My neighbor, Gary Eckard, has been dying.  So we check in every day and feed the four horses, the other animals and water a little.  Then Dion, my Belizian quasi son, drowned in Hawaii. I mean death is death, we all die.  But still... I have written two songs , anybody got a tune?

Yet, as deep as the sorrows, the joys have been stellar.  Last night the finale reading at Odes & Offerings.

At my first appearance as PL these long two years ago I had the idea to arrive at the Bandstand on the Plaza by pedicab.  So of course, I contacted my pedicab/photographer friend Bob Chavez and he zipped us around, former laureate Valerie Martinez, Girls' School student poet Gabriela, and me.    This was a totally different event, more private, and I was feeling a little deprived that I wouldn't get to hire Bob again. It was part of my vision to make the Poet Laureate visible in a campy and joyful way, to polish up the lamp of poetry and see what genii come out.

So, no pedicab.  Only, only, only, when my friends and I stepped out of the Community Gallery after setting up for the reading, a completely random time of day.  Bob Chavez was there, wide brimmed hat, grin ear to ear.  I choose to believe it was chance and synchronicity and PL magic.  We hopped on and got a ride two uphill blocks to sushi happy hour at ISME.  Here are shots of two years ago contrasted with now,  First I'm happy to see Bob, then I realize the party is sort of over.

There have been two readings connected to Odes & Offerings, half the poets in each one and we got 55 or so in audience which was perfect.  Last night we got double that.  I mean Julia Hudson who let me teach poetry in Chimayo at a mission school was there.  My three friends from the north, Susie Verkamp, Ginger Legato, and Kerby Goforth made me so happy I could levitate.  I think I might have left my body which is why I was pretty clumsy at the reading.

And everybody was there!  At the reading, Leland Guthrie, my soon to be son-in-law playing the digeree doo to welcome.   Hope and Matt, two of my children to help sell merch which is what cool people call their CD's at rock concert.  My merch was PoemHolders, that is potholders with a poem typed in, which has never been called merch before.
Frances McCain was there from Albuquerque and so was Amanda Sutton my publicist, and Even Lisa Enos,now married, grown up, and a different last name, but she was my Celebrate Youth Mentee when she was 12.  We have reconnected a little and seeing here there, well....
And from my work life, Kristin Watson from ArtWorks and Alex Traube from CultureNet Poets-in-the-Schools, and Steve Schwartz who has funded so much through Witter Bynner.  And Bruce and Maureen from Chama, and the towns represented were Chama, Taos, ABQ, Medanales, Velarde, Chimayo, and Santa Fe of course.  Here is me being  happy (see below, happy poet).  I read from 90 pages of work written for the city, gave away eight door prizes, and here I am giving one away.

So,I am left to wonder what this two year stint, reign, tenure, gig has meant to me and to the community.  One never knows, can't speak for others, but in my life, coming in my pre-Medicare
years has been perfect timing. I mean, one could slide down into quietude.  This opportunity and honor has kept me cooking, steeping, and percolating.  I have had a blast and hope some of that blast blew cooling and inspiring winds on others. People were so great last night, I couldn't have felt more appreciation.  And I send it right back out.  I want to go out reflecting the joy, and a little less of my famous worry.  But You can't have it all.  After all the fretful person writes a poem, makes sure there is enough milk and printer ink, and keeps batteries on hand.

This isn't the last post by any means, but since I've been pre-occupied with other things, I wanted to get it out pronto.  After the reading lots of people bought merch, there was cake form the Arts Commission,
and artist carted off most of the artwork. Three pieces sold, and I know of four gifts given. I received a wonderful painting from Kuzana Ogg who I totally fell for and she up and moved.

I am excited for the new Poet Laureate.  I am energized with some new projects in writing and to be sure the book from Odes & Offerings by Sunstone Press happens.  I mean nothing is sure, except this fleeting  and surprising joy.  Between end of PL contract in June and Medicare I have exactly one month.  Michael will be in Peru.  Who knew??

Monday, May 7, 2012

Orchard Readings of James McGrath

I kept meaning to, but I never made it to a reading in James McGrath's orchard.  Since New Mexico Literary Arts, the board of which I have been president for many a year, has given James a Poetry Gratitude Award, and celebrated last week at my house.  There were 24 people here, including five from Taos because SOMOS (Society of the Muse of the Southwest) had gotten the other award. We had  Santa Fe, Albuquerque, El Rito, La Cieneguiella, Chimayo, Taos, and La Puebla all represented.
James was so sweet and so happy, I decided to go hear him read, along with Catherine Ferguson and Katherine Seluga, two friends whose work I admire heartily. Here is the watercolor by Catherine Ferguson that appeared on the invitation card:

I was still recovering from the Super Duper Moon and an even more super duper duper sleepover with my Granddaughter, Kaylee.  But I wended my way to James' orchard and never looked back.  There were over 60 people there, I know because I count.  James has hosted dozens of Orchard Readings.  He has a shed for the chairs and a sheltered and bowered space for the reading, plus snacks, plus a gathering of the lovely poetry crowd, middle school daughter of Katherine to canes in the crowd.  A plethora of years.  White hair never looked better than in this light, under these trees.  I had a lovely day, can report back to the NMLA Board that we indeed  bestowed the honor on the right fellow.  Mid 80's never looked so good or wrote so well as it does on James.  His writing seemed to blend into the natural world.  He not only wrote about that world, he enlivened it by his scene.

