Monthly Archives: February 2015

Straight to the quarter

Why are we bothering with pennies, nickels and dimes? For everyday use, the quarter is the only meaningful coin. And both pennies and nickels cost more to produce than they’re worth! Insanity. We could keep odd amounts for electronic transactions … Continue reading

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Eyesight

Driving up I-5 from LA yesterday, spring had come to California. The hills are briefly green and gold, and the orchards all in bloom. I thought of this poem by A. R. Ammons, and was surprised to find I haven’t … Continue reading

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Bragging

Larry had a great softball game yesterday. He hit for the cycle, that means a single, double, triple and home run in one game.  He caught everything playable, and had five hits and seven RBI’s.  This was his writeup on … Continue reading

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If you want to mark up a book, buy it

As longtime readers know, I love libraries. Just now I have about six books from the UC Library, three from Berkeley and another four or five from Contra Costa.  But when I opened The End of Beauty, by Jorie Graham … Continue reading

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Sharon Olds on Monday

I had forgotten this wonderful poem by Sharon Olds. Then I saw, after the rain last week, one of these big banana slugs in the garden and went to look for it. It didn’t disappoint me: The Connoisseuse of Slugs When … Continue reading

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The exemplary sentence

I picked up a book of essays by Adam Zagajewski, called In Defense of Ardor, an elegant title. The title essay discusses the role of irony in modern writing, and makes a case for less of it, more engagement. It’s … Continue reading

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Contemporary poetry

I went to a poetry reading at the incomparable University Press Books bookstore (support it!) this weekend, and the subject of accessibility came up. One reader, Rebecca Foust, mentioned that her mother, who never went further than high school, memorized and … Continue reading

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Labyrinthine

Just before the rainy days, I managed to finish weeding and replanting the labyrinth for spring.  Lots of spinach, sorrel, herbs, and mustard greens remain and self seed each year. And this year some blue honey wart, too. Not to mention … Continue reading

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Here’s that rainy day

Finally! This song has been happily playing in my head, sung by my favorite jazz singer, Molly Holm. You can’t hear a recording of her doing it, but you can hear Rosemary Clooney sing it. Meanwhile, we’re in Calistoga, where … Continue reading

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Knucklebones

Here’s an odd little poem I came across: Astragaloi We know there must be consciousness in things, In bits of gravel pecked up by a hen To grind inside her crop, and spider silk Just as it hardens stickily in … Continue reading

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