The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: January, 2008

Sunny and Cold

Walking up Court Street this morning
I had just passed a scattering of paper clips,
hundreds of them, silver and glinting,
and I thought of all the papers I could hold together,
old love letters and poems, little scraps
that say not much more than ‘bird’ or ‘peach,’
and then, suddenly, a boy, no older than seven,
flew by me on his scooter; hey, I wanted to yell,
but then I saw where he had been rushing:
the mailbox. The blue mailbox. Our mailbox.
He had a half dozen or so colored envelopes,
and he worked the jaw of the mailbox open
and dropped the letters in, then he opened it again
to make sure, I imagine, that they had fallen.

I love that he opened it again.
I love that he wanted to be sure.

Longing #129

To have spent the day by the ocean
and walked for so long and so far
that I have to wipe the sand off my feet
before crawling into bed.

The Golden Nest

Breaks my heart every time I read it…

by Ruth Stone

When I am sad
I sing
remembering the red wing blackbirds clack
When I want no thing
except to turn time back
to what I had
before love made me sad

When I forget to weep
I hear the peeping tree toads
creeping up the bark
Love lies asleep
and dreams that everything
is in its golden nest
and I am caught there too
when I forget

Happy Sunday!!!

From the Callihans.
Hoping your weekend was filled with
candy-stuffed unicorns
and moustache-backings shaped like the loveliest of birds!

Translators Needed

Yesterday, walking down Broadway, I heard two young men who appeared to be NYU students talking. “SHE SNUCK A SNIZZ IN YOUR SNOOZE, HILLDOG!” For the life of me I can’t figure out what it could mean. She interrupted your nap? Thoughts?

The Marlboro Moon

In my dreams, I often sneak cigarettes.
Last night I climbed thirty-two flights,
desperate, looking for something.
When I got to the top of the stairs: an attic,
and by the window: a crystal ashtray, a silver lighter and a single Marlboro Light.
Approximate seconds since my last cigarette:
141, 912, 726

Delayed Appreciation & Elizabeth Bishop

My father has a tendency to give me gifts that I don’t realize I love. Take the case of the gift he gave me for my thirtieth birthday: a blue pitcher; a not-quite-ordinary blue pitcher that I had no idea how to use. And so…I stuck it in the basement where it grew dustier and dustier until one day having stumbled upon it (after bumping my head on the too-low ceiling), I filled it with hot water to keep at my desk and, well, you know the rest. There are poets like this too. Yeats, of course, but Bishop too, these days I’m feeling Bishop especially. When I was younger I wanted nothing to do with her; now, though, I crave her and can hardly imagine how anyone who knows her work could not crave it. Here, a morsel:

Late Air
by Elizabeth Bishop

From a magician’s midnight sleeve
the radio-singers
distribute all their love-songs
over the dew-wet lawns.
And like a fortune-teller’s
their marrow-piercing guesses are whatever you believe.

But on the Navy Yard aerial I find
better witnesses
for love on summer nights.
Five remote lights
keep their nests there; Phoenixes
burn quietly, where the dew cannot climb.

The Dangers of Chinese Take-Out

Fanta and the Sauna

Yesterday, Sanj came over. We sat in the sauna at the gym, and she told me of how when she was a little girl in Africa, she was told to fast for five days. The fasting would, they told her, bring a good man for her to marry. She remembers being terribly hungry. On that same trip–the hunger subsiding as hunger does–she and her brother found a case of Fanta underneath the bed. She said she felt like a fishmonger finding a whole sea of orange fish. Beautiful, she said, so full of hope. Later, as we showered, I yelled over the stall, “You should write about that.”


“About the fast and the Fanta. You should write about it.”

“I can’t hear you,” she yelled. I told her I’d tell her later, but the afternoon kept unfolding, and then we said goodbye at the subway, and walking home, I remembered: the fish, oh, the fish.

Now I sit tapping away at my computer, wondering if stories can be stolen, wondering if my desire to own that story and tell that story might–suddenly–lead me away from my desk and down the hallway, into the bedroom where, leaning over to pick up a sock to throw in the wash, I’d get a glimpse of something under the bed, and there it would be: a whole case of orange soda just waiting to be guzzled.

Still Life with Paper Bag Tilapia

Inspired by my brother’s culinary wizardry with parchment paper,
I have stumbled across my latest delight:
Lay out a brown paper bag (not even a nickel); slice a deli zucchini (89 cents);
pour one teaspoon of evoo (for your healty oil!) and dust liberally with salt and pepper (cost negligible).
On top of that place one rinsed-off, thawed-out piece of frozen Sam’s fish (99 cents);
close the bag; microwave for three minutes and fifteen seconds;
douse with lime juice and Frank’s red hot sauce, and WaLa!
Yes, folks, for less than the price of a subway ride to Coney Island:
The World’s Most Perfect Lunch!
Bon Appetite!