Sunday, January 25, 2009

Readings and Writings and Readings

Reading (Definition 1)

I've been spending my free moments with Don Marquis' Archy and Mehitabel, and finding a great deal more there than I'd anticipated. I picked up a 1975 edition at Symposia, the wonderful second-hand bookstore that hosts the Spoken Word Series, and I've been taking it in a little at a time ever since. It has a great comic spine (as book purportedly written by a cockroach should), but there's a lot of satire to digest along the way. There's a great write-up on the book and the characters over at

Writings (vicarious)

One daughter has composed her first song. She's diddled about with melodies and such since she took up the piano, but this weekend she produced a mature lyric and melody with a solid pop-song structure to it. I helped a little to realize it as a two-handed piano piece (yes, accordionists can use our left hands, those of you informed enough to be skeptical of such), but this was hers. I've produced one song in several decades of trying, and my one wasn't as good as hers. She's also about 17 years ahead of my literary publication record. Good gravy, I couldn't be prouder. Jealous as all get-out, but just as proud.

Not to be outdone, one daughter (not the first) demonstrated another creative compositional ability I've coveted for years and never been good at - that musical improvisation known as scat singing. For all the time and occasional money I've invested in my musical capability over the years, improvisation is something that's consistently escaped me. Maybe it's true that we exist to serve the next generation. I could live with that.

Readings (Definition 2)

Having mentioned Symposia and the Spoken Word Series earlier, I should point out that we have Bob Rosenbloom and Edie Angelo this Sunday at 3PM in Hoboken. They are representing the estimable Somerset Poetry Group, which serves as the beacon and incubator to a surprising number of members of the NJ Poetry community. Rest assured, Cardinals fans, you can attend the reading and still make it home for kickoff. Steelers fans, too, of course.

Writings (continued)

My two manuscript-length projects are both at crossroads this month, for very different reasons. I think I've made a decision on one and a plan for the other, but I'm not sure enough to begin kicking it around out here in the front yard. Come around back in a few days and we'll what we've come to. If you come back on Sunday, bring wings and wear your Warner jersey. I'll be the one with the Troy Polavoodoo doll in my hands.

And in closing...

Cardinals 23, Steelers 16.

A man can dream, can't he?

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