Thursday, June 18, 2009

Please to repeat

Today I took a long, hard look at myself, and if I'm honest, I think 90% of why the ongoing weather pattern bothers me so much is its effect on my footwear choices. I really hate wearing socks. One of the best things about Jun/July/Aug is getting to wear sandals all the time. Maybe other people wear sandals in the rain, but for me having wet, gritty feet is down there with socks.

Don't get me wrong, I'm also pissed that I can't run outside and go on picnics at the beach etc. but I can't do those things M-F anyway, and I still hate it when it rains during the week.

Things I will not do right now: link to that "Shoes" video that was going around a couple of years ago. It really wasn't that funny.


I made miso soup for dinner. The miso paste was $10. Is it a nonrenewable resource? Geez. This is part of my mission to eat more fermented food. Aside from yogurt, there don't seem to be many fermented foods I can incorporate into my near-daily diet. I mean I'm not going to pile kimchi on everything I eat. I'm not that kind of girl.


Yesterday and this morning on the train I read a Reginald Shepherd chapbook that John Gallaher sent me shortly after the former's death; I'm only just now getting around to it. I read the first few poems over again several times, not something I usually do (I echo Chris Higgs' sentiments on abandonment). Could I be getting more patient? I liked these lines:
searching out what. The highway says No history
, a doe dozes beside the asphalt, or else
it's dead. It's dead. They line up single file
to cross the road, the first one waits
until the next one crosses. Look left,
look right, look left. The poems about nature
and so forth. The bit I really like is that "it's dead. It's dead." Something about the short repetition, a kind of stutter, both sonically and visually, it's one of those "moves" I fall for again and again. Chris Tonelli wrote a poem a long time ago that began with the line "Primitive image, image" something something, and it comes to me a lot.

Roadkill, too. It's a poem cliche, but one I enjoy.

The first poem in the book includes a line from a Mariah Carey song ("Then a hero comes along"). Remember how young Mariah Carey was? In the past? My nostalgia knows no bounds.


As promised, a David Shapiro poem. It's from a 1983 book called To an Idea, a title I loooove. I wish I'd come up with it first. Probably the #1 reason I find a poem forgettable or abandon it is a lack of ideas. I hate when poetry has no ideas.

These poems too I find very re-readable. His sense of the line reminds me a little of Mary Jo Bang. Here's one I like despite all the similes (not my fave).


A host of golden pencils
and MIND a quarterly review
I see you like roses on television
crouching with thoughts about this obscure life

Lagging behind like frost on the window
while others are at the core of a vista
as if police could be summoned for this sad soul
with the worn-out look of a grafted rose

On the window sill the window birds
fan their wings to the air-conditioner
after a specious summer interval
and Heifetz plays Le Plus que Lent

We were the higher ones
and the travesty you can never forget
To be followed by shining blackberries
It was certainly a peaceful walk with only the occasional shepherd

Now the worst of not being a botanist
Was this, for instance, the end of my poor plant?
Like a pot in which the rose is received
By enemies of the rose.

Revenge made
no sweeter by the site of its celestial resume
The Scherzo Tarantelle is finished
The reference to Enrico Fermi on a little boat is hard to forget.


  1. Elisa, your point about socks and sandals illuminates something about southern California that had never occurred to me. The fact that sandals are the almost constant footwear of choice for many southern Californians is probably directly related to the mythology that suggests that it never rains here. Although most people probably don't make the link consciously (I never have until now), wearing sandals is like wearing a badge claiming "I know it won't rain."

  2. Oh, and let me add that one sure sign that a person is a tourist, and probably an east coast tourist is that, is wearing socks while also wearing sandals. I remember one Californian in particular going on mockingly about this California faux pas at great length. I think there's a rain/no rain subtext in this case as well.

  3. one of the fun things about living in SF is that it "never" rains in the summer. to the extent that you can put upholstered furniture out in your yard if you feel like it, and not worry. even a moderate summer rain in SF (and i think much of california) was about as common as a car accident.

  4. having one yourself, that is. a car accident

  5. I am a big fan of the upholstered-furniture-outdoors paradigm. Or porch swings that involve a full couch.