The Battlefield Where the Girls Say I Love You

That's just the thing: we will never tell you we love you. In fact, we're here only to hold hands across state lines and yell at the world. We're here to try to touch you across this chasm of flown things. Not even that. At most, I will teach you how to make a gin smoothie when there's nothing left in the house. Hannah can teach you several languages and what to do when your car breaks up with you. Thanks for coming out.

Monday, November 17, 2008


this afternoon, i challenged my students to nominate the best song of the past five years...the reason being that i'm pretty sure it's justin t-lakes' "sexyback." i once got into an argument with a man at a dinner party who posited that "the district sleeps alone" is the best song of the 21st century. the man wasn't to be trusted; he didn't like donald hall. only, later i sort of agreed.

unfortunately, my students are 74 year-olds disguised as kids. while they were born in--wait for it--1992, they love old school music. they still speak of hip-hop in tupac/west biggie/east terminology. they're old school. one even requested a yo yo ma song. you know. the cellist. but just when i thought they were perfect, just when i had opened up the panel to "best song of all time," just when they threw out U2's "bloody sunday" and "come fly with me" and "eleonor rigby" and flaming lips' "the wand," a young woman said:

who is joni mitchell?

who is joni mitchell. i nearly fainted.

anyway, this is a call for submissions. best song of the 21st century. anything KORN doesn't count. just like charles bukowski doesn't count when i say "pick any poet you want."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

stay-at-home single mother of none meets the adorable tyrant, jr.

"people who don't drink cannot be trusted."
-my mother, in nearly every conversation we have about people who don't drink,
including my sister

"it's not that you're making one wreath, mamie, it's that you're making another."
-hannah abrams, in our conversation where she delicately concludes that
i'm changing.

and so, against the interest of family and those closest to me, i put down the wine (and the gran ma...kidding) a few weeks ago. give or take several splits. i wasn't worried about codependency issues, or weight, or money, or any of that. i just thought it seemed nice to go non-drinker on your ass.

nice, as it turns out, but awfully quiet. i read. books. and reviews of books. and reviews that counter last week's review of the lowell/bishop correspondence. they just won't let up with those two. crying, i've found, while reading reviews ("i seem to spend my life missing you," lowell wrote to bishop) is a bit like crying during trailers. or commercials that, say, house postal service songs or advertise the next episode of extreme makeover: home edition. and i work out. a lot. and i've reignited this strange passion for modern american poetry, which i thought my students would love. turns out, though, i'm just scaring the bejesus out of them...running around all sweaty-pitted and yelling about the presence of food in prufrock. why toast and tea? why, then, the peach???

hannah's bound to out me sooner or later about the biggest change, so here it is:

i've been crafting. as in, going to a.c. moore late at night, when all the other adorable baptist ladies are buying stencils. and staying for an hour and more.

it started with one autumnal wreath, and from that i've built a world-- glass-painted ornaments, crackle-painted picture frames, monogrammed stationery.

wednesday, the phone rang as i roamed the aisles.

me: yes.

molly: have you finished mom and dad's christmas presents?

(she has been asking this since july. demanding money and product and results since the close of summer.)

me: i didn't know where you wanted me to get the gift certificates.

molly: jesus, mamie. you don't have to wait around for me to tell you what to do all the time.

me: since when.

molly: more importantly, mom's birthday's tomorrow, and i can't buy her a pedicure. i've got her that for the past four years.*

me: i'm going to make her something.

then, and this is the best part, it was as if molly was watching a camera of me in a.c. moore. i reached up to touch the twig base for a wreath and she said:

what? are you going to make them a christmas wreath or something?

before erupting into laughter.

*if you read this blog, you'll notice we are constantly in a state of buying gifts for our mother. or regretting the gifts we've bought for our mother. or reprinting the serial numbers for socks and cocktail napkins she's requested.

space break.

finally, bill e-mailed something very interesting today:

seems our president-elect--wait for it--has been READING POETRY. walcott's noteable book, no less. the story reads like a gossip piece. as if all this poetry business might lead to a grainy tape involving paris hilton and joe francis.

Monday, November 10, 2008

our pockets pulled inside out:

i know. october 24th. it's pathetic. so much so that erica has been using my own tactics against us, as in texting: BLOG! MOOOOOOOVE! which is flattering, in the way a stalker outside your window holding a lock of your own hair is flattering. let's just say, hannah has been smittenly climbing trees and tucking flowers behind her ears. that is, on the days she's not wearing a fedora. there's no telling, really. and i've been soberly watching bad kevin spacey movies and writing about the OBVIOUS associations between gold finches and clark county, nevada in 1965. so, it may not surprise you that i offer only the cheap manipulation, the hey-look-over-there as it were, of a mix compilation: