There are many reasons to hope that no more artists and writers I admire die in the near future. One of the lesser reasons is that it will keep my blog from continuing to look like a peculiarly cryptic obituary page. I have been writing quite a bit, blogging (I am sorry to say) not so much. I am very close to having a complete, book-length manuscript on the work of Martin Johnson Heade––so close that I am lavishing every spare moment on nothing but my poems. I have a couple of imaginary deadlines coming up toward the end of February and must also prepare for the panel at the AWP, so I am a bit "under the gun," as the legendary pirates and hedge-fund managers once said. Well, I suppose they said it several times.
I would never buy a foreclosed house (bad Karma) but I will shop at a "going out of business" sale, so yesterday I went to Circuit City and bought one of those tiny portable stereo systems (actually, a glorified Boom Box) to put in my studio. I've been listening to Glenn Gould, Jacqueline Dupre, the Julliard String Quartet and Cecilia Bartoli since Saturday afternoon. I don't pretend to know much about classical music or opera, but it is all a lovely sweet noise to write to.
In the meantime, the weather has tempered itself. We have risen from 5 degrees (F) to 24 degrees. Our predicted 3 inches of snow turned into 18 inches since late Friday afternoon. Thus always, the dreaded "lake effect."
But for my music, the world is silent.
What might happen to Martin Johnson Heade during the Carnival Ball at Petropolis, Brazil in 1864? Today, I will be figuring that out. Heade is going to the masked ball dressed as Orpheus. Who will play Eurydice? I hope to have that question--among others--answered by tonight.