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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gas giant

Gas giant

So that someone sold Saturn views
through a telescope tripoded outside
Barcelona’s Bar Zurich when you could.

No crowd. Looked legit.
And there is a certain comfort
some Saturday nights

in being able quite unhurriedly
to lean forward and touch
eyelash to eyepiece,

then see a clear sharp shape
in lensed light—
an apparent sphere

and in memory buzzing
shapes off the sides.

Monday, June 24, 2019



no i don’t want the job
two decades & all those close calls
you’re kidding
detained by the queenly nymph Kalypso
as Lattimore translates     sound cozy
think it over
here’s the half hollow sound
of a windblown cold drinks can
rolling along the street
how long’s it been

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pride month and Dalloway Day

Pride month and Dalloway Day

In Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway the lead protagonist Clarissa Dalloway is described by a previous suitor, Peter Walsh, as “the perfect hostess.” It is, as I think most readers of the book would agree, an apt description, for throughout the fictional day in June Woolf created, Clarissa’s is the character whose openness to celebration drives the social element and expresses lamentation for the death of “that young man”—her vision of Septimus Smith, the person who symbolizes so many war dead. The fact that the novel, in typical lyrical fashion, takes place in summer appears to me as another of its important life positive features. Obviously the tragic aspect of death is called up—in relation both to war horrors and to the symbolic individual portrayed there as dying—but the social importance of creating peace takes precedence. Hence, one might add, the emphasis on the party that Clarissa aims for at the outset of the book and hosts at its conclusion. Polyphonic novels (almost all novels to some extent, but especially satiric ones) stress celebration by invoking what Mikhail Bakhtin refers to as “carnival”, the discourse of everyday life and especially the life of the popular festival as opposed to that of officialdom, especially dictatorial officialdom.

But Dalloway Day as a single day coincides with June, the beginning of summer and now the month when many of the world’s cities celebrate gay pride or just pride in loving as one chooses, that hard won right which Modernist art and the art of today work to present and preserve. 

So, happy Dalloway Day to all and happy pride years! May we continue to present and preserve in peace….!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Related to Dalloway Day

I wrote, on or about 12 May, that I wanted to encourage people to participate in this year’s Dalloway Day by writing, drawing, making music, in order to promote the achievements of Virginia Woolf and her Bloomsbury colleagues.  Since that time I’ve found, through the writer Gretchen Gerzina, that Swann Auction Galleries, a company specializing in rare and antiquarian books, has a number of publications by Woolf, many of these first editions. So it seems to me good to mention this for the purpose not only of adding book collecting to my short list of activities related to Dalloway Day but also to call attention to ways in which adaptations of one kind of poetry—in the ample sense of the word—can spur work in other kinds. Woolf’s comment that “painting and writing have much to tell each other” has been cited so often that I almost hesitate to repeat it here. However, oft quoted and perhaps obvious as it may be, it serves as an indication of the way different disciplines influence each other. In this regard, and in the context of examining acculturation in general, I think people will be interested in looking at the Swann website. Once there, you’ll find the options of searching different catalogs or searching the site itself. To date I’ve only searched on “Woolf” (without the quotes) and a few other twentieth-century artists. But the site is obviously very full and I think the results are pretty interesting in a variety of ways.
Gretchen Gerzina posted the address of the Swann Galleries website on the Listserv of the International Virginia Woolf Society. Her own website is at /

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Dalloway Day 2019

Dalloway Day 2019

It may seem a bit early to talk about this but the second ever Dalloway Day will be on Wednesday, 19 June 2019. This is an event that is already being discussed on the web, so I mention it here. After all, it takes some time for people to prepare their participation. The theme this year is queering, specifically—although ambiguously, in what I take to be a Woolfian way—queering Dalloway.

Last year I posted a short text on Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway for the first Dalloway Day and I intend to write something this June as well. But just now I simply wanted to encourage people to participate, writing, drawing, making music, doing theatricals in order to promote the achievements of Woolf and her Bloomsbury colleagues. A good deal of information is available at Paula Maggio’s blog,  Blogging Woolf.* Hopefully this year’s celebration will be even bigger than the first!

* For example,

Tuesday, April 23, 2019



energy rises
into fresh renewals.

seed explodes
slowly to speed.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Viladrau. April 2019


Slowing into a rural life style—to the extent we can, as visitors—we begin the first mountain walk of our stay. Not every sign post meets our approval, in the heat of a sunny spring day. Yon tree is not the tree depicted on this brochure, a problem sure to get my coat off, my sleeves imagined rolled. The sensation then returns—smallness in relation. Viladrau is renowned for its mineral springs. And its natural beauty. In the distance the mountain grows, and an ease to pause flows more easily in the visitors’ step. Run down weathered doors return the occasional walker to the beaten path. Eyes now keener toward the lichen and the drop.

Mediterranean scrubland
and the branch tip
through rubble walls.