Flight from Seattle to Boston
I traveled from West to East coast to spend some time with people who are important to me. I left the Northeast 2½ years ago to take a job in Seattle, and am preparing to move 50 miles south to Tacoma Washington, to start a new job on 3/07/11. I planned this interval of travel/conversation/celebration/relaxation to clear the path for another chapter in my journey.
On the flight, I was mesmerized reading Mean Free Path–poetry by Ben Lerner. [Copper Canyon Press] I started notes for a long poem that I worked on daily during my travels. I have dedicated it to Ben.
I think stating the year is important although it’s often omitted.
February flight from Seattle to Boston: snow strewn across the
belly of a nation, geography dotted with symbols, jotting short
in-flight word-strings on college-lined pages in a composition
notebook with marble-blue cover.
2 Days in Boston with Annie
Spent 2 delicious days with my niece, Annie, who is a senior at Emerson College. Discussed everything! What a joy I am experiencing—that time when a young adult admits an older adult into an equal relationship that transcends earlier roles. There is no greater delight for me.
When did my heart congest with bile? I opt to live alone.
You don’t believe it when I tell you my life is drawing to a close.
Even those who long to believe in an afterlife know it’s only a wild
card. I recognize dust when it settles on furniture. What can it
mean that I fell in love with a lean volume of poems?
Train from Boston to Portland Maine
Hildy picked me up in Portland and we had lunch and walked about, then drove to Camden. Walking was a theme during these days, taking Kugle for long walks in the crunching snow.
Last year, Hildy—my dear friend since 8th grade—came out to Seattle to celebrate my 60th birthday with me, and in turn, I came to Maine to celebrate Hildy’s 60th birthday with her. Her partner, Nancy, planned a surprise party, which was truly a surprise. Lovely week in the blinding sun-on-snow in Maine.
On my 50th
birthday (2000) I wore an ankle-length Chinese shift, having
dinner with 8 friends at a place in the East Village called
But this was a short smoky A-line jersey from the GAP, worn
with a fetching red sweater. One professor asked, Isn’t this a bit
like War and Peace?
From Camden Maine, to Northampton Massachusetts
Hildy and I drove from Camden to Northampton, where we enjoyed a fabulous birthday dinner with my good friend, Mary Beth and her wife (yay for Massachusetts!) Meryl. I’ve known MB since my NYC ACT UP days, and her friendship continues to be a gift. Not just a lovely dinner, fabulous cake, and the best company, but they also gave me a Kindle, what a treat!
I came to New York (1988)
seeking sex and left celibate (2006). My best friend, J, died at St.
Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village (1993). Before he stopped
speaking he was light enough to carry from bed to bath. His last
words to me were: Shut up R.
Train to NYC
I took the train from Springfield MA to NYC, spent most of the ride reading MB’s manuscript for her novel. In the city, I went directly to Soho to visit Mark, another friend from the city. He made a fabulous meal of beans, greens and cornbread. I tried to re-vive some nostalgia for the East Village, where I lived for 16 years, but to no avail. Visiting with Mark, and seeing my cousin Miriam, was another delicious treat.
I have not forgotten B or J or any of my infatuations, not even
my first boyfriend, D, who years later (2004) told me I reminded
him of a cat—amusing and fickle. My first woman-lover, L, committed
suicide. I want you to know how much this means to me, but have
no way to tell. I’m afraid I will die without discovering
how it plays out, without remembering to burn my journals.
Full-tilt travel day, NYC-Boston-Seattle
I took a bus to Boston, another bus to Logan, and then flew back to Seattle. Long, long day of traveling. Read more poetry, worked on my poem. Grateful for the time to refresh.
I should plant cornrows of hair before I die, leave something for my
grandsons Y & D, my brother’s children A & S, that future we hate
to acknowledge—the one without us. I can see how this is going,
read the handwritten progress notes, taste the stale bread, smell
the twice-brewed coffee. When will I have the stroke?