24 May 2007

Update: children, warehouse, Paris, HD, Pushing Water

My oldest daughter, Kate, graduates from high school tonight. Otherwise, she's singing Mozart and contemplating the future, a year of college at the U of Arizona before auditions for music schools: Juilliard, Indiana, and more. When she sings I am amazed and lifted. Maybe there is some truth to the Wordsworthian and Keatsian sublime.

My youngest daughter, Nora, graduates from eight grade to high school. We spent last night decorating the hall for the event. She's the class president, so she makes a speech today. I can't wait!

Tucson City Council seems to want to fix our Steinfeld warehouse, keep it for artists, and lease it under precedents set for museums, to a nonprofit organization for $1 a year. That organization could be Chax Press or Dinnerware Arts, the two nonprofits in the building, or a combination of the two if we can work that out. Various dominoes have to fall into place for this to work out, and we still may have to exit the building for a period of months or a year, even if the dominoes fall right, while some structural repairs are made to the building — although it also looks like it might be possible to accomplish those repairs without such evacuation. We hope so. More will be known after a June 6 City Council subcommittee meeting; it was at the last such meeting that my optimism began to grow. I spoke there, but at the next one I can't, because . . .

I'll be in Paris June 4-18, for a translation seminar, working with the tremendous poet Vincent Broqua; I'll be working on his poems, he will be working on mine, and later we will give a reading together, in the Double Change series. Thanks to Cole Swensen and Sarah Riggs and the Double Change organization for making these events possible.

Yesterday I finished reading HD's Tribute to Freud. If not for Trilogy, I might think it her best book; in any case, it is one of the best prose books by a poet I have ever read. And maybe one of the best prose books by anyone. It's a model of writing specific and detailed memoir without falling into any sentimental or overwriting traps. Read any section. The prose is amazing, as are the insights into self, iconography, the relationship between the person and the dream, HD, and Freud.

Other current reading: the earlier books of Jack Spicer, as collected in The Collected Books of Jack Spicer. Various essays by Walter Benjamin, particularly "On Language as Such and on the Language of Man," in Reflections. Some of the remarks on language as magic seem particularly pertinent to thinking about Spicer.

While waiting in a hair salon for my youngest daughter to have her hair fixed for 8th grade graduation, I also finished parts 38, 39, and 40 of Pushing Water. That work continues to embrace a philosophy of vision, in these sections involving the Roden Crater Project of James Turrell as a place of centering vision, a working out of a sort of relationship of equality between articulation and being, and a questioning of what is left to write if Wittgenstein is correct that the world is everything that is the case.