Post-weekend update. For some reason I’ve got a lot of new poems flying at me just now. Of course this is welcome phenomenon. Never say to no to the muse. Rilke said this much more beautifully, but that’s the general idea because who knows what long desert of writer’s block may ensue? I’m carrying my notebook and favorite pen with me everywhere I go, running away from family members who speak during my lightning crack moments and reading voraciously. This is a wonderful place to live, but I’m ready for a nap. It still amazes me that writing can be so energizing and exhausting at the same time.
For Mother’s Day, Amalia made me breakfast in bed and then we sat together finishing our books. She read Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko and I read Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolano. I’m going to have to reread this one. Bolano has a mesmerist called in to cure the dying Cesar Vallejo from an unrelenting attack of hiccups. Monsieur Pain is bribed and followed and it’s all very mysterious. I want to read more of Bolano’s work, but I have to slow down. I read too quickly and miss the deeper elements sometimes. One of my Mother’s Day gifts was Junot Diaz’s first book, Drown. This collection of short stories leads with a left hook and doesn’t let up. Amazing writer. We both graduated from Rutgers so maybe there’s hope for me. Amalia has quite a fascination with Al Capone and can recommend Choldenko’s books wholeheartedly. Here’s the envelope for a letter she wrote to dear old Al. She asked for a dollar thinking it would be cash from a bank robbery. I’m not sure Capone robbed banks and in any case, the post office returned the letter.
After she and Scott went to the bookstore, she came home and read one of her new books in one day. She was pleased, but slyly admitted that it was an easy read. My recommendation is that everyone (adults, I mean) read Drown just to experience such deftness and surety with craft and language.
I’ve written about the joy of reading aloud with my girls. For this post I want to just take a moment to savor laying in bed on a weekend morning with Amalia next to me as we both tear through our separate novels. We finished our books within minutes of each other and then compared all the wacky, complicated things that happened in the stories. Side by side reading is good too.
I took Izzy to the bookstore last night because she also needed a new book. (I do wish we could synchronize all of this.) But now she’s knee deep in a book recommended by one of her favorite authors. Scott’s caught up in a long documentary narrated by Donald Sutherland about oil production in this country. I think it’s called The Prize. And the beasty cat is curled up sleeping. That just leaves Otis and Speed unaccounted for.
[Photos by Scott Stambler. Sorry they just won't align properly. I have the magic touch today.]