Post 2 from Guest Blogger Brenda Coultas

March 6

(From Woodstock)

Bernadette and Phil are going to see The Crazies, a horror flick, in Hudson tonight. Last film we saw with them was Boogeyman in Catskill.

Bird songs, fresh mint crawling out from the snow.
Deer scat in back yard.

Going for a walk with Grace Murphy, that one, the one with all the 2nd generation NY school poems dedicated to her. Esp. from Bernadette, Steve Katz, etc. Bernadette, Grace, and Peggy DeCoursey went to high school together.

Books Received:
Gurlesque, ed by Lara Glenum & Arielle Greenberg
Volt, Volume 15
Either She Was, Karin Randolph, Marsh Hawk Press
Town, Kate Schapira, Factory School
The Imperfect, George Tysh, United Artists
Thirty Miles to Rosebud, Barbara Henning, BlazeVOX.

Courtesy of Tonya Foster, 5 chapbooks from Lost and Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative series: The Amiri Baraka/Ed Dorn Correspondence,The Kenneth Koch/Frank O’Hara Letters: Parts I & II, Philip Whalen’s Journals: Selections, Parts I & II, Robert Creeley: Context of Poetry with Selections from Daphne Marlatt’s Journals, Muriel Rukeyser: Darwin & the Writers.

Reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. A relief to read something smart about the crap we’re being fed. She also traces the origins of the positive brainwashing culture back to the 19th century.

A blog is not a journal or diary. The temptation is to pour my heart out as in a private document, but in reality, I would out myself as well as others, even though that these words will mostly go unread except by Stacy (who posts it) and the next guest blogger checking in. That I like, the thought of writing to an audience of Stacy and myself. Rumor is the “comments” command is dysfunctional. Good. No thumbs up/down on my posts. I want this space to be silent like the page. This is a monologue not a conversation. Or is it gossip? Too thin-skinned to be a full time blogger, I want to be liked too much.

Thinking of the problem/pleasure of writing in a public space, the fluid nature of online writing, and how ugly the word “blog” itself is. Like slog or clog. And how every blog at some point requires the writer to acknowledge the medium, just as I am here. Still the temptation to put it all down is present, the quietness of composing is seductive. Filling the endless void of cyberspace with letters is a silent luxury, yet I censor myself.

March 11

(back in East Village)

The raven is at the top of one of the largest trees on the cemetery outside our window. In the fall, it stayed close to the ground. I heard that was rescued from a ditch in Arizona, and that it hates men and loves women, and eats dog food.

Sometimes Red Tail Hawks perch in the treetops too and hunt pigeons.
Rat ran across the top of backyard wall in the rain.

Went to see “Time Stands Still” by Donald Margulies, on Broadway, set in Williamsburg loft, about photojournalists and the Iraqi war. Not a great play but a good one. It deals with the role of the photojournalist: the job is to witness, not to intervene. All of the characters except for the Sarah, played by Laura Linney, decide that there is nothing they can do about the war but snatch at happiness by having babies and forgetting about it. Except Linney’s character, who has returned home to heal after being blown up by a roadside bomb. She goes back to the war zone as a witness.

I ignore pain, haven’t dealt with it directly in my writing. A friend of mine, did a self-portrait with a nail, penetrating her forehead. “It’s my pain,” she said.

March 13

Rain day and night. Simon Pettet over for dinner. He walks in soaked to the bone, takes off his raincoat and boots, and from a book bag pulls out a very dry copy of Other Flowers, James Schulyer’s uncollected poems that he co-edited with James Meetze. Mixed review in the LA Times.