Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Hemidemisemiquaver Is Bright

  • We drive to Seal Cove, Mt Desert Island, Maine this Friday, our annual trip resumed after missing last year, expect lots of cairns!
  • EZ-Pass rush-ordered last Wednesday
  • Plague test Tuesday, the two of us, results guaranteed by Friday, Maine requires test within three days of arrival
  • UPDATE! Uh-oh
  • Will impress upon the swabbers *please* let me know Thursday, please don't vibrate my leg as we're crossing the Piscataqua into Maine Friday to tell us one of us or the both of us are bombs
  • Current plan to leave at 2 in morning Friday get through NYC by 7 cut through Connecticut or something, is going to suck, stopping only to gas and piss, gloved, masked, bandannas over masks
  • Fleabus and Napoleon and Rosie and Momcat and Olive and Stanley and Frankie in good care
  • If past Maine trips true indicators the Napoleon Alert System will be posted daily by Monday regardless the guy feeding the cats sees him
  • This weekend's band from my past found randomly on my bookshelves



Mary Ruefle

The shadow of the earth is bright enough for me
The self-denial of the last Beatle is enough for me
Something down, down in the terrestrial is terribly bright
In the depths of my clandestine there is brightness
A shame-faced look at the desolate glows
The shattering of a brilliant illusion is bright enough for me
A yellow finch is enough brightness
Boys of summer wood are too
Errors that a spider might make are bright for me
A hemidemisemiquaver is bright
The newness of the third time too is bright
Objects of mostly German origin, brightness!
A wild guess is bright for certain
Off-white indeed bright
Ludwig was certainly bright but
A little leaf caught under my boot is bright enough for me
An epsilon is always bright
This comfortable bra is tight enough for me
My successful effort to obtain the assistance of a tug was bright
The article most required by the deceased in her life after death—
What’s negligible is shining
The bump of amativeness and the bump of approbativeness—
Both bright enough for me!
After all, a night person is bright enough for me
Sort-of-not-really is bright enough for me
A minor unspecified human ailment?
I wish that I had duck feet
The moon was so bright
The long lonely pointless way home was lovely
Thanks for the fruitcake
I dropped the cherries in the snow
Into whose confidence have they wandered?


  1. Bon voyage! We're taking a camper to the mtns soon, avoiding humans as much as possible.

  2. enjoy your adventure in the forests of maine

    the poet's phrase 'the last beatle' is hard for me to unpack - aren't there two left right now? i saw both of them a few days ago on ringo's 80th birthday youtube show, along with joe walsh frowning ferociously doing a very jangly version of 'boys' - and multitracked cheryl crowe playing the cello - who knew?

    here's a prose poem from the "village news" - house organ of the montgomery village foundation - the author, like me, lives in the stedwick section - i have inserted the line breaks


    After 44 years living here and our children off their own,
    Montgomery Village turned into background noise in my retirement life —
    buildings and roads I drove past on my way to meetings, classes, dinner out.
    Other than my immediate neighbors, I had little connection with other people in the Village.

    Then in March, COVID-19 struck.
    There was no place to go.
    No one to see except my husband and flickering faces on Zoom and Facetime.
    Reading, writing and Netflix filled my inner life.

    But where were the human contacts who make life unpredictable, spontaneous?
    Where were the new places to offer surprising discoveries?

    With the gym closed, I started walking.
    At first a loop around Stedwick Road and Watkins Mill Road,
    past Stedwick Elementary and the middle school.

    Birds reclaimed the landscape--honking, trilling.
    The empty playground, its sliding board still, waited in vain for children.
    It was 46 degrees, nippy enough to need a winter jacket beneath the gray sky.
    I followed the patchwork sidewalks, stepping first on old taupe panels,
    gravel protruding, and then on white dappled concrete.

    Suddenly behind me, I heard chatter, the pounding of shoes, deep breathing.
    Thrilled by the sounds of human life, I yielded the sidewalk
    to a grandmother and a young girl jogging by.
    “Stay safe,” I called out. They turned and smiled.
    “You, too,” they said.

    So began my reconnection with the Village.
    My walks expanded to the tree-covered paths through Stedwick
    to the bridge that marked the end of the Village.
    Then off in the other direction, up Watkins Mill Road,
    steeper by foot than by car,
    discovering a creek that passed under the road and meandered through the old golf course.

    Next south across Montgomery Village Avenue to the lake,
    sharing the morning mist with ducks feasting on the lawn
    and others gliding on the water.

    Finally, north on Montgomery Village Avenue,
    surveying the reconstruction of the shopping center
    and the old golf course reclaimed by nature.

    On my walks I met

    the intense jogger who passed me three times on my single Stedwick loop,
    the lady in plastic gloves who picked up garbage others tossed aside,
    the mothers pushing children in strollers to food pickup at the middle school,
    two smiling young women with hijabs,
    the teenage boy with a cane walking with determination,
    the family of four biking together.

    That first brisk March morning morphed into the pleasant days of May
    and later the humidity of July.
    Mothers and children rediscovered the empty playgrounds,
    and couples tentatively turned to the tennis courts,
    then abandoned them for lap swimming.

    The deserted roads filled with more cars,
    the drivers still respectful of us walkers.

    Tiny red buds on the trees changed to blossoms,
    then to lush green leaves as chirping birds gave way to ecstatic pops of back-yard fireworks.

    This is Montgomery Village in the time of Covid.
    My neighborhood. The beautiful, diverse community that I have rediscovered.

    Carol Solomon