love the human

Reading the collected poems of Lucille Clifton straight through chronologically is to watch a poet develop. She starts out in a voice I recognize from the sixties and other poets: angry, succinct, incisive and largely speaking about her experience and  understanding of being black (choosing to capitalize it in a few instances: “Black”).

I recognize and enjoy this voice but am delighted to watch her gradually hone her abilities beyond it.

Case in point:


love the human
—– Gary Snyder

the rough weight of it
scarring its own back
the dirt under its fingernails
the bloody cock   love
the thin line secting the belly
the small gatherings
gathered in sorrow or joy
love the silences
love the terrible noise
love the  sting of it
love it all    love
even the improbable foot     even
the surprised and ungrateful eye


I like the way she pulls you from the objective (“scarring its own back”) to the subjective feel of one’s own body or her body ending with the foot and the “surprised and ungrateful eye.”

I think this is a good poem.

It looks like Mondays and Fridays are days I want to think of as lighter days. On Monday I deliberately turn away from thinking about work (mostly church work) and try to find some time for myself. Yesterday I did this a bit. After my early ballet class, Eileen and I took down the Christmas tree. She walked to work and I did some reading and relaxing.

I did do some work putting a piece by Distler into Finale so that I could transpose it for use with my choir. Also at the end of the day after supper I was sitting and reading and realized that I hadn’t practiced organ in two days (Sundays don’t count unless I actually return to the church later and practice) so I went to church and rehearsed some upcoming music.

I made weird food for our supper.

I adapted a recipe by Devin Alexander called “Pierogies with Kielbasa and Sauerkraut.”

Eileen hates sauerkraut (I love it) so I substituted a little meat marinara sauce with mushrooms in her version. For the kielbasa, I used some chicken sausage I found with a similar fat content. In my version I used up my frozen veggie sausage and added a ton of cooked onions.  I guess it smelled good because the mother of my viola player mentioned it did when they arrived for rehearsal last night.

It didn’t taste like diet food. That’s the beauty of Alexander’s recipes.


Shimon Peres on Obama, Iran and the Path to Peace –

Interview of an aging historical figure.


‘The World Until Yesterday,’ by Jared Diamond –

I keep reading reviews of this book. This review is by David Brooks.


French Jets Strike Deep Inside Islamist-Held Mali –

I was surprised to read about US policy about this situation in this article as well as startled to see France committing its forces. Isn’t that how we got into Vietnam – cleaning up after the French?

U.S. Warplanes Enter Somali Airspace –


Aaron Swartz, a Data Crusader and Now, a Cause –

This article has several links I put up on Facebookistan yesterday. Swartz seems like a man after my own heart.

“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for
themselves.” from Guerilla Open Access Manifesto by Aaron Swartz


One Republican Steps Forward –

It can’t be good for this politician’s career, being mentioned in the dreaded liberal  NYT.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.