Today marks the fifth anniversary of this blog. Great Scott! Feel free to give me gifts of wood. I’m hoping Jack will help me out with that.
In honor of that tentative first post I’m going to do a couple of things. One is to glue some wings on a George Starbuck and then toss it into the worldly wide web and see if it sticks.
Sonnet with a Different Letter at the End of Every Line
O for a muse of fire, a sack of dough,
Or both! O promissory notes of woe!
One time in Santa Fe N.M.
Ol’ Winfield Townley Scott and I … But whoa.
One can exert oneself, ff,
Or architect a heaven like Rimbaud,
Or if that seems, how shall I say, de trop,
One can at least write sonnets, a propos
Of nothing save the do-re-mi-fa-sol
Of poetry itself. Is not the row
Of perfect rhymes, the terminal bon mot,
Obeisance enough to the Great O?
“Observe,” said Chairman Mao to Premier Chou,
“On voyage à Parnasse pour prendre les eaux.
On voyage comme poisson, incog.”
(ff is musical notation for fortissimo)
I met George Starbuck when he did a reading at my college ’round about 1985. It was in a room in the library and afterward there was wine and he totally flirted with my friend Pam and made her blush, he said to her, “Every poet looks for a face like yours to read to.” Believe me, I was jealous of that, because who hasn’t had the fantasy of having a dirty old man do the lean in with cheap wine on his breath?
Anniversaries sometimes prompt little shifts, and one change I’m ready to make is to stop calling myself “Mrs. Kennedy.” I started using that as a screen name after I got married* (a) because I thought it was funny, (b) because I felt so alienated from what I supposed a grown-up married lady ought to feel like that I thought I’d start on the outside and work my way in, and (c) to acknowledge, on the sites where I was commenting, that I wasn’t pretending to be younger (or singler) than I was.
*Replacing the “edenlotus” I’d been using on the yoga message boards. I know. The “lotus” was meant to be yoga-y and to echo my middle name, which is Lois. I bet you didn’t know that.
But I’m over it now, and as I approach my tenth wedding anniversary (tin or aluminum) early next month (I am also looking forward to receiving six packs, rolls of foil, and Wizard of Oz memorabilia) I’m thinking of just lopping off the “rs.” thus, until I think of something better, making my screenname the pleasingly androgynous M. Kennedy. The French would be forgiven for addressing me as Monsieur Kennedy. But I just like the letter M. It’s smack at the center of the alphabet so it’s a sort of fulcrum, plus it’s nice and sturdy, with those two feet firmly on the ground. Or, in some fonts, two feet and a swingin’ triangular wang.
Another change I’m trying to make is to take a page from Sarah Brown’s book and quit saying no to potentially interesting social invitations all the time. It’s just a stupid, scaredypants habit and the short-term relief it provides of not having to try to fuckin’ relax and enjoy the company of my fellow human beings isn’t really a pracitcal long-term solution to the problem of making me feel more connected to people, life, the universe, and everything. Plus, when you go out? There’s usually wine, and I am nothing if not open to a glass of whatever you’ve got handy.
So in that spirit last week I accepted an invitation for one of these in-home fashion shows things, where a bunch of women sit around and listen to a paid-by-commission consultant present their fall line of
vibrators* overpriced sweaters and whatnot. I very nearly purchased a floor-length black velvet theater coat, I’ll have you know, but in the end settled for a sweater with a neckline that practically goes down to my jenny. See what happens when you seat me between a bepantsuited real estate agent and a charming Polish emigré and ply me with last year’s chardonnay?
*I keep wondering when you’re going to invite me to a vibrator party.
In other news, we are 99% sure we’re going to keep Rosette. Here is a picture of her having her face chewed off by her sister, Cookie: