A Few More Days of Awe and What I Remember

At the Mystic Film Festival small pretty white town beautiful

liquor store they called them package stores

many homemade ice cream shops cardamom and fig

we had a house on the Connecticut shore too

different from the well-mannered houses

no one I knew ever used the word Boat in a sentence

once our family went to Hammonasett State Park

we passed the park on our way to Mystic

Uncle Jack drove his Edsel we followed

in our always grey Dodge and when we got to the park

I was the only one of the ten of us who went

outside  we brought food but no one wanted

to eat on the ground the parents talked about What to Do Next

in the Hammonasett State Park parking lot and either my father

or Uncle Jack said let’s go to the hot dog stand we passed

on the way.  We can eat in the car right there and both families

drove away from the Hammonasett State Park our one and only

nature foray and drove to one of those stands with french fries

and clam rolls and hot dogs of course and we forgot about the sandwiches

in saran wrap in the car no one wanted to eat them anyway.

 

 

 

Wally Lamb Loves My Stories and I Am Dreaming

Although I have never been

a Good Sleeper I admire people who are

who can who do my friend Annie says

she sleeps when she hits the pillow

I hit the pillow and do not sleep think instead maybe I should

read a book and then I try and if I can’t

I play Words With Friends

but last night I slept for a while and dreamt

that Wally Lamb gave me a quote for my new

book of unlinked stories Boy Do I Love These Stories

he said and I did not ask him for more detail

for instance Why because I thought we could put his quote

right on the cover WALLY LAMB LOVES THESE STORIES

and then I woke up and wondered if he actually would

love the stories or not and then by reason or miracle

maybe because these are still the Days of Awe I actually

went right back to sleep.

Oct 3 Days of Awe Continue

Although it is raining although our President remains

although there are floods and tornadoes even on an island

in Ireland where there have never been floods and tornadoes

although today is Thursday not Friday although we are not

yet on the way to the film festival in Mystic Connecticut although

my holiday honey cake is gone and we are almost out of olive oil

although in my dreams last night I might have seen a monkey

although I need more specificity in my new short story manuscript

a certain kind of specific detail (she would never wear brown shoes

especially if they were flat) although I’m missing a folder of poems

they could be anywhere although the apartment smells of apples

although I haven’t given away my travel books from 20 years ago

haven’t watched any of the POVs I’ve saved  haven’t yet read

the new Salman Rushdie there’s always a still:

still the Days of Awe continue and I will listen to Leonard Cohen

appropriate enough for the Days of Awe and meet a friend

for lunch to talk about what we might possibly do together and I watch

Elizabeth Warren’s poll numbers climbing and meet a stranger in an elevator

who says Don’t Worry About Bernie I had two stents a month ago

and I open a holiday card from a woman named Sunny who I haven’t seen

for years and liked a lot and have a new Israeli novel from the library called The Liar

to read when I come home and tonight is Thursday which always means

tomorrow for sure is Friday and we will go to Mystic Connecticut and see

movies and Peter’s movie and a small pretty town I’ve only seen once before.

 

A Prayer to Forgive

These days, these unholy holy days,

warm, maybe too warm, these days of awe

when we consider, when we think about our lives

no matter what we know or believe, these

days when we take time from busyness, from

endless small distractions that life can be,

these days of honesty, of quiet and thought,

we tell ourselves the truth about fear,

about other people and ourselves,

about all that we know and all that we don’t,

these days we  forgive ourselves

or try to anyway

for who we are and who we aren’t,

for all we don’t do and never will,

for not taking the time to pay enough attention

to every single holy unholy day.

 

Even Though (Day Two of the New Year)

Even though it’s the first Tuesday

in October I am still hoping

winter is not the way I remember even though

we have the chance to reflect and atone I am

sitting on my brown leather couch  ordered

online from Vietnam the couch arrived as though

it belongs right here and it does even though I am not

reflecting or atoning or preparing for winter

I will go to the library for More Books meet

my friend Fran at Spa 32 friends for birthday dinner

even though I am not officially doing what I should be doing

who knows what that is maybe being in a Big Official Room

reflecting atoning preparing for winter or writing a small book

about the big subject of aging at the library instead of taking stacks

of other people’s books even though I now make lists

sometimes I have never made lists before my lists are words I like

and what I might do but probably won’t even though it’s a big year

5780 how big is that I will buy peaches if there are any left from summer

at the farmer’s market sometimes there are peaches even in early October

and I will play Shlomo Carlebach’s Rosh Hashanah music even though

he is not politically correct any more and read Other People’s Books in the park

if it’s a good day and continue with the lists as a way of reflection

and maybe even atonement even thought my words are more

thank you than sorry even though.

 

5780 (Day One)

Today’s the beginning

of the Jewish New Year, day when we

remember prayers that all begin

May We and then,

generic hopes for joy and good,

for justice and liberation.  I hope

that we every single person

we become all of us again.

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