— From the Fool —

Once I tried to keep a diary, but it didn’t work out. The first day, the cat did something funny and I wrote about that. The next day she just sat there, so I thought, well, maybe I could do something myself so I could write it down, because you can never depend on a cat. I dropped a cup on the floor, but it didn’t break so it didn’t seem worth the effort.

Then I remembered in school they taught us about a famous king who kept a diary. But he wasn’t all that literary, so the day that all his subjects whipped up a big revolution, in his diary all he wrote was “Nothing.” Later they cut off his head. I don’t know what he wrote about that.

If kings could get away with brevity, it was worth another try. So last week I just let it flow:

Monday: Thought about it.
Tuesday: Saw problems there.
Wednesday: Not much.
Thursday: Even less.
Friday: Getting into the groove.
Saturday: Lost track.
Sunday: The day of rest.

I grant it’s kinda no-frills. If I were the President I could write “I made a speech.” If I were Stephen King, “I wrote a book.” If I were a soldier, “I got shot.” But nobody wants to read, “I fed the cat,” if I do it every day.

I could maybe not feed the cat and then write about what happens. Or I could write all the stuff in the news, the massacres and mergers and playoffs and winners and refugees, and that would be pretty interesting, but I guess by comparison at the end of the week, “Nothing” sounds pretty good.

— From EF —

We had a big anniversary celebration party on Saturday (the actual date was a week earlier, but a dear friend was celebrating her 50th birthday on that day — never miss a chance for a big party). Lotsa food and wine and lotsa happy people talking to each other. Somebody said, “You have the nicest friends!” Amen to that.

Of course, the whole preceding week was furious housecleaning. I got all up in a bunch about how awful the living-room carpet looked and how awful the upstairs bedroom carpet looked, never mind the disastrous state of the office and the back room. So I thought, let’s hire a pro to come DO THIS.

We quickly realized that we’d either have to do it on two different days or lug everything out into the parking lot and pretend we were being foreclosed. The living room and bedroom were emptied and shampooed first, and in three days the carpets were dry and all the furniture and books and tchotchkes had been put back. Clean floors, and the added blessing of having finally heaved a bunch of stuff out.

The next day we were still basking in party echoes and eating the leftovers, and actually went out to see a friend’s hilarious clown trio perform. I finished a marathon read-through of the first draft of our fifth novel, and we had a vodka and talked about it until 11:30. As we were about to go up to bed, the awful realization hit — the carpet cleaner was coming first thing next morning, and we hadn’t moved anything out of those rooms.

Imagine what you’d see if you snuck up behind a kangaroo and blasted its butt with a hairdryer. Multiply by two. We were panicked but flung ourselves into the task, puffing and swearing, and eventually I started to laugh.

Mission accomplished, last giggle giggled, we flopped into bed. Very tired and very wired — what the hell would we do about the huge stack of work that needs the computers? I think I got about two hours’ actual sleep, but this morning figured out how to set up a work station in the living room and use the wifi to access the other needed machines until the floors are dry. Life will be normal in a couple of days. Or at least what passes for normal.

— From CB —

It was there in my skull a moment ago
right next to the memory of Judith Malina
tucked back in the junk behind the parietal lobe
when I only shifted my gaze to tie my shoe
and I lost it.

It was keen as a third-eye acuity
of that Hindu god who turned blue
from the love of a gaggle of cowgirls
now standing bug-eyed in wonderment
that he’s lost it.

And the girl in the sprinkler dancing
arms splayed in the joy of a yogurt ad
calling calla lilies to frolic
right to the day when her fingertips feel
that she’s lost it.

Or that clown of many colors
in phantom hues undiscovered
in the fiercest oily night—
And our cheery birthday boy
who opens his gift of unwrapped wrappings
down to its onion soul—
same story.

Lost what? A key? Lost what?
a word a spice a shake of salt?
a smirking cat that hides in the wind
so absent it can’t be caught?
Or the loss of laughter
my laughter that trick of the brain
that spins straw into gold?

What’s lost must be in the luggage
I lug in the flickering night
to a blurred address in the suburbs.
I’ll open it when I get there.


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© Bishop & Fuller 2015

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