London. Up at 6:00.
Daughters acting like they're
being martyred on Tower Hill.
More rain. Why do I love London rain?
Because it's so cool to say "London rain," no doubt.
One of those Donovan songs I'd listen to
in San Diego, where I'd never see London, where
I'd seldom see rain.
Bought Chayo a Paddington Bear
at the last outlet in London registered directly
to the author. Paddington with his little hat.
The salesman said: "The author's a lovely man.
Eighty-some. But just like you--no lines
on his face. Me? I've got all the lines.
You and he--no lines!"
Pigeons in the roof of the station
open their wings and drop like hang gliders
out of the light.
I share my Starbuck's skinny muffin
with a strutting reunion of rock doves.
Chayo says, "That pigeon's just chillin'."
For the rest of the trip, the big kids
will mock her relentlessly. "That train?
Cinderella calls me "The pigeon lady."
Like one of those park bench pigeon feeders,
my molar suddenly falls out! Cursed crown!
Herding five family members to the train car
is crazy stressful. And expensive. I'VE GOT
A GREAT BIG HOLE IN ME JAW!
Screaming down the rails. All near the tracks is a mad blur.
You have to focus on the middle distance to see anything.
We blast into the country, startle suburbs, and back to the fields.
Great yellow meadows under heavy skies.
Scenic half-timbered houses on small rivers.
20 swans in a perfect triangle on black water.
Oil tanks behind ancient
arched stone bridges.
"England Is The Sickie Man of Europe."
Rusting factories, graffiti mad walls
and then, horses.
Every country house
in this rainlight
looks like a watercolor.
Farmer and dog.
Fields, wildflowers, smears of orange.
Behind me, the businessman with the nasal voice
chats up the businesswoman with the strong perfume:
"That's why," he says,
"I wouldn't want my nurse to be Sarah!
She's so bloody...she's
so in her head!
She'd do her job better
if she got a boyfriend.
She's lost weight, though.
Riding her bike."
I'm thinking, GO SARAH.
Foreground fields: dark.
Background fields: bright
as electric lights.
"Molly's ex is posting Facebook messages about cricket.
Clearly, veiled threats to her."
Our kids sleep or play video games. Nobody
looks out the window. Nobody's practicing mindfulness.
Nobody's listening. When you're a kid, you think
you already know. You think you'll be back
1,000,000 times. Why look?
"We're pulling into Swindon five minutes early.
I reckon the train's running on Red Bull this morning."
and they like me."
Far mauve hills.
All these fields, and no Mexicanos
bent over with short hoes.
"I went to her brother's stag party.
And I met some really fun guys there!"
Lovely, lovely Bath.
Entering a stone and green-hill dream.
Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat: If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.
Lecture and booksigning as part of Bilingual Minifest and naturalization ceremony celebration.
Workshop, readings, etc. For more information,here.
Montclair State University reads The Devil's Highway. Details to come.
Aurora reads Into the Beautiful North. Lecture/discussion in Spanish Oct. 23 and in English Oct. 24. Details to come.
Reading, book signing, discussion. Details to come.