Friday, November 30, 2007

The free conference on blogging was the South Sound Technology Conference, The Blogging Boom, How Journalism, Private Enterprise, Parenting and Civic Action have changed.

Pogo once featured sleuths tracking through the swamp. They worked with chihuahuas, not bloodhounds, because bloodhounds were so difficult to control. I was reminded of this when a panel member admitted, "more eyes / more errors" as she described "distributive reporting" - with technology, newsrooms can now search more diligently.

Wearing Red - Friday, November 30, 2007

I published A Long Poem at Salt River Review this winter. which relates the experience my uncle had in World War One. Today we are asked to participate in Veteran's History Awareness Month by wearing red. In a book about Scandinavian knitting, I noticed this paragraph: "Warning. Red caps. The wearing of red caps has lately become so prevalent that they are now considered a type of protest. Wearing of these caps is forbidden beginning on Thursday, 26 February 1942. From that day forward, the caps will be confiscated from whoever is wearing one..." This was a public announcement from the police in Trondheim. Wearing a red cap was considered a political statement against the Germans. It was such a strong symbol that elves' red caps on Christmas cards were censored that winter. From Nordic Knitting: Thirty-One Patterns in the Scandinavian Tradition by Susanne Pagoldh.
My father was in England as a pharmacist with the United States Army for a year and a half during World War Two. He was already in his 40's and had worked his way through the U of Washington pharmacy school in the 1920's. In the photograph, late winter 1950, I wear a Disney knit with Thumper, from the movie Bambi, probably from the 1940's.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Free Conference on Blogging

Tomorrow there is a free conference on blogging I plan to go to.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tinsel Garland at the Post Office

This year a commemorative stamp honors holiday knits. That this is a reflexive experience appeals to me - as we unpeel several one by one for several envelopes we necessarily reflect on the wool or wool knit sweater we have on. And the holiday spirit enlarges at each cross walk as we meditate about the check-for-your-gloves-or-mittens while you wait sign. And the Jacquard machine has been noted as an early mode of the computer.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Meyercord Decals from the 1930's

At the pond on Thanksgiving was a black one that swam past, maybe it was a female black scoter, but it was rather small. There was a male bufflehead, there was a goose. There was a flock of American Widgeons.

Thanksgiving Recipe

On Thanksgiving I count birds. This year there was a project at the park pond, so I went on the free bus to Point Defiance and watched the birds at the pond there. Before I left I put together Steve's Beans, from a recipe I searched for that I remembered from the Sunday Buffet at Steve's Gay Nineties in South Tacoma - we could sit at a booth with buggy wheels at the sides, like riding in a buggy. There were postcards of Steve's Can-Can Girls from the Cabaret Music nightlife side to Steve's Restaurant.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Last week I wrote a poem, this is the poem:

The Mirror and the Weather

How wind blows across the trees,
rows of song,
all over the floor in pieces.

A figure up at night
in a tent who knows what,
who knows.

Waves, waves, how it happens,
hair, hair, then hair
hear over hair now all howl.

Moths. It falls. It drifts and sleeps now.

This poem was not directly associated with a visit to Tacoma Art Museum where one display was landscape photography by Mary Randlett. I walked through and returned to a group on one wall and I thought - These I am rather especially fond of.

And then I read the copy - one photo appeared on the cover of a poetry book by Denise Levertov, and I am especially familiar with that photo, have looked at is peripherally many times.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cement Pot Very Like Pots Made By My Mother's Uncle

Here we see a cement cast pot very like pots made by my mother's uncle. He was from Sweden and returned there to retire. For years there were pots made by my mother's uncle, like these, on the house front steps where we lived.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Poem by Gerald Stern

A poem by Gerald Stern in a recent New Yorker tells of a music box that plays a piece of classical music. At the end of the poem the setting changes - the music box is in a small boat, its bottom filled with an inch of water. Gerald Stern has used the setting to transpose the poem, the poem changes key. It is a comment on the experience of art in uncertain times. The poem came to mind for me in church as the bell choir played.

Robert Hass and a Poem by Tomas Transtromer

Now And Then: The Poet's Choice Columns 1997-2000 (Shoemaker and Hoard, 2007) by Robert Hass, includes a discussion of a poem by Tomas Transtromer for November 29, 1998 (page 111). Robert Hass had been to Shanghai, where "The main experience of the main experience of New York, is the sheer mass of people on the teeming streets..." The poem by Tomas Transtromer, "Streets in Shanghai", immediately came to mind for Haas:

Behind each one walking here moves a cross that wants to catch up to us, pass us, join us...

The cross in this line is the subject of Robert Hass last paragraph - "One wants to know what that cross is in Swedish and what its resonances are..." The word wants used both by Transtromer and Hass expresses layers of want. One layer is that ambiguity is a kind of aesthetic happiness. To want to know is a joy in itself. This is one part of Hass meditative column about Tomas Transtromer. Another layer is the desire to see the poem printed in original Swedish side by side with the translation - a desire supported by small press.

With the internet we assume answers can happen on the text. This changes the experience of ambiguity for writers.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Historic Papers About Japanese Internment Found

In today's News Tribune there is an article about historic papers about the Japanese Internment. My experience with the historic items is that they exist in the present, and in their tactile testimony we find a difference to our era of Global Warming concerns and our direct experiences with overcrowded highways and ecological concerns in general. We are reminded of the novel by David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars, the setting had a dominant part in the novel, as the title shows.


In September The News Tribune featured a story about a barn. The barn was built by John Udd as an immigrant.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November Household Suggestion

When you need to clean dirt off vintage pilgrim candles, you can rub them gently with an old nylon stocking.