Sunday, May 19, 2002

Golby Explains Why My Blog Has So Few Comments
(Actually, I had been wondering about that.)
He says:
Unlike, as Nithia and I were discussing, our friend and resident crone of the blogs, Elaine , I am not an 'holistic' blogger. Sorry, Elaine, we were talking male / female, yin / yang, and you came up as the perfect example of the complete blogger. You're open to the Web in a private way, you give all sides of yourself while retaining those in-the-world details you choose to omit. You are, or have become, extremely difficult to comment on because you generally paint a full picture without compromising yourself.

Hmmm.. Hmmmmmmmm. Mike Golby makes me think about that. He’s right. I don’t compromise myself.

Hmm. I guess that’s true. I write my blog like a newspaper commentary. I omit details that would compromise me. Hmmm. Because my kids read my blog? Because non-blogger friends read my blog? Because I am manipulating what you think of me? Because I am inventing myself as I want to be rather than presenting myself as I am? Because I really am balanced and holistic?

So, this is what I Commented back to Golby:
Heh. Balance? I've been through depression, divorce, deaths.... just like so many others. I spent several crazy years drinking and disco-ing and "dating" (that's a euphemism) even a little toking -- and this while trying to raise my two incredible kids. I've come a long way, baby, and if I seem more balanced now it's because I had a lot of professional help getting through my dark night of the soul. But don't put me on any pedestal yet. I've got a few more wild dances in me to set the scales askew.

These days, however, my life is constrained by the fact that I live in a small one-bedroom apartment across the hall from my mother so that I can do what needs to be done for her. (Imagine living across the hall from your mother; it’s very inhibiting in any number of ways.) To make room for my sewing machine and the various artsy/craftsy stuff I do, I only have one twin bed in my bedroom. And there’s no one around here with whom I’m likely to have a relationship that would necessitate a bigger bed. I’ve sort of taken a hiatus from ballroom dancing because I can’t find anyone to dance with who’s really fun and sexy and worth spending time with. My thirty-something attitudes and energies have nowhere to go in this confined lifestyle. I miss the passionate life that I once led . And so I keep as my mantra lines from Theordore Roethke’s “The Lost Son” – A lively understandable spirit / once entertained you. / It will come again. / Be still. / Wait.

Balance. Yes. That’s the one thing that “aging” (god, I hate that word) has helped me to better understand. But just to throw things off balance for a minute, let me share some “poetry” I wrote not that long ago in response to a challenge from an distinctly unbalanced poet/colleague/friend to do an erotic poetry chapbook in collaboration with him. Here were some of my contributions to “Eating Disorders and Other Mastications,” which is what I titled the chapbook.

something about turkey necks,
gizzards nestled in palm of hand
stroked with oil
moist heated,
until firm, juice-laden,
ready for needing,
nibbling, gnawing --
fine night dining,
giving thanks.

no skinny men, please,
unless they’re hairy
from their necks down
(so that I have to hunt
for distinguishing features)
even on their backs,
like beasts to groom
with taming tongue,
or stroke against --
sweet skin on fur
smelling of caves, leaves,
banked fires.

My mother’s words
were words of fear:
stay away from dark
eyes, streets, corners, bars,
skin, moons, hearts –
things that lurk, lure, linger.
And so, of course,
I conjure shadows,
wait at crossroads,
shrive the stranger
of a heart gone wild.

unsatisfied still after
too much plum wine,
steamy rice,
bold-faced fortunes,
I let you (lead you
bring you)
stave my hunger
with your limpid kumquat,
leave me dripping
with the dredges
of those hot green teas.

Saturday Night Fevers

Those were the nights!
tho’ I never did the coke
in the shadows behind the bar
where the blue-eyed bouncer
(strategically sun-bronzed and bleached,
macho-hot in open shirt gleaming gold)
found new places for fast hands.
But I’d arrive gone already
from toking on the road,
primed for fast stepping,
skirt hiked high on thigh,
smile that said ready
to hustle me dizzy,
spinning close and low,
dropping now --
all arms
and sweat
and bass-booming blood
binding me to the heat
of those gone dancing nights.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose. Now is the time for balance. At least most of the time. Sigh.
I'm Going Where Bob Dylan Went
That's up to the Caffe Lena in Saratoga, which is the oldest continuously run coffeehouse in America. According to its history page, Bob Dylan played there on his first tour of the East. Don McLean first played "American Pie" on the Caffè Lena Stage. Arlo Guthrie sang there long before the rest of the world heard his music.

I'm heading up this evening with some friends to hear a friend of theirs, Joan Taub, whose unique and powerful alto voice has been featured recently with the Four Fabulous Females. Her vocal style has been described as a smokey Patsy Cline, crossed with the strength and sweetness of Georgia Brown. This is her first solo performance, featuring warm love ballads and breezy boppin' blues.

Of course, I'm taping the series finale of X-Files, even though I haven't watched it much since Duchovny left. But, hey, this is IT, folks.
Rage on, Mick.

Mick Jagger, now 60 years old, is going on tour with his Rolling Stones. Some think that he’s too old. I agree with Providence Journal columnist Mark Patinkin, who had this to say in a recent article:

Years from now, if the Stones need walkers to dance across stage, perhaps even I’ll admit it’s time. But if you can still play the game, there’s room in this culture for those who choose not to retire gracefully from it.

Tina Turner and Mick Jagger, my esteemed contemporaries. Maybe I shouldn’t look to rock stars as role models, but they are the ones who are push the envelope on the stereotypes of "older" people. That’s what I like about their personas. That and they’re not afraid of getting in the faces of their critics. They’ve still got it and they flaunt it. Flaunt. Flaunt.

Yes, indeed, rock, roll, and rage on.