Friday, June 12, 2009

"Routines of the Heart"

I've acquired, seemingly by accretion, a number of large projects that have been drawing my time and attention away from some of what I love best: reading, of all things (fiction particularly, but even a diminishment in poetry) and writing for this blog. One directly affects the other; the less I do outside reading, the less grist for posting. What I may do is scale back to 2 posts a week for awhile: the regular Wednesday archive post and Issa's Sunday Service (and the clever among you will know that really is scaling it back to one post a week or, say, 1½). I will continue to post as I get material that needs to be shared. Just thought I'd give you a head's up.

Two of the projects I'm caught up in are, I think, pretty exciting. They certainly are for me and, so, I'll be sharing info on them in a future post (see, I'm already thinking future posts).

Today, I ran across this fine little number via the Poem-A-Day project and thought its clarity, subtly, and resonance might just grab a reader or two. So here you go:

Mercury Dressing
To steal a glance and, anxious, see
Him slipping into transparency—
The feathered helmet already in place,
Its shadow fallen across his face
(His hooded sex its counterpart)—
Unsteadies the routines of the heart.
If I reach out and touch his wing,
What harm, what help might he then bring?

But suddenly he disappears,
As so much else has down the years...
Until I feel him deep inside
The emptiness, preoccupied.
His nerve electrifies the air.
His message is his being there.
J. D. McClatchy

This Sunday is the anniversary of the birth of W. B. Yeats. Perhaps I'll have more about that later. For now, I'll keep it brief (see above). Meantime, Sunday is also the anniversary of the birth AND death of Sidney Bechet. So, here's "St. Louis Blues" for a toe-tapping Friday afternoon.

the perfect thing
for an old-time evening...
thatch of irises
translated by David Lanoue



Charles Gramlich said...

I've been posting more this summer but that's because I'm off work and able to write and read most of my day. I'm sure gonna miss it when I go back to work.

Ed Baker said...


in the early 70's we were still going down to The Showboat Lounge
to hear Charlie Byrd and whoever else was "with" him

actually, we were going down there when in high school (the 50's) because Margie Feldman's dad or her uncle was an owner of the club (Charlie Byrd also owned a "piece" of the club


when you haul yer selves back

there was a git-tar player often sat in with

do bring us some


Ed Baker said...

lookie what I found!

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

And me, Charlie and Tal, with one of my favorites, Barney ...

Ed Baker said...

just ordered from some place I've yet to "check out"


in it for the music
in it for the poetry
same in it, eh?

these guys the best of them played with and for each other..

the audience was just there
along for the ride

once Charlie Byrd came over to our table

said hello to Margie and us

asked me "what do you play?"

I replied: "radio and typewriter"

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

And you play both of them real well ...

Ed Baker said...


another local guy a piano player

around D.C.

...Billy Taylor

I remember seeing him and Tommy Flanagan

"dueling pianos"

I think that it was at The Kennedy Center

Ed Baker said...

yeah it was the Kennedy Center..

and they are yet going strong and free...

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Flanagan did some pretty amazing early date with Coltrane ... have some of sets as a leader of a
trio or quartet - outstanding ...

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles ... too early to thing about going back to work already ...