Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What hump?

Yesterday, someone quoted a line (or three) from Young Frankenstein, reminding me of how much I love that zany movie. Need to see it again. Sheer delight.
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They've torn down a footbridge on campus (presumably to replace it): today, on my walk home, I saw that the emptied area was wrapped with that screaming orange plastic mesh. (Does that stuff come in any other color? Can you make a hammock out of it?) The bridge had annoyingly recalcitrant planks (two-by-fours I think) that would would loose and buckle upward, causing many stumbles. In mid-June, from that bridge, I watched a snake (pictured above) slip noiselessly close to a medium-sized bullfrog, then suddenly lunge at it: Very Animal Planet, with wild thrashing in the shallow creek water. Froggy escaped. I've seen the snake a few times since, and photographed it last week sunning on the rocks.

Oh, and I started two poems on that bridge: one in 1994, during my June Seminar, as I watched the muddy roiling runoff from a thunderstorm and remembered going on a bus to watch a baptism; the second over ten years later as I bent down to pick a fallen catalpa blossom off one of the planks.
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It's hot. I'm not complaining. But I'm especially savoring the Jello pops I make in my freezer. Yummy!
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This morning my brother's dog was mangled to death by an unknown creature. He lives on my grandmother's farmhouse in Loveland. Mom phoned tonight to tell me about it, and to say that her latest test results were okay.

When our phone rang at about 4:30 this morning--a wrong number--I was suddenly immobilized by dread about my parents; I don't know when I slipped into Dread Mode with regard to late-night calls, but it took me a good hour to fall asleep again.
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While browsing this evening through Juliana Gray Vice's chapbook, History in Bones, one particular poem drew my attention--probably because of the confluence of two of my abiding interests, housesitting/inhabiting another's space and the Wiccan/pagan calendar (to state it briefly). This is part two of her long poem "Bird, Smoke, Crystal, Bone":

This book I’ve pulled from a stranger’s shelf,
an old, no doubt expensive leather-bound
on witchcraft, fails to mention New Year’s Eve,
which seems an oversight. It’s understood—
if only in the dour modern sense—
that this night is something magical.
Anticipation charges the air, the news,
and even the owners of this house have flown
to someplace elsewhere, better, to celebrate
in style. Their dog and I have gone through our
routines—just one more icy walk before
we call it a night. And in the meantime, this:
a few portentous hours to fill, to kill,
with pages falling open on their own,
the weight of print and plates and fissured spine
selecting for me passages to read,
a scattered history in bones and ash.

[photo: unidentified hisser, July 31]

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