A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bad Poetry: These Eyes

One of the big online poetry sites is committed to nurturing real talent in the cyber community. The author of the following poem (I almost called her "the lucky author" but it's clear that drive and skill, not luck, was responsible) won an award for this piece in the category "New Talent--Awarded Book Publishing Contract." Note the subtle poetic techniques (alternating lower-case and upper-case "I"), the playful neologisms ("rember"), the memorable rhymes ("pain" and "rain," "light" and "bright"), the powerful use of language ("sweet love," "my dear"). I wonder how much the winner ended up shelling out before she was done with her award?

These Eyes

These eyes of mine
have seen the pain
of many nights
of sleet and rain.
broken and never to be the same.
but when you came into
my life, you shone your light
which is so bright.
You loved me and carried me
through and out of the meadow
of insanity. I give to you
which i hold dear
my love for only your heart
my dear.
Take my heart but rember this
with you sweet love
i conquered death, of heart and soul.
For this i give you all i have and more
for even the last breath i have , will be to whisper...
I love you my dear.

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Starting the New Year With a Splash

This year, I was invited to a New Year's Eve party at DanWyman's house. Dan's my boss, or whatever you call the person to whom you deliver services when you're self-employed. Dan Wyman Books is the source of all the Judaica I catalog.

I was impressed at the sheer number of people invited to the party. Although I was born and raised in Springfield, I don't think I know that many people in this town. Dan's decades younger than I and has only been in the area for a few years. Somehow, he managed to fill up a house the size of mine--an exhuberant green-and-purple Queen Anne Victorian in the McKnight section of Springfield--with cheerful and interesting guests.

We started the evening off with a potluck supper. I milled around a bit, but eventually couldn't resist the lure of the fireplace. Once I'd scored a seat near it, I didn't dare get up. Several congenial people I'd never met had the same idea, it seemed, and before long we were best friends.

Dan fired up the hot tub, and throughout the evening a motley crew of people in everything from parkas to bathing suits and dripping hair streaked through the living room. At midnight, a couple with apparent connections to the wine industry produced bottle after bottle of Prosecco, and we all toasted the New Year. The party broke up about an hour after midnight, and about five minutes after that, I was home.

I've celebrated New Year's Eve in New York City, London, and Paris. I no longer feel the need to get out there among the hordes of crazies. On the other hand, two of the absolute worst evenings I've ever spent have been New Year's Eve house parties. Last year I ended up with a bunch of fuddyduds who couldn't even make it till midnight. If I'd known, I would've planned a party after the party. This year's event, however, was just right. A great start to what I think is going to be a great year.