Reproduction is the closest thing I have to a kid.
I do have a niece, a nephew, and godchildren I love. But there was no pain on my end involved in their births.
It’s your first time meeting her but she’s actually six years old and ready to start kindergarten. It was hard to let her go but I’m not a home-school kind of dad and I believe that the people who surround her now as she leaves my care will not do her any violence. This is beginning to sound like a prayer.
A line from part IV, Death by Water, the tiniest section of Eliot’s The Waste Land, sometimes haunts me. It describes the death of a sailor, Phlebas, and ends with an admonition: “Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”
Here’s young, talented Chuck Berry (1926-2017) without a whiff of death.
It was sold to me by a kid who couldn’t be more than eleven, who was holding down his parents’ store solo. He waived the taxes when I hesitated. So because of the irresistible advertising and my desire to encourage a young entrepreneur, I bit then I tasted (delish) and now I believe / it’ll do me some good.
Isn’t it energizing to choose against one’s cynicism?
I should mention that my copy of Bluets was given to me by Nelson super-adorer, Courtney Gustafson.
In email, “Mexican Candy,” Courtney writes one of the most super-adorery things that one can about a writer: “Maggie Nelson has the uncanny ability to have already written the thing that each of us is trying to write” (1). Works Cited list in progress.
So when I went to see Nelson a few weeks ago, I was literally co-first in line with Elizabeth Bachinsky (dear soul) to get books signed. I told Nelson about Courtney’s devotion/free promotion (reminiscent of the Patti Labelle “Sweet Potato Pie Pandemonium“) and I quoted the above “Mexican Candy” email and Nelson replied without indulgence, testing her black sharpie: “She should get busy then.”