I don't have a photo, but there were all these lovers of poetry, in friendship, tucked in under the trees, with the hummers flitting, the words formal and just-springing, a total hour of delight.  As soon as it was over, people didn't linger, though I did.  James' guest bathroom is floor to ceiling poetry books and literary magazines. There were only two extra cars in the lot by the time I left, careful not to mow down the solar collectors.   There is more to say, but I'll let the wind say it.

In my very first appearance as PL I spoke of the many venues for readings, and mentioned orchards. It was the least I could do to visit as many of these venues as I could in these two years. I went to Warehouse 21, Church of Beethoven, Lannan, Poetry at Paul's, The Outpost in ABQ for the Youth Slam Finals, Collected Works too many times to count, and that is just to name a few.

James is off to Ireland in two weeks, his annual jaunt.  I feel that after knowing him for at least twenty years he has come more and more into focus.  Check out the orchard readings, newcomers, and check out the work of all three of these fine poets.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Today, sad

I can't wrap my head around death.  I mean, I am in for it.  Not my own death, but the fact  that I love so many people.  I keep falling for them.  Maybe the people who annoy me are blessings because I will not get so all shook up at their passing.  I am no Dhali Lama.  Yesterday I was typing about the flowers and the Dhali Lama came up only I spelled it Dahlia.  Maybe I am the Dahlia Lama.  Better go plant.

So the reason I grow so sad is that David Lescht died yesterday at 64, an age that has a familiar ring to it.
He organized the Santa Fe Bandstand, free music and a big party on the Plaza all July and August.   He also led a fabulous program called Outside In.  Musicians went into prisons, detention centers, hospitals and nursing homes and raised the roof.  My friend Alicia played accordion in nursing homes and though she's not the greatest singer, the elders got up and danced.  They loved her.  I had to call her in Vermont where she has moved and tell her of David's death.

I also found myself cruising through Cowgirl Hall of Fame where there was a gathering for David.  First cruise, I didn't see anybody I knew.  But second time an hour later, I ran into Abe and Dea and several other plaza dancers, regulars, old hippies, people who loved David.  I didn't know him very well but liked him tremendously, and admired his work.  We both got grants from Bread for the Journey one year, he let me ride into the plaza on a pedicab and bring a giant pencil and two other poets to perform, we talked in Trader Joe's. So, though only an acquaintance I am very sad.  There should be different words for how well  and how we know people.  Friend, Lover, family, aren't enough.  What about celebrities we love, artist who shake our world, people we only know when standing up and conversing in grocery stores,  people we like more than they like us, out to lunch friends (that doesn't come out right), come over to the house friends, sleepover friends, friends who are like family because you can't get rid of them but might not have chosen them if you had it to do again friends, and best friends who you haven't spoken to in years but you let them keep that status.

Maybe after the PL is over I can make names for each category of friendship and be a real poet, and change the English Language.  Now I am just left with a passel of occasional poems to wrestle down.

David Lescht, may he rest in rock and roll peace, bearded and beautiful, let the good times sadly roll.
May his programs live on.

Getting Behind

I am getting behind.  Every day has been predictable full.  Shall I break them into bite sized poetic pieces, or shall I just go bonkers on one.  My blog seems to now have 39 followers which is thirty more than I boast about.  I am  no Mark Zuckerberg.  Many days I am no Joan Logghe.  But some days I am.

Last week was a biggie and I feel relieved it is over.  My car is in the shop getting new brakes.  Think metaphorically you 39 readers.  I, of course, originally wrote "new breaks" and maybe I need a break.

Countdown in My PL life included:
Saturday: Workshop for a group of psychotherapists and Dolores McCarthy. It turns out to be more fun than I thought.  When I read a poem and leave out one part (for length) the man asks, "And what did you leave out?"
Sunday, reading at high Mayhem Studio, the name says it all.  My kids and grandkids showed up looking stunning and surprised me.
Monday: Something happened, I am sure of it, but I forget what.
Tuesday:  Joan and the Giant Pencil" with Jeremy, see the poems written below.  I love the one about Mexico.
Wednesday: Tres Chicas Meeting to discuss vision for the press
Thursday: I recuse myself from PL committee since my friends are being considered.
Friday: Reading with Arthus Sze and Valerie Martinez, "Just Words Away," at the NM History Museum.
Saturday: Four hour workshop at Odes & Offerings.  
Sunday: New Mexico Literary Arts Poetry Gratitude Award at our house. 24 people.  Whew.
That was one fun week.  Siting on the porch I realize that I am in poetry heaven.  Now I am relieved to be back on earth. 

