Thursday, April 29, 2010

My son sends me email.

Dear Dad,
I really really really really really really really really really really really really really want to watch ZombieLand.If you don't i'll get really mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
I want to watch Avatar and own it and it has to be the Avatar with the blue ones,not the magic ones.
I want to know why you never let me see ZombieLand.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 25, 2010

Walking the dog, I met the kids at the bus. Ez came up to me smiling, but not talking. I asked him how his day was and he didn't answer. He just pushed his hands out, and up, and above, doing that "I'm in a box" routine.

Standing there while the dog sniffed around in the grass on a brightly cool Friday afternoon, I decided to indulge him. I was in a good mood---I'd had a week off from classes, and had used the time I already wasn't getting paid to take myself to movies two of the days instead. Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski both have films in the theaters. Today I'd come home early; there wouldn't be frantic scrambling to get ready for a weekend at the other house, me thumping up, and down, and upstairs again, breathing heavily and sweating in a rush to scramble clothes and toys together while the kids mulled around uselessly, me barking curses at them. Elizabeth's kids are littler and go to bed earlier, so I try to get there earlier. I want to get in as much time together as we can and there's traffic to contend with.

"Oh, you're in a box," I said. He nodded. "OK but still, how was your day?" He had a long answer, but he only mouthed it. His breath came out in unintelligible puffs. I couldn't make out any of it and kept asking him to repeat. "Earnest goes to camp? You've captured the pancake of redemption? What?"

Finally I said "You need to work on being a better mime."

He gestured for me to wait a minute and jogged up the street to the house, his book bag shuffling up and down, swinging his arms out awkwardly to keep it it from falling. He came back with a discarded envelope and a pencil and huddled on the sidewalk to write something.

. . .



Later the silence had gone on for a while and I, inevitably falling into the rushing back and forth cursing mode, still fought my impatience when he only mouthed answers to my questions about where his underwear or Scout uniform were. Only in the car a full half-hour later did he finally talk, after both I and Ambrose bellowed at him to stop already, him only mouthing words to our questions. It was good to hear his voice again.

April 28, 2010

Ezra to his brother, "Hey Ambrose, you've got to listen to this. If you do, I think you'll really like 'The Korn.'"

Not to forget.

Your six-year-old sitting on the toilet belting out "Eye of the Tiger."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earlier still.

Hello, I am a mysterious mist
creeping in the grass
down by the lake
in the coy sunlight of April.
Big, dumb trees twist in the air
crooked bars of shadow
pass over me.

Afternoon earlier.

I'm playing hooky and nobody sees me
driving so slowly through my old neighborhood
passing two ladies with strollers
who are wincing because they just got sprayed
by a sprinkler.

Like I said somewhere else it's April
and the coy sunlight, etc.

Nobody notices me stepping out of my car,
UV protected, the world all amber,
walking to the shore of the marshy lake
and looking and looking and thinking nothing.
Just another ripple of light on the water
gently disturbed. Gently disturbed, ha.

I turn around and walk as slowly
as I possibly can,
making nothing of a sound,
grass and weeds just bending,
pretending I have nowhere to go,
making the walk to my car
not a walk to my car.

In it again, the tires passing
just as quietly as I did over the ground,
the radio and the open window
are my oldest friends,
and I don't have to tell anybody about it.

From human as hell

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sirius afternoon.

Man it is cold.

April today alongside this sleepy lake in the middle of the
city, where today it would be cold anywhere. But the wind

is moving toward me so the wiggling oblongs of sunlight on
the fine ripples moving toward me look like a thousand fish

moving toward me. The sun and the wind are competing for
space. And here is one of those weed-like trees whose every

leaf is designed to flutter. They're all shivering, hoping each
side can get some cold sun on it. I take off these dumb

sunglasses and everything changes so I put them on again.
Because I don't like the afternoon and that is why I am a

Spring person, a person of Spring. It also makes me repetitive.


This person over here cradles her phone under her neck
leafing through papers. That one holds her dog in her lap and

and makes me think of a small friend who died last week and
and the woman he left behind and I wish I could go to her and

and go to him and it's funny how people, well, I, hold on to
pain. How it can be so warm and exquisite. I'd rather feel

my breath catch in my throat and get shook like those
leaves I mentioned than let the suffering part of sadness go

away. Because I'm afraid it will hijack my memories. I
I am afraid to say the words "good bye." As if we ever can.

Love marks you forever like a knife across the cheek. Or
something. Not something. It does. It kills me and today is

a good day to die. Good bye small friend.


There's that dog again, no longer in the woman's lap but
lifting his head up to the wind smiling at everybody and

everybody who passes smiles at him in the same way they
would a new baby. Does the other woman, with the phone,

wish she could be with somebody, instead. I don't know. I'm
going to lie back like a dog and let the sun dig its fingers in me

because there's things that need to come out. Maybe the
wriggles of light -- jumping up now vertical and pointed to snap

at the air will snatch whatever it is away from me that made
me snap at you yesterday. But I don't want to end with a

metaphor about pets but maybe it's time to risk not taking
things seriously. The little lights on the water are pretty trivial

but they are gathering around me and I will listen to them.


My kidney hurts

There are geese overhead

An airplane roars

An hour is over

Good bye.

The Tao that cannot be named is Untitled.

A note to remind me to tell you sometime about the many ways kung fu changed my life.

Sing a reminder of white winter in April.

When a song comes on more than once on "Shuffle" you're being told to listen to it even if you're not in the mood for it just now. Today it was White Winter Hymnal.