Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lucille Clifton - she lived

When I was getting ready to read at Dodge, I took a few minutes by myself and Lucille Clifton went by in a golf cart. She looked at me and gave me a knowing nod of acknowledgment. I'll never forget that. At least I had the chance to thank her at dinner for her poem I kept above my desk that helped me during my darkest days - "she lived"

Boy, did she ever.

she lived

after he died
what really happened is
she watched the days
bundle into thousands,
watched every act become
the history of others,
every bed more
but even as the eyes of lovers
strained toward the milky young
she walked away
from the hole in the ground
deciding to live. and she lived.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bunch of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger

CORNISH, NH—In this big dramatic production that didn't do anyone any good (and was pretty embarrassing, really, if you think about it), thousands upon thousands of phonies across the country mourned the death of author J.D. Salinger, who was 91 years old for crying out loud. "He had a real impact on the literary world and on millions of readers," said hot-shot English professor David Clarke, who is just like the rest of them, and even works at one of those crumby schools that rich people send their kids to so they don't have to look at them for four years. "There will never be another voice like his." Which is exactly the lousy kind of goddamn thing that people say, because really it could mean lots of things, or nothing at all even, and it's just a perfect example of why you should never tell anybody anything.