Tuesday, May 21, 2013

National Jazz and National Poetry Month, Gardening, Stanley Kunitz hidden inside

Outside under a gun metal sky and a looming threat of rain, Henry's helping me work in the flower beds. By help I mean he's loading dirt into his John Deere construction toys and hauling it from the pile I made to a pile he's made opposite mine. It's fine, I haven't planted anything yet, we're just weeding, re-cutting the border and digging out ornamental rocks and resetting them in a ring around the bed.

It's National Poetry Month but I'm not writing much poetry. It's also National Jazz History Month, and I listened to Kind of Blue five or 6 times to celebrate. I reach a lovely bliss state when I listen to that album. If I had to imagine what a milk drunk baby must feel like, I'd compare it to the feeling I get listening to "Flamenco Sketches", wholly satisfied, even my soul at ease, joints disconnected in a feeling of weightlessness, almost heavenly.

It's National Poetry Month, as I've said. I submitted a few mid-grade, uninspired lines to a few contests this month and they were duly unrecognized and rightly so. I'm a slow writer, filling up eighteen to twenty pages with notes and false starts for one short poem. I'm trying to accept that about my creative nature but I wish I was prolific, and I wish I could land every poem I start writing with a just a few scratches of a ballpoint pen and the most minor revisions.

Sometimes I listen to Red Garland's solo on "Bye Bye Blackbird", from the 'Round Midnight' recording, and I think, if only I could make something so sublime, so beautiful, so perfect. I mean, I'd like to make a poem so expressive and concise. And I'll tell you what, for the longest time I was convinced I was listening to Wynton Kelly on that track. And I'd like to thank all the jazz-heads who I've ever talked to about that track for not correcting me and embarrassing me, although maybe they should have corrected me. I don't know.

The garden needs more attention. I have to move hostas from a bed on the East side of the house to a bed on the North side which is protected from full sun by two enormous maple trees. I have a lot of work to do in the yard. When we moved into this house it had been empty for seven years, and though the landlord maintained the property adequately, no one cleaned or replanted beds and there's a mess of overgrown foliage to trim, pull out, prune, transplant, and tend back to life with some tenderness and patience. Plus I'm getting married in the front yard in three weeks and I want it to look beautiful for the wedding, the wedding I haven't selected poems for yet, the wedding I don't have a suit for yet, etc. Hopefully it'll rain, and I can stay in after I'm done writing this and maybe read for awhile, or watch Spider-Man with Henry again. Work's always waiting for you, after all, so patient, so persistent.