Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Friends

Note to Cami on Reznikoff

I read Reznikoff in summer of 2010
As much as I could find

Used, at Amazon
By him, about him

I like his spare style
That was the year

I was generating a piece a day
For my project that later

Became Dear Layla
So he influenced me

Toward that spareness
Most chapters very short

To the point
Like the one on p. 123

Reading influences writing!

–9.27.2015

 

Share the Wealth with Natalie Long–Abogados Descalzados: or, How Latin America Taught Me to Be a People’s Lawyer 

From the period of September 2009-January 2012, I was a law student, a law school drop-out, and a pupil of revolutionary Latin America. I eventually finished my law degree and became a licensed attorney…but only after spending time learning at the feet of communities in Mexico and Guatemala, where people taught me what it means to struggle (and to be a lawyer accompanying those in struggle).

It gives me joy to share the stories of the people who welcomed me into their homes and the lessons they taught me. Please join us for an evening of storytelling, reflection, and fellowship.

Join us
Sunday 26 March
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Natalie begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Marty and Jerry King
830 DeMun Avenue, 3rd Floor
Clayton, MO 63105

 

The Good News of a Single Blueberry, 3.19.2017

Almost five years ago, Erin Szopiak organized a mindful dinner for some of our friends: Everything for the menu had been grown locally, several of us helped prepare the meal in the King’s spacious kitchen, we savored most of the meal in calm silence, and, for dessert, Erin offered each of us a single blueberry, which we were to appreciate slowly, involving our sight, smell, touch, and taste.  Erin invited us to the wonder of the here and now!

The Good News of Remembering, 3.18.2017

Yesterday I caught up with Liz Burkemper, home for spring break from her first year at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Liz inspires me with her aspiration to simplify her life and take time for contemplation. I told her I was grateful for her remembering Mev and her Brazil message  at some of the vast and lively protests she participated in in January and February.

The Good News of Midwifery, 3.16.2017

Today my friend, nurse practitioner and midwife Becky Hassler brought a baby into this world–9 pounds, 10 ounces.

“I Am Ora Thomas” by Natalie Long

I am pleased to share the following from compañera Natalie, who reentered my life with a bang five weeks ago. She is an environmental lawyer, educated at DePaul Law School by way of Chiapas.

When class wraps up, she hurriedly packs her things – computer in case, mouse, notepad. Her professor stoops – “Whose is this?” he asks, holding up a charger. “Mine, thanks!” she responds, hand extended to take the device.

Backpack loaded, she switches gears, from student to sister, making a quick stop at the bathroom then walking out of the law school, waving to classmates as she passes them in the hall. Stepping out into the night, she distractedly notes that, despite it only being mid-February, her fur-lined red jacket is a bit too warm for the night.

Reaching her car, she drives off campus and straight into town, making a left at the strip. Already 6:25pm; hopefully she wasn’t too late. She pulls into the parking lot by the old train car, pushing down the fleeting thought that, despite her wishes to the contrary, she’s still driving around in this dreary town. She keeps saying she’s going to find a way to get out… Read the rest of this entry »

The Good News, 3.8.2017

I once asked Mayuko and Minami (both in my fall 8 a.m. MWF Humanities class) if they had heard of Sei Shōnagon (清少納言). Of course they had!  They had read her years ago in school.  I only recently made acquaintance with SS through Meredith  McKinney’s translation for Penguin.

Reading her renowned Pillow Book, I thought of Allen Ginsberg’s maxim, “If we don’t show anyone, we’re free to write anything”:  

At times I am beside myself with exasperation at everything, and temporarily inclined to feel I’d simply be better off dead, or am longing to just go away somewhere, anywhere, then if I happen to come by some lovely white paper for everyday use and a good writing brush, or white decorated paper or Michinoku paper, I’m immensely cheered, and find myself thinking I might perhaps be able to go on living for a while longer after all.  212 Read the rest of this entry »

The Good News, 3.7.2017

The  Good News is the radiance, wit, resilience, and hard-won wisdom of Elizabeth Quiros, with whom I was reunited today at RISE. I wonder: how many Share the Wealth evenings can she animate? How many books shall we read?  How much soul-sharing will ensue?

March 12 Share the Wealth and Ravioli with Erin Szopiak and Chris Wallach

Dear Share the Wealth Friends,

Please join us to share a Sunday meal at Chris Wallach’s country home on Sunday, March 12th beginning at 4:00 pm. Enjoy an afternoon of community togetherness around the preparation of herbed ricotta ravioli and a salad. We ask that you bring one item to add to the salad. The ingredients for the ravioli and lettuce for the salad will be provided.

We will take Erin’s direction in the preparation of this meal. There will be some time to notice the beauty of the countryside in the beginnings of spring or the continuations of winter. Read the rest of this entry »

The Good News, 3.3.2017

The Good News is … In 2016 Lindsey Trout Hughes took three on-line writing classes with me, and—to her surprise and my delight— embraced her poetic vocation. She has graced me with  epic emails, and scintillating postcards, notes, and texts. And most recently, she has shared a full draft of a play (she’s an actor by trade).  What to do in these nefarious times? Give birth. Thus practiceth Lindsey.

lindsey-trout

Tyler Caffall and Lindsey Trout Hughes, Bonneville Theater Company, NYC, 11.8.2016