Tag Archives: glue and scissors

It’s The Little Things

As all of you know [or as you should know, if you have a heart in that chest of yours, and not a slab of granite], Sunday was Father’s Day. I hope you gave your pa a telephone call, if you live apart from him, and were not able to fête him with grilled meat and gift-wrapped gardening trowels. I called mine. “How was your weekend, Pa?” I said. My family lives in Indiana, and so things have been Flood n’ Wind Central there of late. Just LOOK at this picture of my aunt’s street:

No mail for them, I’ll tell you what!

Anyway, my parents had planned to join a crack team organized by Our Lady of the Greenwood Church to assist flood victims on Saturday morning. Alas, a strong wind came along on Friday, and took it upon itself to knock down some trees in our front yard: no small feat, if you have seen these trees. My father had to summon a cabal of uncles and cousins over to help him chop things down.

“Nothing like running a chainsaw and having a beer!” said my father.

Then he said: “No, no–I waited until after I was done with the chainsaw to have the beer.”

Oh, dads!


On Friday night I saw–wait for it–


My friend Aimee had obtained free tickets, and a gaggle of us descended upon Navy Pier’s Pepsi Skyline Stage to view the show. Aiiiiiiiii! Something else, these cirque-sters. We ooo-ed and aaaah-ed aplenty. I don’t know how many times I uttered the sentence “My God, my God, I do not understand how that is happening!” but I feel certain that it numbered in the thousands. These people laughed in the face of gravity–or “gravity schmavity”, as they call it, behind gravity’s back. Einstein himself would have torn his hair out, I tell you! “My God, my God, I do not understand how that is happening!” he would have said, or rather “Mein Gott, mein Gott, verstehe ich nicht! Wie geschieht das?”, because he was German.

Mean Age, Cirque Shanghai Performer


What I Kept Grabbing

My face



Something This Show Made Me Long For

The ability to perform a backflip

Something This Show Did Not Make Me Long For

The mysterious East

Most of the Music



The night before that I was driving with my roommate down 90/94, and the traffic was wretched, and the air was full of exhaust fumes and things. I had my window rolled down. At one point, in the midst of a dead stop, I looked out of it, and saw the moon glittering beautifully on some unidentified body of water, flowing near a particularly gruesome example of a highway overpass. It was covered up, in part, by a stand of trees. I looked and looked until we had to drive forward. I do not know the future of that body of water, but it made me happy.


Wonderful website: www.papertoys.com. If I may: OMG. This weekend, I created a paper replica of Mt. Rushmore. You can make a paper Big Ben, and a paper Brooklyn Bridge, and a paper Ferrari Testerossa! There is a paper Great Pyramid sitting on my desk right now, next to my computer.  All you require is scissors, glue, and your innocence. Do not tell me that your innocence is gone. You have some in there. I can see it.


There will be no blog next week, gentle readers; I have important life matters to which I must attend, which will keep me from my writing. Hopefully, I will return the following week, rested and ready to start again. Until then: a-doo [“adieu”].

My sister, during a phone call the other night*:

MY SISTER: Give that back to your brother! [Pause.] Yes, I know that it’s a meat thermometer. But he was playing with it.


If not, why should the willow bend? It bends
High in the air, but to the stream descends
Dipping its as-we-call-them finger-ends

In weedy water, trailing to the touch:
A weeping tree, we say–but with not much
Of willow in the figure, once to such

As we long limbs had lent, though covertly,
Movements more suave, guiding what pangs there be
Into a bearable choreography:

Our hands wrung changes on the mute charade
Of willows: from the simple noises made
By creatures come to drink in the trees’ shade

Came sound of women weeping into their hands,
Yielding to hurt’s pure flow, depths and demands
The littlest child remembers, understands:

Because of this we never could recall
What we did bear, as under water all
Becomes a silvery weightless miracle

In which, presuming on the certitude
Of bodily grace, whatever impulse wooed
Profounder levels rose to air renewed:

Thus, rocked by sorrows, never could we tell
How grave they were, our bodies knowing well
The signs to charm them, alter or dispel:

At times we thought, Gesture is all that grieves:
The hand has slanted (like the willow’s leaves)
From touching faces it alone conceives

Downward to drop its pennies on shut eyes
Before the habit fades of their surprise
Past blood and tissue where remembrance lies.

James Merrill

*My sister would like everyone to know that she is a good mother and was, in fact, watching her children while making their dinner, which I believe involved noodles.




Filed under Brothers and Sisters, James Merrill, My Parents, Poetry