I just looked at my contract and I am technically ON until end of June.  Hmm, who is waiting in the wings to tote this barge, lift this pencil?

Here are the poems from Turquoise Train, Jeff Davis' fifth grade:

From: Joan Logghe [mailto:joanlogghe@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 7:22 AM
Subject: Re: poems

You are so sweet to say this and to take times to type in the kids' work.

Do you think I can print on my blog and then on facebook?  I don't have last names,but don't want to
take advantage of these sweet guys.

Otherwise I will just put them in my personal scrapbook.  The poems are lovely.  I can see a little booklet of their work.

Thank you for being such a great teacher..... JL
On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 6:43 AM, JEFFREY DAVIS 
HI Joan
Here are the poems from that day you were in my class.
Thanks again for coming.  The kids really liked the show and the activity
You have been a GREAT PL!
You have raised the bar.
I hope subsequent PLs can measure up J


I will wake up at midnight and go to my dad’s house …
Go outside and sit …
Sit with him on the steps.
The steps feel bumpy like a small rock.
The air…
Air smells like smores.  When I look around the house, it makes me feel safe …
Safe like you’re all by yourself in a warm room.
When I am on the stops with my dad,
It reminds  when I was little.
When we would sit on the s tops and he would sing to me.
I felt like I’m loved.
I’m loved.
I miss my dad …
I’m gonna go to my dad pretty soon.
I will be missed by my dad.
Dad …


Indiana is my special place
Because it is where my grandpa is
And were mosquitoes and tree frogs grow.


Love, love dreams about becoming a wish.
Love wants to fly and be something that might come true,
Someday …
Someday love will have the power to be both.
Love is like a wish.
Love dreams to be a child’s wish that might come true.
How do you think about love dreaming to be a wish?
Someday his wish will come true


The best part of New Mexico.
I see pheasant s fly over me.
I see mallards and wild turkey racing to the pond
Oh I can’t wait to go back
I wish I lived there
My dogs splashing across the pond
Oh how I wish for Truchas


My house inspires me because it has a lot of insects, dogs, trees, and wide open space.
The reason my house inspires me is because it is always calm outside
So I can write my poems.
I normally write about two poems every day
I go outside.


What do clouds dream of?
Do they dream of playing in the sun?
Do they dream of being a human?
Do they dream of being red?
Oh, what do clouds dream of?


My special place is the mountains.
It is quiet
I listen to the animals
I love the wind in my hair
The water with the fishes
The rock going down the mountains
My mom comes to get me
I say good bye.


I wonder if toys dream of kids
Playing with them.
Do trees dream of water every day?
Do ear rings wonder when
And where
They are going to be worn?
Does batman wonder why he is a super hero?
Do computers know when they are going to be used?


I will arise and go now to Mexico.
I hear horses gallop
I hear chickens chirping
The bell of church rings
I see kids playing and running
Women making dinner
Husbands riding horses
The stores are closing
Kids ask parents for corimas to get ice cream
Elder men getting out of church.
I see my family relaxing
Oh how I love Mexico
I see lights go out in Arasichi
The sun sets while
The mountains cover it.
I like my horse outside
The wind blows my hair different directions.
I smell nothing but plants
I see people eating dinner
I close my eyes and think,
Oh Mexico,
How I love you
I open my eyes,
I’m on my bed
Laying down
It was only a dream.
I can’t wait to go back home to Mexico.


The forest things
I will go to the depths of the woods
The little birds will sing
The bears will try to climb all the trees
Wolves will howl
When the moon is full
And just listen to their moans will make you fear the night.


Dreams of words
Words dream of being said
They want to be repeated
Over and over again
Wanting to be written on lined paper
Or be the name of a painting
The words dream day and night
For they are soon to be spoken.


I will arise and go now
And go to Iowa
And see all the beautiful trees
And my only great grandma.
Others, I miss them all
So much I wish I was there now
I bet they miss me
I hardly ever see them
My other great grandparents watch over me
I miss them all.


Water dreams of being drunk
Swum in
Used to wash things
Used to keep fires away
Water dreams of being scared


I will go to Las Vegas, Nevada
To see all the lights
And casinos
I love  to go and just walk around
Go to all kinds of stores
Sleep in a nice hotel
See the sunset and
See the sunrise
The sky will be all kinds of colors
Like neon blue, neon pink, neon purple, neon green, neon orange
My car will be the same colors of the sky
The seats will be leather
With all the colors of the sky
My wells will be the same color – everything in my car will be the color of the kiy I will have to be rich
If I wanted that kind of car
Oh yeah, I want a camaro
I would love to go to different states
I would travel to all 49 states
That would my life and I would take my family and friends.


Jeff Davis
Teacher, Turquoise Trail Charter School
Fellow, Yale National Initiative, 2007 - 2010
TTCS, 13A San Marcos Loop
Santa Fe,  NM  87508