Whew! Just made the end of the month for a bloggie note.
Hanging out with buddies before traipsing around this summer. Running a bit and saw a few good things. I even have pix I (mostly) took myself. That's not necessarily a good thing as I'm not a photographer, but oh well. (The photos w/o attribution are ones I took.)
Put my hard hat on and hung out at another poetry house -- not in Philly this time -- the soon-to-be-new-home of New York's Poets' House. It's really impressive and I even have a few pix of Executive Director Lee Bricetti with her construction chapeau:
As you can see, she's very involved in the project!
After we saw that amazing space, one of my good friends and I stopped by another one: the beautiful, intense and word-centric art piece, the Irish Hunger Memorial. it's really something. I urge you to see it, and read through it. The memorial not only references famine that killed thousands in Ireland but the nature of people, places, governments to allow people to starve all over the world. it's in a great conversation with the new Poets' House home as it conveys how powerfully words reverberate. A real masterpiece -- and free to visit, roam around and touch. The pix below really don't do it justice but are more of a teaser:
It was a Manhattany day. We ended up in the West Village and walked right past this living monument:
With all this DOMA (that's Defense of Marriage Act for you non-wonky folks) dueling banjos ads going around, walking past or at least actually noticing the Stonewall Inn for the first time reminds me of how recent all this discourse is. Personally, I think New York attitude will win out over NY conservatism (esp. upstate) and we'll have same-sex marriage here. Yes, there are conservatives in the state but I suspect that no one here sees them being trumped by Iowa on anything that's not agrarian (and even on that level, we've got lots of farms outside of the 5 boroughs). When I saw the movie Milk (yes, Penn shoulda won that Oscar) it just reminded me of the historic era we're in. I mean, I remember those clothes! (Yes, I was young but I do remember them, I even wore the tike versions.)
Speaking of great, touching, morally-relevant films, I *just* saw the super excellent "Up" movie by Pixar. (Those of you who know I'm a goofy Harry Potter fan will not be surprised that I went to see an animated picture.) It was so good! Super touching, lots of great lessons/reminders for kids and adults and expertly done. Pixar is not joking! I've enjoyed every single one of their films that I've seen. Very moving and lovely economy of language. I even shed a tear or two. I'm no Roger Ebert (even though he is a Gemini and carries the sign well) so I won't presume a fancy review but go see. And it was great to hear Ed Asner! Talk about the 70s...I remember him from the Lou Grant days and he's an excellent actor and unapologetic lefty. Dude is mad old school. It's funny: he does look like the character in UP (without glasses) at this point in his life:
(h/t http://www.wallpaperez.net and http://www.eldercarerights.org/)
I realize I'm not only talking about the 1970s but, folks in *their* 70s. Asner graduating the 7th decade and will actually be hitting 80 this year. May I live so long as they say (and as vigorously)...
Lines on Retirement, after Reading Lear
by David Wright
for Richard Pacholski
Avoid storms. And retirement parties.
You can’t trust the sweetnesses your friends will
offer, when they really want your office,
which they’ll redecorate. Beware the still
untested pension plan. Keep your keys. Ask
for more troops than you think you’ll need. Listen
more to fools and less to colleagues. Love your
youngest child the most, regardless. Back to
storms: dress warm, take a friend, don’t eat the grass,
don’t stand near tall trees, and keep the yelling
down—the winds won’t listen, and no one will
see you in the dark. It’s too hard to hear
you over all the thunder. But you’re not
Lear, except that we can’t stop you from what
you’ve planned to do. In the end, no one leaves
the stage in character—we never see
the feather, the mirror held to our lips.
So don’t wait for skies to crack with sun. Feel
the storm’s sweet sting invade you to the skin,
the strange, sore comforts of the wind. Embrace
your children’s ragged praise and that of friends.
Go ahead, take it off, take it all off.
Run naked into tempests. Weave flowers
into your hair. Bellow at cataracts.
If you dare, scream at the gods. Babble as
if you thought words could save. Drink rain like cold
beer. So much better than making theories.
We’d all come with you, laughing, if we could.