Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What's there to say about the disaster? I hope every thing goes as smoothly as it can for everyone displaced. So useless to say, but still, it needs to be said. I can't imagine what it's like for anyone able-bodied, let alone someone with compromised health, or a newborn infant, or even a difficult family situation--can you imagine the hundred thousand already intense dramas this is complicating?

& that, as usual, the shortsightedness of the government (especially these days) is so staggeringly stupid. You probably know what I mean.

I'd love to read an article by someone who has experience in handling natural disasters--someone who was involved in (the aftermath of) the Indonesian tsunami of last year, for example. Someone who could assess soberly what the prognosis is for New Orleans in the future; and for the present (what is happening to the people we can't see on tv, for example); and for the past (i.e. is this really, as it seems (among other things), a case of unpreparedness in the face of catastrophic possibility?).

Billmon always does a good job of synthesizing what there is to know and using it to describe macro- and micro- evolutions of the order under observation, he has a good mind for it, I think (though, I think maybe global warming is less pertinent here than he makes it). But still, he's an amateur in the field; an impressively able one, but still, an amateur. So, while this linked article ties the various strands together as best as I've read, I'd still like to read a professional's honest take. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Halcyon's turning out to be a pretty peaceful sleeper (no, I am not joking, she really is). So, I've been able to write a bit here and there. I don't really have much to say about poetry (I'm inclined to say that if you really want to know what I think about poetry, read my poetry; or, you could just wait a little until I inevitably feed the blog some more brain time). So, while the topic is on, I may as well say a little about the incredibly goofy story of my love for Dara.

We went to high school together, and were great friends--we met as juniors when a friend of hers liked me (we were both on track). The friend (A— B—) was a senior and popular, and tall, blonde, pretty, and very worldly--I was completely shy and absurd, all thumbs, even my tongue. Still, for a few months, she Dara and I would spend lunch eating KFC (dara, a vegetarian even then, ate a biscuit and fries), listening to the violent femmes & rem on a passed-around walkman, and talk--though mostly, Dara & I talked. It didn't take my awkwardness too long to grate on her (A— B—, not Dara), and one night we were supposed to go get ice cream or something--she called to say she was sick and couldn't. I don't know why, but I thought it would be a good idea to bring flowers, given that she was sick and all. So I went by her house . . . she sent Dara out to tell me she was way too sick and I should go away--it was one of those stupid terrible moments when everything feels like a mistake. So I gave the flowers to Dara, and she felt sorry for me, so we talked at the front door for a while, and left. (So you see, Dara has seen me at my most embarassing, stupid moments.) And so ended junior year.

Next installement (if it comes), AP English.

Friday, August 19, 2005


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

My sestina, up at McSweeney's.

(Pictures soon.)

(Not of the sestina.)

Well, we got ourselves a girl!

Halcyon Juliet Botvinick-Greenhouse, 8/17/05 at 11:54 am; 7 lbs 6 oz., 21-3/4 inches, perfect water birth, lovely. Dara looks even better than before--she was entirely brave and went into the pain to open, and it shows, she isn't worn at all. Which is kind of astounding. The baby is very peaceful (except when she isn't, like with poopies . . . and she's managed 5 (edit: 6) poopies in her first day . . . she's an artist, I think). And she looks just like her big brother did, though a little taller and lighter (smaller head).

Good night!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Paradise cannot be legislated.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No baby yet--just waiting!

(We're cleaning out boxes we didn't know we had!--to distract ourselves, of course.)

At first, Dara was a little leery of the home birth idea. Jonah was born in Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, in Northampton Massachusetts, where, though in a hospital, there was a birthing wing, separate. That way, midwives were in charge, and a doctor could come in if necessary, but only if necessary--and the rooms were not normal hospital rooms, but big and comfortable, accomodating. So we didn't have to decide between hospital or home birth, we got a little of both. Now, though, in NJ, where the c-section rate for in-hospital births is 34%(!), and for at-home births is 3% (!!), we thought we'd play our gut and go with an at-home birth, especially since Dara knows so many people who did so, and loved it.

So, waiting, with a big birthing tub deconstructed in the corner. Strangely relaxing.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

This sincerity thing is catching like wildfire . . .

I ran across this link (which is as reload-addictive as any I've seen) here, and saw this.

Journey. Either way, you can't go wrong.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I haven't really had much time (i've got to stop saying that!), and barely do now, but it's worth mention that 'sincerity' is an important quality in the Eastern philosophies (or, at least, the Chinese ones, which I am most (i.e. still only a little) familiar with). The sincere man/woman is the one who is simple, without self-deceit, whose actions are heaven's will, who has/manifests no obstruction within their psyche within which to find themselves distanced from heavenly motion, the pleasure of nonexistence, of merely circulating. I suppose in Western theology an analagous quality would be sinlessness. Think of Laozi's Uncarved Block--think of Li Po going over the bow, too--

Sincerity is the true profound simplicity of normal mind, of smiling. Like how children are sincere, an entirely worthwhile state of being. The manifestation of an uncluttered psyche.

Barring that state of enlightenment, sincerity is also knowing that the confusion one encounters when attempting to be sincere is the best tool you have for achieving sincerity, and making a home for it (or at least trying to) in you.

That, at least, is what I associate with the word sincerity. Just thought I'd say.

Man I have no time now to post this, but I just wanted to say that I have no idea why Josh Corey says that jews believe the 'good' is necessarily distanced from the language one uses to describe/discuss it. Isn't Judaism the religion which believes the Torah is, literally, in the deepest mystical sense, creation itself? That, for example, god, in taking a rosh and a yud and combining them into a hay, actually created the category of 'people'? That the creation of one (the word) was no different from the creation of the other (the people)?

I suppose he might argue that jews, modern/practical incarnation, are not in line with that thinking, are opposed to it in fact; or that jews and Judaism are two separate entities/belief sets, one the aspirant/rejected of the other. I suppose. I also understand what he means in general, Judaism is often described (internally and externally) as a religion completely occupied with the here-and-now. What's-to-come is left out mostly. But when it comes to the connection of the signifier & the signified transcendant, Judaism is completely clear: the Torah is IT. The DNA of creation (if I may use a limiting simile which would send Blake spinning). However long the messiah takes, whatever tribulations are visited in the meantime.

I may be misreading his intention in the post. Like I said I have next-to-no time now. I probably should backchannel, but I'm too lazy, and here this is typed. Good night.

update: I just reread Josh's post, and actually the categorizing of Judaism as such was Grossman's. Much as I hate to say it, I think he's taking a characteristic of the long-deferred religious and overdefining them by it. So I'm arguing, above, I suppose, primarily with Grossman.

Um, if you would like your blog included on my blogroll (left) and it is not, please backchannel me.

(Normally, as I run across new (-to-me) blogs, I bookmark them, and when my 'favorites' list gets too long, I put them in a folder called "to be added to blogroll". Then, after they are added, I put them in my "poetry blogs" folder. But yesterday, I forgot all about that middle part and just delivered them to their final destination, without blogrolling them, and now don't know which have been neglected.)

I used to try and check all, but eventually it got to be too much, and now I rely on bloglines, an aggregator. But, in an ideal world, I really would read every blog on my blogroll. I know some people only include those people they read regularly (or semiregularly) on their blog, I like to think in some idealistic manner, I do so; like a library of all the books you'd like to read. Which are pretty much all of them.

In this case, though, not only do new ones appear, but they keep growing.

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