Monday, May 28, 2012

Abraham and Sunny Jim



Family Bible belonging to my great-grandparents,
given to my great-grandfather
by a friend in 1875













I’ve almost finished reading Carl Sandburg’s powerful six-volume 3,400-page biography of Abraham Lincoln. Next on my reading list is the beautiful old book pictured here, after which I plan a thorough study of Milton, followed by Shakespeare. Meanwhile, I’m nearly halfway through Samvel Mkrtchyan’s wonderful Armenian translation of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Abraham and Sunny Jim — it is that kind of spring.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

William Hogarth



Hogarth’s Works, with Life and Anecdotal Descriptions of His Pictures

Chatto and Windus, Publishers
(Successors of John Camden Hotten.)




Monday, May 21, 2012

Ducks


A light rain fell most of the day. I was as pleased about it as the boy duck and girl duck I saw splashing and drinking in the gutter at the end of the driveway. It’s nice to have ducks in the neighborhood. They flew off, just missing the neighbor’s chimney. Love. What a feeling.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

White Lemons


They hung like lanterns, free of leaves, the green ones green, the ripe white, or so it seemed. All were too firm to be eaten, but Willie† picked one and cut it open with a knife, as if, by virtue of a slice, the seasons would change. It wasn’t really a lemon inside. And it wasn’t spring, or any other time. It was a strange grove, that’s all, there for itself, as much as of our longing.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Passing through, 2:18 a.m.


How strange to see my father and mother
sitting at our old breakfast table,

the curtain held aside by my grandson
to reveal homemade jam.

Looking out they know me, know me not,
know me, know me not,

and then the sound of horses,
a vision of them leaping vineyard rows,

a dream within a dream,
the scent of dust,

my feet upon
the road.