Friday, April 25, 2008

Slowly by Donna Masini

This morning ... the birds are chirping and singing outside ... my cats are exploring my disneyland home (for them; for me it's messy and an eyesore) ... they come over and sniff me to see if anything is different (or is it to gage my mood? or to put me in my place "you're just a thing with smells like everything else") ... I drank my tea. No part of my body is screaming for attention. Life is good in this moment. I haven't read the news yet.

I just read a poem that I must share ... it's from a collection called 180 more Extraordinary Poems For Every Day edited by Billy Collins (one of my very favorite poets). And many of the poems are really good ... I think this one is extraordinary ... it took my breath away at the end. Animal lovers, please try to make it through ... it's worth it. It's such a good poem.


I watched a snake once, swallow a rabbit.
Fourth grade, the reptile zoo
the rabbit stiff, nose in, bits of litter stuck to its fur,

its head clenched in the wide
jaws of the snake, the snake
sucking it down its long throat.

All throat that snake--I couldn't tell
where the throat ended, the body
began. I remember the glass

case, the way that snake
took its time (all the girls, groaning, shrieking
but weren't we amazed, fascinated,

saying we couldn't look, but looking, weren't we
held there, weren't we
imagining--what were we imagining?).

Mrs. Peterson urged us to move on girls,
but we couldn't move. It was like
watching a fern unfurl, a minute

hand move across a clock. I didn't know why
the snake didn't choke, the rabbit never
moved, how the jaws kept opening

wider, sucking it down, just so
I am taking this in, slowly,
taking it into my body:

this grief. How slow
the body is to realize.
You are never coming back.

-- Donna Masini

Oh, if I could write like that!!! Really, it took my breath away.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Down to the Bone: Highly recommended

Last night I watched Down to the Bone. This film came out in 2004. I had it on my watch list since then. It’s about a woman who is a wife and mother in upstate New York ... and is trying to get clean from cocaine addiction. Vera Farmiga is this woman. And when I say “is this woman”, I mean it. She’s not playing a role. She is the woman. She and the other actors are so good--including the two young boys who portray her sons. Brilliant directing by Debra Granik. Highly recommended.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gut Pesach to you!

A blind man is sitting on a park bench. A Rabbi sits down next to him. The Rabbi is chomping on a piece of matzoh. Taking pity on the blind man, he breaks off a piece and gives it to the blind man. Several minutes later, the blind man turns, taps the Rabbi on the shoulder and asks, "Who wrote this?!!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Anne Lamott!

There are so many good books written by Anne Lamott. For emerging writers out there ... read Bird by Bird.

Thanks, Ms. Lamott ... for all the good words you've published ... your humor and honesty ... a lot of funny things can be said when you're being down and dirty and honest, eh? And also, I appreciate that you are an activist. I saw you out at San Quentin the night of Stanley "Tookie" Williams' execution. I liked it that you were not in your Ivory Tower. Although, me myself and I can understand being in an Ivory Tower more and more as I get older. I'm getting more introverted. Yet I love being around people ... but only when I have the right kind of energy.

Have a blessed birthday.

Friday, April 4, 2008