Agent Orange

So how did it go, you may be wondering…it went well enough. I was expecting her to fall down and kiss my feet for all my wonderfulness. And that didn’t happen. (Well, who can blame me…? A girl can hope.) But we had a nice chat, she’s funny and smart (my fave combination) and very interested in seeing “the whole package.” She took my novel, copies of RHR, the Sun, the Monthly, etc, to look over and said as soon as I can finish a revision of the memoir and final wacky (unwritten) chapter-thingie, to send it to her as one package and she’ll look them over and we’ll decide what to do.

She said she doesn’t want to do too much at once — some writers are very prolific and trying to push too much at one time doesn’t work. One thing at a time — whichever is strongest — the novel or the memoir — after she sees it. So no commitment (obviously) yet and no YESes but no NOs either. MAYBES all around. It’s a good sign, huh? I talked with my good friend Jack for a few minutes yesterday, and that calmed me down a bit (thanks, JACK!). I have high hopes…maybe too high. Back to earth.

Outside, rain, buckets. A herd of taxis on one corner, a screaming flock of police cars screeching past in front of us. We’re on the second floor of a cafe near Mia’s school, whiling away the hour till she’s done today. It’s steamy in here, with dripping umbrellas and overcoats, like it is anywhere when it rains. Yesterday, we waited for the Super to fix the plumbing, which lasted exactly 12 hours,. When we got home last night, it was funky again. So we’re back to potty-hopping around town. May I just say — yikes!

We did a shopping spree at H&M and Times Square and the MTV store and Bloomingdale’s, ending up with a Medium Brown Bag apiece, and a Small Brown Bag for Mia. We met up with lovely Erin Rech for a tasty beverage after work, and went into a very SITCchich hipster bar called Lollipop, with Thai-Viet tapas and designer tails-of-the-cock. I ordered a strawberry martini and Mia got a Veuve Cliquot (sp?) Cosmo, and we ultimately traded. Very yum. I mentioned we’re on a SITC tear, yes? Mia has the six seasons on DVD and Ana is hooked, so naturally I have to watch. It’s a gas watching it in NY, getting to go places or say, hey, I just saw that. The black and white cookies. H&H Bagels. The Hampton Jitney. Fun stuff. Light on the intellect. Frothy as the milk-cap on a cappuccino.

I miss home, though. My kids, my man, my big kitchen, my stuff, my working toilet and the capacity to jump on the computer, or in my car or into my life at any moment. It wears on you, travel. It reminds me to be grateful.

Babylon (Working title/poem in progress)

How can you be a poet of place when you’re not in your place,
in a place where everyone is strange,
a stranger, estranged. The earth
seems distant, miles beneath, and the sun equally invisible.
I glance toward sky, but haven’t truly seen the sun for days,
though it shines. Through grates, reflected against walls,
up there is blue, cloud, barely glimpsed.
And down here: wind, smoke, smells, variations of air,
of damp, of stone, of fire —
the elements industrialized, civilized beyond civility,
entombed beneath our feet like TS Eliot’s lost city.

When do we roll away the stone?
When do we see, and breathe, and remember, and feel?

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