an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Monday, December 4, 2006

week three, winter break


Though the streets have long been cleared by the plows, the snow brings another quiet morning with black boughs and silvery white rooftops and lawns emerging slowly from the dark. Sunrise, but gray, yet. Friday we were snowed in by the blizzard, every one of us, as part of the snow's incredible beauty. Everything stopped moving for one full day and went blank. We could go nowhere while the storm stormed. We had to play at house. So I began the reading for next term's class, picked up The Mill on the Floss and read for hours in the tub, and reading felt so good, I read all of Claudia Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely: an American Lyric, which if you haven't read, you must--immediately.


Then I read through forty manuscripts on Saturday (most I'd read before), and looked for a book that would fill me with awe and envy and make me wish I were capable of writing it and make me steal to the office to photocopy it for myself. I nearly despaired among the stacks, fell asleep beside them early Saturday night, then woke, as I often do, at two in the morning, and picked up the last three manuscripts. I chose one at random, and read it straight through with the kind of joy that poems rarely bring me anymore, if only because any genre you know too well has way of becoming predictable. At four in the morning I walked into Herman's room and nearly woke him to say: this is it. I've found the book I wish I'd written. It's here in my hand.


Extraordinary, weird, childlike. A mystical a journey through a mythical landscape, and hell sophisticated. And yet, I have no idea who wrote it. Isn't that strange? Here is a wonderful book: its author is dead or doesn't exist or is silent and invisible. I will hand the work over to the powers that be and hope for it. I may have a sister or a brother, somewhere, but I may not find her, him.


Saturday morning Penny and I left the house at seven to make the final session on "Art & Wisdom" at the Priory, but the ice was thick on the highway and though the sun was brilliant, it brought no warmth. The windshield fluid was frozen. We stopped twice to clean the windshield with dry snow. Nearly every mile presented another semi-truck hulking in the median where it slid off the road and was abandoned by its driver to the snow drifts and ice. The ice glittered in the trees and on the flat plains everywhere dazzling, awesome, but it was our great obstacle. We had to turn back. It took us two hours to get halfway there and home again.

What is usually a forty-five minute drive.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

[contact me:]

what o'clock it is


live flowers