no talent but truth

I had to rise in the middle of Monday night (2 AM) in order to reassure myself I could get my rental car back to Boston in time to shuttle to Logan airport to catch my flight home.  Even though I had hugged my brother and his wife goodbye early the night before, he, godblesshim, stirred himself and hugged me once again before I set off.

I quite liked New Hampshire. Maybe it’s just because it wasn’t Holland MI, but I still felt much more at home there than here. Many people are about my age and look like me a bit.  There are more liberals of course. But there are also more bookstores.  I ran across a book that began to answer some of my questions about the history of the area:

I found it for nine dollars used at the Toad Bookshop in Keene in the Colony Mill Marketplace. It is elegantly written and is informed from many disciplines. He begins with the formation of the earth itself and moves through 17th century thus ending before any of the other local Keene histories I have found.

I read it on the plane on the way back.

I have also decided that I now have a passion for the work of Suzanne Gardinier.

She combines a literate poetic sensibility with the necessary brutality of being awake in our time.

Click on this to read Gardinier's short fiction "Sacramento" in this issue of this publication

A short couplet in her book The New World struck me this morning.

In this poem Gardinier imagines the real life Harriet Jacobs writing letters as she hides in her grandmother’s house.

“Don’t expect much Amy You shall have
no talent but truth Ever your Harriet”

from “Incidents in the life of a slave girl” book four by Gardinier.

Gardinier footnotes this book to the poems she calls “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.” Of course it makes me want to read the original (link to ebook of it).

I guess this quote struck me because I get the feeling that many locals see me as a no talent but also that I am mostly reconciled to this and see myself as seeking in my own way to connect to art and life as honestly as I can mostly via music and words. I also feel that part of my reconciliation to isolation is that I consciously choose to connect to the brutality that is the history of the United States (and all peoples for that matter). This roughness seems alien to the very people that either disrespect me or don’t fucking see me.


Eileen and I prepare to bolt away to a motel in Ann Arbor for some more vacation this afternoon.

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4 thoughts on “no talent but truth

  1. New Hampshire is a great place. It is, however, not reachable by car from here. I exaggerate for a reason. My daughter, Gretchen, attended Colby-Sawyer College. She was given a scholarship to attend, so in being dutiful parents we drove from here across Canada through New York and after 16 hours arrived at New London to take her to school. Great scenery, but no east-west roads through Vermont into New Hampshire. Anyway, New Hampshire is quite quaint and a lovely place to visit.

  2. I like to visit someday the bookstores in Ann Arbor someday-paradise on earth-glad to read you had a nice vacation-peace

  3. Gentlemen,

    Thank you for your comments. Ray, my brother and his wife routinely drive back and forth from Keene to Michigan to see their kids. It does seem like a long drive. I inadvertently booked in to Boston’s airport and added an hour to my drive time from the airport to Keene. Nevertheless, it was a pretty short 2 leg flight with a quick connection each way to GR. The scenery put me in mind of East Tennessee where I was raised. Jonny, the bookstores in Ann Arbor are quickly getting worse and worse. I found the bookstores in New Hampshire thriving a bit more.

  4. Yes, you are right about the flight connections. i would fly her from Manchester through to Grand Rapids. Was great connection and the trip was easy. She did this several times a semester.

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