It’s a shame to begin a Friday with a rant, but unfortunately this morning reminded me why it is so important to park well between the lines. My apartment complex has about 20 parking spots on either side of the building for its residents. I park on the left side (if you’re facing the building from the street) and spots on my side are extremely close together. I learned quickly that you must park right between the lines, otherwise it has a domino effect on all the other cars and before you know it, cars are smushed right up next to one another. This makes it virtually impossible to squeeze into the driver’s side door of your vehicle.
This is what happened to me this morning. Ordinarily, it wouldn’t really matter. I can usually sneak between the cars, and while I might mumble about it, I survive. However, today it was raining. Not drizzling or misting, but full out raining. This made the sides of my car wet, so when I pushed between them to inch into my car, my entire back side got wet. I continued to get wet as I tried to figure out how to get into my car while my umbrella was up. All in all, it was pretty annoying.
Dana Gioia is taking in his leave:
When Gioia isn’t at the Aspen Institute headquarters in Washington, D.C., he’ll be writing at his home in Sonoma County. “The poetic gift is a very delicate one, and if you abuse the Muse, she may leave you,” he said.
I’m working on my manuscript this afternoon. I think this poem is about done:
He told me once, while laying new slate tile
that your beauty reached across a cold sea
to a clever Scot who answered the pleas
of lords and dukes for deeper petal hues,
so he discovered purple, red, and blue.
He made ancient English gardens gleam bright
with cerise, carmine, lavender, and white.
Your form reminds men of delicate lace
beneath corsets and blue jeans, sex and grace.
But women see romance in your soft blush.
You were my gentle aunt’s long standing crush
standing in for children and lone hours
spent planting, watering, and weeding flower
and flower. My grandfather brought her
the first seeds, burying them by a fir
out behind her neat vegetable patch.
She always mixed a few sprigs in a batch
of lilies. When she got sick, he placed sweet
peas on her nightstand, tucked sheets over feet
while he sat through the night holding her hand
ignoring the plastic hospital band.
When she died, he brought sweet peas one last time
the blossoms garish against the grave’s grime.
but I’m having some trouble with this one:
The night I decided to move away,
I prowled the rooms of our small house to look
for my worn Bishop book, a cracked glass tray,
and that fish chowder recipe I took
from my mother. Instead, I found a post-
card from Wyoming covered in your quick
hand, lamenting miles of dying land. Most
of your cards and notes were a steady tick
of words, mapping isolation by miles
traveled, places seen, people found and lost.
I was the first, cast out in quick, deep piles
with my letters and photos at no cost.
And when you left, I wanted to keep
your words in my bedside drawer covered by
a chipped gold hand mirror, but it felt cheap
and as I pack, your cards answer why I
chose to pick books and old shoes off the floor,
but chose to leave your words behind in drawers.
Hmmm….(sound of brain struggling)