Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Alexander McCall Smith, Andy Weir, Artemis, Audible, Circle of Life, Connotation Press, Copper Canyon Press, Directions on Dying, Drew Brees, Jessica Chastain, Lion King, Lobison Song, Mardi Gras, Memorials, Molly Bloom, Molly's Game, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Oceanic, Poetry magazine, Richard Blessing, Saints game, The House of Unexpected Sisters, Who Reads Poetry
It’s been awhile. I know. And I’m smooshing together several types of posts here: #2sdayPoems, Odd Bits from a Creative Life, C.A. Explains It All. You’ll understand why towards the end.
First of all, thank goodness that the stress of the “official” holidays has passed and Mardi Gras is in full swing here in Louisiana. I’ve just had a slice of King Cake with my lunch and my neighbors have all gone off in truckloads, beer in tow, for the parade streets away.
The dog is not fond of the noise this time of year, but his real nemeses are the possums that always seem to congregate under our shed when the temperatures drop. He will brave the weather for a lick at those furballs, but he’s decided snow is better off left to the plants.
That little dusting we had back in December was toed, tasted, christened, and abandoned for a warm bed in a matter of seconds. Here he is trying to get to the space heater. My cat, a scrappy ten-year-old “runt”, on the other hand, got into her tiny, red sweater as fast as she could and frolicked until she was almost a popsicle.
What can I say, she enjoys the outdoors, especially when she can scoop up stunned, half- frozen lizards at wholesale. This is her pissed-because-you-made-me-come-inside face.
Even arctic foxes aren’t dumb enough to brave the negative temps like some (crazy!) New Orleanians are doing for the Saints game in Minnesota this weekend. Just to be clear: I don’t care that much about football. Okay, I cared that one time when I had chump change on the Denver Broncos back in the nineties.
I do follow the Saints some, but only because Drew Brees is literally days ( yes, days) younger than me and my twin.
I look at old man Drew and I wonder how long he can keep up the pace. I wonder what the hell he is doing to keep up the pace. I wonder where the hell I can get some of the gris-gris he’s imbibing. Seriously, that can’t all be discipline? Can it?
Anyway, suffice to say, Baby Brees and I had and are having fantastic b-days this year. Had he lived, my father would have been having a good one too. At least, I like to think so. Hard to believe it’s been three years next week since his passing. It was three days before his birthday and very unexpected.
Meanwhile in Florida, my grandfather’s (his father’s) 90th year did not start out so well. A bad fall landed him in rehab, his favorite dog passed away, and the Seminole responsible for his physical therapy was being too rough (according to him). Just when he’d finally started to like the Seminole, was having lunch with him in fact, Grandpa had a sudden, terminal heart attack, the same as my father.
His last words to me were scribbled in the Christmas card, a brief note about a $150 book on the Tlingit that he had donated to his local library. It stands to his second wife to sort out his complicated life, starting with getting his ashes into the totem pole as he requested.There will be several memorials along the pow-wow trail, with the big dinner next year. RIP Kashka. And Dad.
Odd Bits from a Creative Life/#2sdayPoems
When the news came, I had just picked up a copy of Who Reads Poetry: 50 Views from Poetry Magazine. It opened randomly to the essay with lines from Richard Blessings’ poem “Directions on Dying”. Very surreal and a little disconcerting.
Later, I was sorting through poems I’d bookmarked for the next round of #2sdayPoems. The window with Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s “Lobison Song” froze. It’s a poem about the birth of one of her sons, who oddly enough had come into the world with the same hairy condition as my little brother. Suddenly, it was like the Lion King’s “Circle of Life” was going off in my head. Another Dali-esque feeling.
But these two poems taken together made me feel…better. Somehow.
[FYI, Aimee’s latest Oceanic is available for pre-order on Amazon.]
Eventually, the aforementioned brother, grown and not so hairy, decided my computer was suffering from failed RAM. He got it all squared away and here I am writing about…everything.
A few more things to say about books before I close. The audiobook of Molly’s Game was a wild ride during this time and much deeper insight into the evolution of the real woman. I’d seen the movie earlier in the month. Loved it. Jessica Chastain is phenomenal, btw, like when she channeled that weird final vulnerableness in the lawyer’s office with that carpet wobble on her (faux?) Louis Vuitton’s. The real Molly Bloom, as the book proves, is a tough frickin’ nut, but totally addictably likable, inspiring even.
I also dug into Andy Weir’s Artemis, which is about another tough, smart woman making it in a man’s world, this time a lunar colony. Weir probed the political, social and economic cycles of such a place in a thought-provoking, yet very grounded way.
The next book is the latest installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, The House of Unexpected Sisters. The main character Mma Ramotswe, is dealing with thorny family issues in Botswana, a place that is, putting it lightly, a less than friendly landscape for women in business, or women in general.
I felt very encouraged by the resiliency of the women in each of these books. So, basically, it’s all going to work out in the end.