Sunday, January 28, 2007

Kitchen Magician

That would be Randy. But today I helped with a project: we have an eclectic collection of cookbooks and pottery on two bookcases in the corner of the kitchen, and this morning Randy decided we should thin down the cookbooks to fit the shelf above the sink. Good idea! We were left with a box of cookbooks to store in the attic until we can yard sale them this spring. We washed all the pottery--and my too-many teapots--and rearranged them. Much nicer. (R's still in the kitchen. I have homework to grade and a lesson plan to finish.)

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He just found me a spider: a small one, yellow-green, moving fast. I flicked it into a bowl and carried it up to the terrarium. (The aphids are still a problem. I tried a half-strength solution of rubbing alcohol, but it didn't seem to faze them. Maybe I didn't saturate them enough. I decided to continue my pursuit of non-chemical methods.)

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I may not go to Atlanta for AWP. This has me a little bummed. We were counting on some travel funds that turned out to be about half the amount we expected. I need to go shake some money trees. At least next year's conference (if I'm still doing this sort of thing) will be in New York, only a three-hour drive.

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Here's another poem that I read in class last week. (I keep a file of "daily poems" to read in class, and another one of "teaching poems.") I realized, as I was reading the "pallbearer" section, that the poem had come to mind because of the "disappearing twin" syndrome that Deirdre and I were chatting about two weeks ago.


Is reinvention. My son, chameleon-like,
is someone else every day — Spiderman
in makeshift leggings, Gina Lollabrigida

in my red heels. He isn't fixed
on gender, on the living or the dead,

fictive or real, evil or saintly. I let him be
Mussolini for a day. How much harm

could he do, with little time, no reinforcements?
When he is God he learns it's lonely

at the top, and hard to recall
all his addled sisters' demands.

As Ponce de Leon, he lacks
experience, is disinterested in the fountain of youth.

One day he is his twin brother.
Even I can't tell them apart.

The next day he finds a spot
on the warm slate floor

and barely moves. Who are you?
I ask. I'm a pallbearer, he says,

missing his twin. He is practicing
for his next incarnation: a stone,

which he has learned in school
can be halved and halved and halved

without pain, in rain and heat
and still cling to its purest properties.

: Andrea Cohen, in Provincetown Arts, v.18 (2004)

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[photo: fence backlit by holiday lights, 1/12/07]


RJGibson said...

Ron--I was actually wondering the other day if that home remedy worked for you. Sorry to hear that you're still fighting the little buggers. Hopefully the spider will do some damage.

Robin said...

I've read it before and still like that poem.