Minggu, 29 Juni 2008

Library Crimes

I am upstairs listening to squirrels scuttle across the roof. I prefer the click of a dog's nails on the floor inside the house. We had a good rain last night, though I can only be vague about these things. I've always wanted a rain gauge. I weeded my little garden plot yesterday, which really only makes it more hospitable for more weeds. I will come back to chaos. But I will look out the window as I pack and admire what is tidy. I did get up to the library yesterday and decided I'd try to check out four items since I had returned four. (I had been two over my limit.) I set my four books down with an appropriate blend of nonchalance and authority. The librarian pulled my information up on the computer like a good secret agent and said, "Have you returned any today?" "Yes, I just put four in the bin." "Oh, o.k." Wow. That was easy. I ought to move on to more dangerous things.

I'll be away from internet access for week and will post when I return. Be Well...

Sabtu, 28 Juni 2008


Some will sort socks before a trip, and stuff them into shoes to save space. Some will think about which shoes to pack. I have the sock/shoe sorting down and will spend my time thinking about which books to take. Some spend up to their limit on their credit cards. I check out the maximum number of books allowed on my library card. This week, the librarian said, "Oh dear, you are going to be two over, but we'll let it slide." So I am off to the library to return 4 books, renew three books, and check out two more, bringing me back to my limit. One of my favorite sounds in this world is the crinkle of a clear jacket cover on a library book.

Jumat, 27 Juni 2008


I'm settling into summer. I have books to read, including Salt, by Monique Truong, sent by my aunt in St. Paul, and stacks of things I've checked out of the library...Dog Man, by Martha Sherrill; Thousand Mile Song, by David Rothenberg; and Mayflower, by Nathaniel Philbrick. I won't get to all of them. I'm also reading Per Petterson's Out Stealing Horses, and have many collections of poetry in piles and corners and stacks. And I have requested Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov, which the East Lansing Library does not have but has ordered from the MSU library.

Kamis, 19 Juni 2008


I saw this at Schuler Books & Music yesterday and would like to hear it. I am glad there is more to our country's musical history than ballads, but we get a lot of stories from them....romance, tragedy, history, humor. I recall studying traditional British ballads at Albion. It must have been part of an English literature course, and I remember somebody's (an author's?) attitude about them: that even though they were sung by the folk, they were to be read by the educated. That was an old opinion. Ballads are special. I sometimes tire of the repetition that is built into most of them, but I like how many begin in medias res, which is a useful approach for a lot of writing.

Rabu, 18 Juni 2008


I am upstairs next to an open window, which is a fine thing. It was cool enough that I closed things up today, which created a certain kind of claustrophobia. I suppose there are all sorts. This was the type that did not leave me gasping for air so much as it made me feel like I had bits of lint stuffed in my ears. An open window brings tremendous relief. I tried playing "BEEP" with Tommy at the park yesterday. I was "it" most of the time, which meant I had to close my eyes and grope around the jungle gym trying to tag him. This is a game that really should not be played unless you cheat, but I was loathe to break the rules. So I smashed my knuckles and bumped my knees and experienced the "I can't see" type of claustrophobia, which is related to but distinct from the "I can't hear" variety. It's all too much sensory deprivation. So I am drinking sounds (ears can do this, actually. They can gulp, and I suppose they might even burp, depending what they hear) and trying not to blink.

Selasa, 10 Juni 2008

Garden of Good and Evil

I really love wandering around the Beal Botanical Garden on campus, but this could destroy it for me. Poison Ivy? On display? On a trellis? In a garden? What kind of mad curator would do this? This has all the potential for a low budget b grade horror flick. I can hardly breathe when I pass it. But once you do one can learn all sorts of important things. The finely ground roots of the Cardinal Flower should be eaten by quarrelsome couples, though the Meskwaki also use it to ward off storms. Wild Ginger is an effective expectorant, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit works well in a poultice to treat swelling and boils. There is free medical advice everywhere in this garden. Someday I am going to show up and there will be pharmacists in white lab coats wandering around clipping leaves while patients rest on old cots, moaning beneath the rhododendrons.

Rabu, 04 Juni 2008

2D Festival Derry 5-7th June 2008

I'm very excited to present my latest comic collection at Northern Ireland's Biggest Comic festival 2D in Derry this weekend. It's a collected edition of all the Mr Maximo and Rabbit stories so far, including the two strips for Accent UK's anthologies. 36 pages internally, b&w, full colour cover, and yours for only £3.50 inlcuding the postage and packaging. Email me on koniption@hotmail(dot)com if you would like one and I'll send you the pay pal details. Alternatively come along to the open day from 11am til 5pm at the Verbal Arts Centre and buy one in person!!
All best wishes, Bridgeen

Selasa, 03 Juni 2008

What Could Not Be Caught

Frogs, Bikes, Sunshine, Gardens

We went for a great bike ride on Sunday and spent time on campus looking for frogs and counting counties. We had the whole state to ourselves, as you can see.

Stanley Kunitz

I am reading The Wild Braid, which has much wisdom in it. Here is a poem by Stanley Kunitz, included in the book. It holds great meaning for me right now.

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written,
I am not done with my changes.