On the morning of the Fourth of July, I purchased a small packet of “colorful smoke bombs” at Target. Since the city of Chicago does not allow its citizens to purchase real fireworks–a memo which, based on the yearly volume of spectacular city-wide neighborhood displays, hundreds of individuals do not receive!–we are forced to purchase items like colorful smoke bombs; items which a baby kitten could safely consume in its small dish of milk without undergoing bodily harm.
I got carded.
CASHIER: Yeah…They just started doing this a few days ago.
CASHIER + ME: [roll eyeballs all the way into the back of our heads until our whole eyeballs fall out of our heads]
I cannot purchase spray paint in Chicago. I am carded for buying a paper smoke bomb the size of an unshelled walnut. I pay extra taxes when I want a bottle of water.
GET OUT OF MY FACE.
Oh, and sparklers! I can’t buy those, either. Sweet, sparkly focus of a million childhood memories: Now I am a woman grown, and I cannot obtain you.
Do you think George Washington would be happy, knowing that I’m not allowed to buy sparklers?
GEORGE WASHINGTON: Was it for thus that I forded the Potomac?
For about two years now, I’ve said, “I’m not going to Pitchfork again. They shall have to line Union Park with cupcake-bearing bald eagles. I shan’t stir one step.” And then…I go. I thought that when I said it last year, I meant it; meant it in the way that you mean the Pledge of Allegiance. But I guess I didn’t, since here I go, there, again.
It’s summer, I think. You forget your need to be out in the summer sun while you can, at such events, such festivals and fairs, until they’re upon you. Then only the heedless could turn away. “I would rather sit at home in my snowsuit,” you might as well say, and you wouldn’t say that.
New in the world of poetry: A new poet laureate! Yoink! W.S Merwin!
You can find two of his poems here, in previous Wheat Dear blogs:
I enjoy W.S Merwin greatly, but I will miss Kay Ryan, poet laureate before him. [Click here and you shall see what I wrote about Kay Ryan, back when.] She is a magical lady, and sees clearly.
If you have the time, and the inclination, you must and must read a piece she wrote for “Poetry” several years ago [here]:
AWP is basically the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference [something-or-other]. Kay Ryan went to their conference in Vancouver in 2005, and then she wrote about it; what she wrote about it is earth-shatteringly high on my Favorite O’Meter.
It’s got to be good, to register on the ol’ Favorite O’Meter. Sehr gut.
“Make mine the desert saints, the pole-sitters, the endurance cyclists, the artist who paints rocks cast from bronze so that they look exactly like the rocks they were cast from; you can’t tell the difference when they’re side by side. It took her years to do a pocketful. You just know she doesn’t go to art conferences.”
Anywho, W. S Merwin.
W.S apparently lives on the edge of a dormant volcano on Maui. [What?] From the New York Times:
“Although raised in the Western tradition, he said he feels more affinity with an Eastern one, ‘being part of the universe and everything living’. With that exhilarating connection comes responsibility, however. ‘You don’t just exploit it and use it and throw it away any more than you would a member of your family,’ he said. ‘You’re not separate from the frog in the pond or the cockroach in the kitchen.'”
These are the kinds of things I don’t need to know about the people whose writing I enjoy.
[I am a jerk?]
Katie and Bridgid and I kept e-mailing each other lines from “The Nails” for a day or so, but I had to stop, eventually; there are only so many lines you can send your friends from “The Nails”, and receive from them in return, before you start crying your eyes out.
We’ll close with another Merwin poem.
It gets the job done.
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.