Wednesday, December 26, 2007

post Christmas, a poem, and a Moleskin for Mark

It was a fine and pleasant Christmas, morning of stocking presents, champagne, salmon, olives, nuts,and so on (for photos, go to the BOTL Triangle link on the right). Reading out loud from Ron Padgett's new book, then giving David Shapiro some equal time from his Selected (these from the pile of books by friends that sits on the coffee table.

Then the goose (stuffed with fresh sage, tarragon and rosemary) went into the oven, Karen came over, more stocking presents, more champagne (oysters this time), and lots of salads, breads. Presents! Too many to speak of but one that interested me in particular since the subject of of moleskins has previously been on this blog. Jesse gave me a moleskin New York, which in some sense is a moleskin for someone visiting NY, a way to keep a journal of one's trip. It has maps, places to record where you ate, where you shopped, what were exciting encounters and when. and so on. So what I've decided to do is go on that trip, to be a tourist in NY for a while, not in the style, though of the tourist who who goes to the Statue of Liberty (which is a fine thing to do), but in the manner of a poet in NY, that is to see the city in a new way, to like Lorca, think of "New York in the poet." It will be interesting, I foresee a constant shifting of moleskins, from the one I use for writing to suddenly taking out my New York one to record a place I want to remember (what is the name of that wonderful tapas restaurant on 9th Street? What did I stop and read in Madison Square Park?). So it will have a sense of journey, giving me a place to re-see and re-think a place most familiar.

(I even made a small copy of the cover of Poet in New York , which today I pasted and laminated to the cover).

Then dinner, of course, goose and wild rice, roasted vegetables (zucchini, squash, onions, garlic, turnips). Katherine made a cranberry sauce, Karen cabbage with chestnuts. A nice rasteau (heavier than a rhone wine, just right for goose), chocolate and fresh fruit for dessert. Then the happy collapse of a meal well-done.

A poem from Celia Cruz:


I don’t want to translate
it’s too pretty as itself
in the market in southern Mexico
in the warmth and crowd
was an old woman
selling so many kinds of flowers
yellow, white, purple, orange,
red, blue, scarlet, violet, black
surrounded by them
she sat
maybe the way
the older Mary would have
beatific, the grief and sadness
of her life drained away
by time and hope
grief and sadness replaced
by an infinity of flowers
whose names she made up
perritos (puppies)
conejos (rabbits)
and alegria mia (my happiness)
depending on the day
ay joven, she said to me once
and I wonder who she saw
when she spoke
ay joven (youth), she said
ten cuidado (beware)
pointing out at the world
beyond this small town
with its pottery, its clothing, its food
Mary was transported to heaven
one day
to sit with her son at the throne
she sat on earth
in the market
one day
black and gold huipile (dress)
azucena in her hand
and waited

1 comment:

Nicole Callihan said...

Ah Mark, you had me at the champagne!