Saturday, September 22, 2012

I had just hung up from talking to you

I had just hung up from talking to you
and we had been so immersed in the difficulty
you were facing, and forgive me,
I was thinking that as long as we kept talking,
you in your car in the parking lot of the boys’ school
as the afternoon deepened into early evening,
and me in the study, all the books around
that had been sources of beauty to us,
as long as we stayed in the conversation
padded with history like the floor of the pine forest,
as long as I thought out loud, made a joke
at my own expense, you would be harbored in that exchange,
but the boys were leaving the track
and after we hung up I looked out the window
to see the top of the bare January trees spotlit to silvery red,
massive but made from the thinnest
twigs at the ends of the branches at the ends of the limbs
they were waving and shining in a light
like no other and left only to them.
By Jessica Greenbaum in Poetry via ? 
Photo: La Garconne

Thursday, September 20, 2012

of romance, vanished european cities, long-dead ballerinas

Around 1964, Cornell, himself sixty, was looking to try sketching from a live model. The thirty-five-year-old Kusama, an admirer of his, was sent over to pose. There is a strong possibility that this was the first time Cornell had ever seen a naked woman. As Deborah Solomon notes in her biography, the sketches he did that day look as if his hand “was trembling.” From "Alchemy of Inspiration" by Jessica Lott in the Art21 blog.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

cross off and move on

Adela, Bernice, and Charna, the youngest—all gone for a long time now, blurred into a flock sailing through memory, their long, thin legs streaming out beneath the fluffy domes of their mangy fur coats, their great beaky noses pointing the way. From "Cross Off and Move On" by Deborah Eisenberg, full story on NYRB
Painting: Confrontation 1 (1988) by Gerhard Richter, via Tate

Thursday, September 13, 2012

some love for a truman

Some love for a hound dog puppy from M Dash and Animal Madness. Thank you so much. 
Photo: Truman all doped up after surgery

Sunday, September 9, 2012

it happens with every book


So what happened?
I got two years into the novel and got completely stymied and felt like it was an utter flop. I wanted to put it aside but my wife talked me out of it. She said she cared too much about these characters and wanted to find out what became of them. I had to start all over again, keeping the characters but reinventing the story completely and leaving behind almost every element with the exception of the birth that goes wrong – that was the only significant element that I preserved.
You've had this experience before…
It happens with every book now, I hate to say. I abandoned my second novel completely. Writing Kavalier & Clay, I had several moments of utter collapse. Same with The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I'm obviously just not very good at this. Michael Chabon in conversation with The Guardian

Friday, September 7, 2012

san francisco when you're in love

Below are several of M. and my favorite date night walks:

Takeout from Out the Door eaten on the benches outside the Ferry Building, watching the ferries go in and out. Followed by a walk up the Filbert Steps to North Beach, a quick viewing of the murals in Coit Tower (smash a penny), a stop in City Lights Books and then cocktails at Cafe Zoetrope. 

Walk to the top of Bernal Hill. Walk back down. Stop at Red Hill Books on the way to Wild Side West.

Flora Grubb for coffee. 

Cocktails at Mint 54.

Lunch at Darwin followed by a walk to SFMOMA. 

A visit to Headlands Center for the Arts followed by doing nothing at all on Rodeo Beach (aka Fort Cronkite)

A little shopping at Mollusk Surf Shop followed by the General Store. A meal at Outerlands and then canoodling on the beach.

A visit with Emmett and Deanna at Inside Modern and then cocktails and song at Martuni's. 

Happy hour tacos at Pancho Villa followed by window shopping up Valencia Street (Monument, Paxton Gate, Shoe Biz, 826 Valencia, The Curiosity Shoppe), a peek into Clarion Alley, a loop around Dolores Park and then pizza at the counter at Delfina's. 
Photo: our favorite bartender, Maura


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

then go write

Break your deadlines, default on your due dates, wander in the streets, go to the movies, eat lavishly, fornicate, blaspheme, bless a street urchin, browbeat a civil servant, and when you’re done with these things, if you feel excited by what you’ve seen and heard, then go write. Rick Moody via Top Ten Books 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

love, friendship and solidarity

Another element of my memoir — the stupendous importance of love, friendship and solidarity — has been made immensely more vivid to me by recent experience. I can’t hope to convey the full effect of the embraces and avowals, but I can perhaps offer a crumb of counsel. If there is anybody known to you who might benefit from a letter or a visit, do noton any account postpone the writing or the making of it. The difference made will almost certainly be more than you have calculated. Christopher Hitchens (from Hitch-22) as quoted in NYT