Was just now walking the dog, before it gets too hot to breathe, and as he was investigating the little tree out in front of the Korean liquor store, a battered yellow school bus pulled up to the stoplight. The bus was loaded with kids, all little black kids, all of them wearing either bright yellow or bright green T-shirts. Girls pointed at the dog, at me, laughed, standing up on their seats. But, about four windows from the back, there was a boy, smaller than the rest, sucking his thumb, staring at me. We locked eyes. After a while, I waved. And he removed the thumb from his mouth, and waved. And smiled.

The light changed. The bus lurched into gear. The boy was jostled, and he returned the thumb to his mouth, and then he was gone.


Poetry Thoughts from a Non-Poet

Read the first quarter of Ginsburg’s Howl last night and really liked it. The energy of it, the barely-making-sense freewheeling associative rapid-fireness of it was exciting and felt very familiar. I think I know why. I think it’s because that kind of poetry went, pretty quickly over the course of the past five-six decades, from barely-making-sense to not-making-sense. Or, rather, it went from pretty good to pretty bad. I also think that this kind of poetry, the kind that Howl inspired, is what people who dislike poetry think of when they think of poetry.

That said, the jazz in Howl, the music of it, the imagery, the mixing of real and unreal, is really something. I can see how, in the mid-50s, this would have been a very cool drink on a very hot day.