Sunday, December 20, 2009


I was so looking forward to reading Amy Gerstler's new book, Dearest Creature, and being able to report how wonderful it was. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment. It's not a bad book. I enjoyed the elegies for friends, the Q and A poem with her dog and the long poem "Mrs. Monster Pens Her Memoirs." But much of the book was sort of prosaic, and tame. Not the mind blowing Gerstler I admire. Ah well.

*

On the other had, I have been totally enjoying Paul Nelson's A Time Before Slaughter. It's a book-length opus blending the history of Auburn, Washington (which used to be called, Slaughter), with his own personal musings about politics, power, sex, love, family. I especially enjoyed "Dominism," "Nine Sonnets for Pop," and "Tuscan Sonnet Ring." Kudos on the book, Paul.

*

Busy weekend: Dean and I had friends E & B over for dinner Friday night (salmon bisque, salad, followed by pan-seared chicken breasts with winter veggies, wine and bread, and then a rousing game of Punto). So fun! Then Saturday night we went out for dinner at Dahlia Lounge with C. A delicious cauliflower soup with bits of apple in it, fennel salad, and pan-seared ahi done to perfection. It was Carol's yahrzeit, and we raised a glass to her. Eight years. Tonight we go to visit the home of our favorite poetry bookstore owners (looking forward to seeing what they have done with the new space).

*

Despite all the piles of snow out east, it was warm and sunny enough in Seattle this afternoon to actually spend a few hours working in the yard. What a delight. To pull weeds, dig up the last carrots, trim back a few dead branches from the lilac and other shrubs. This may sound odd: but it even felt a little spring-like. Tomorrow is the first day of winter, so I know that is pre-mature, but it still felt like the tide was turning, and spring was coming.

*

Dean and I rode light rail out to the airport today, just to see what it was like. The new station is about 400 yds from the airport, and you walk along a covered walkway to get to the terminal. There were probably 30 people on our train who were carting their rolling luggage. I think all the bad press about it being this Bataan-Death-March of a walk are way out of line. It is a pretty easy walk on a smooth level surface (that is if you are used to walking more than a few blocks without having to rest). We'll probably take light rail to the airport the next time we need to fly (which is coming soon. Ahhhh Mexico!).

2 comments:

peN said...

Peter, am grateful for your kind words about the book. Mer & I are headed to the MW for the next ten days and, yes, we're taking Link to SeaTac.

ATBS readings at Open Books 1.24.10 and Elliott Bay 2.5.10. Hope to see you & Dean.

Happy Solstice,

Paul

Peter said...

Happy Solstice Paul.

And congrats again on the book. It's really good!