Rain. Poetry. Daughter. Rain. Ocean. Ribs. Rain. Herzog. Thompson. Rain.
Many intense things this week. Half our front yard is moss, and it’s so happy to be soggy that it’s fluorescent. The blue of the ceanothus is strobing in counterpoint, and our daughter’s vibrant red hair is like a trumpet solo. The house is full of laughter and strange movies and lavish food — and love.
Johanna moved to Italy in 1998, and we cross the Atlantic twice a year to be together. She visits in the spring, we go to Tuscany in the fall. Each visit is a crazy mosaic of intensity, colors and fragments that somehow assemble many moments and make them all into a rainbow of Now.
Right before Johanna arrived I recorded seventeen poems as a gift to friends, burned them onto a CD, and dropped them into the mail. Seventeen of my most beloved high-octane poets inhabiting my head and my voice and my hard disk, sent out as ambassadors of intensity, and their words are still ricocheting within me.
The girl lands at SFO and we begin to do the sweet crazy dance of cramming half a year of love into six days. We take sushi to the ocean, even though it’s raining hard, and sit in the car watching the Lady’s muscles break all Olympic records. That evening we indulge in the sybaritic messiness of barbecued ribs for dinner.
There is still an actual video store in Sebastopol, and we rent Grizzly Man. It’s pretty intense to spend time orchestrated by Werner Herzog, but I didn’t know I would also get to watch a studio session with my guitar flame Richard Thompson (DVD extras, wahoo.)
Amidst all this we are brushing up on our performance of Gifts, in mothballs since last May but scheduled for a Monday noon performance. It’s temporarily disorienting because our eye/hand/voice coordination is now locked into Lear, but Gifts is also a complicated choreography.
Life goes on. I accidentally heard several minutes of Trump oratory, courtesy of Conrad watching Rachel Maddow on YouTube, and that required some recovery time. (How long, O Lord, how long . . .)
But we have two more days to put our mosaic together for this spring, and if you are startled to see what looks like the Northern Lights in improbable locations, you can thank us for the treat.
—From the Fool—
My nephew Buddy is flunking 9th grade, but he gets lots of education on the Web. He can quote all the insults from the candidates and even do imitations.
So he told me about a video he saw. “There’s a pit bull and a bunny,” he said, “so what do you think happens?”
I thought maybe the bunny nuzzled up to the pit bull and then climbed on his head. Or they danced around pretending to fight. Or they both teamed up to chase a turtle.
So Buddy said, “No, stupid, the pit bull killed the bunny and ate it.”
His dad (my brother) told him it wasn’t polite to call your uncle stupid, even if he was a self-proclaimed Fool. But to me he said, “We don’t go in for political correctness.”
I guess he thinks that if pit bulls don’t eat rabbits, they’re maybe gay. Though, for me, I’d think if they do eat rabbits, they’ve not been fed.
I watch her picking her way on the sea cliff
above Salt Point piled rubble of barrage
slugfest of sea and shore great clobbered rocks like
rounded breasts and rumps a pornographic geology.
She walks in pain
at dawn of a seventy-seventh year
shading the glare white claw marks of cloud
lethal rumbling waters where dragons be.
Arthritis binds her stepping now
though last night in the darkening tent
she was the rumpled shoreline ebbing and cresting
erupting in surf swirling in tide pools.
She chooses a delicate footing
toward the jut where yes a scatter of seals
lie dormant in sunshine flabby as liver slabs
then smack aroused awriggle flashing aslant the sea.
I watch her returning through scrabblebush
startling a flurry of flutterings brown birdlets
like the voices last night of distant campsite children
howling like loons in joy.
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© Bishop & Fuller 2016