Archive for February, 2013

white smoke

February 12, 2013

amici miei

the pope is abdicating?? ma che cosa?

i remember st peters square…

e veramente enorme

e veramente enorme

and all the pilgrims who flooded the city after the last pope died.

e stato cosi!

e stato cosi!

and i was there when the white smoke started to billow, and this dude popped out from behind a curtain.

papa ratzinger

papa ratzinger

a presto,


a repentence

February 11, 2013

mes amis—

greetings from old hampshire.
it snows heavily here.
so does my heart.

this morning at breakfast i experienced another run in.

there was lively chit chat about the zodiac. as people sipped their coffee and cut apart their french toasts, they called out the various attributes to their respective signs.

i may have been a ring leader in all of this. it is true. coaxing people on to tell their birthdays and then saying, “ah, capricorn.” or “oh, virgo, nervous but organized.”

finally someone asked, “what’s your sign kippy?”

“gemini,” i proclaimed and raised my right hand in a vertical fashion in front of my face, like a priest about to make a blessing. “split personality,” i explained. as i split myself in two, thus making visual the split personality of a gemini, i hummed a jaunty little ditty.

google image results for "gemini" are terrifying

google image results for “gemini” are terrifying

the ditty is of an olden nature and inspired by the nintendo games of my youth. it is a tune that i believed best represented aurally a siamese twin. there was laughter round the table as i completed my song and dance move. then, the young man to my right, a virgo, asked, “did you just sing a racist song?”

i was mortified and maudlin. what could be said? i had not intended in the least to be racist—only to signify the split personality of a gemini with what i thought would be an appropriate tune!!!—and yet there it was. an accusation that i could not deny for wouldn’t denying wrong doing render my actions all the more culpable? “yes,” i said in a soft grave tone. “i am racist.”

i am truly vexed and perturbed. if i had been less flustered i would have perhaps been able to link the song to the nintendo game. but wouldn’t that be just as problematic? (passing the blame to a corporation.) perhaps i could have varied the notes in the song? would that have made the jingle less culturally specific?? and yet would the dance and song have then been less enjoyable? i do not know. surely we should enjoy a little less if it means not being racist, right? oh but how dreary! there seems to be no way to win.

what can be done to rectify this? i fear ever making a song and dance again and offending. i wasn’t thinking: the force to make the song and dance move was stronger than i was and yet i now see my actions were reproachful.

what to do? what to do? i would like to repent but how? and to whom? surely it would be exaggerated to gather those who were together at the table and express the magnitude of my feelings and thoughts on this topic…? n’est pas? they would say, “kippy, you are over reacting.” yet the accusation of being racist is one i do not take lightly.  perhaps i just need to let it go; let it melt into the snow. but i feel a tundra in my heart every time i think back to the yogurt and the fruit and the coffee and that song. ooh eternal spirits, forgive me!

those casual cruelties (not to mention causalities)

February 6, 2013

mes amis

greetings from a snow-dust laden and laced new hampshire. i’ve only a few things to report.

1. there is some snow on the ground.

2. despite the above fact, it is not quite bone chillingly cold.

3. i wore my moon boots and attended the petite dejeuner offerings this morning.

4. i consumed both yogurt and freshly cut fruit as well as a tasty greek omelet that was not ostentatious in size but, quite perfectly suited for my hunger.

5. there was talk of music—pop and otherwise—with the various hilarious terms thrown around. subdominent line, resolving flip flop, bidledee bip bop. I pointed this out with aplomb and demonstrated the absurdity. thank heavens the playwright to my left rolled his eyes and said, “ooh go speak italian and tortellini!” there were chuckles.

har har har

har har har

6. a doctor sitting across from me explained her project—a non-fiction book about triage in disaster areas. she then asked, “what are you working on?” i blushed, for i feel that my project is not of equal social importance! and yet i feel the soul is perhaps the most important thing to keep enlivened and alive! (and i should very much hope my project revolves around the enhancement of the soul.

7. i made the requisite jokes about my project, master of deflection that i am. the young musician asked: “how are you writing a musical without the composer?” i responded, “i just am.” then, feeling further ashamed and wanting to lighten the mood, i proclaimed, “i am writing fake song demos that i know will change!”

8. at this point an older poet entered, her boots fresh with snow. the staff lady who accompanied her said, “the coffee is there.” we were crowded at the table and said hello.

the table was groaning!

the table was groaning!

9. the heated conversation about pop music and subcontinental music lines continued, something about what make a song catchy. (i wanted to proclaim, “a song is catchy if it is tuneful and with fine rhythms!” but my lack of knowledge/correct vocabulary in the area, and my previously embarrassing statements and proclamations prohibited me from further chime ins.

10. i realized the older poet, new to this bizarre colony with its own unspoken codes and customs, sat alone at a table across the room.

da sola

da sola

11. i was overwhelmed. we at my table had said, “welcome” but in fact, we had enacted no welcoming gestures, merry with our conversation as we were.

12. i sprang from my seat and approached the poet. “would you like to come and sit with us?” i asked. “we are crammed but can easily make some room for you.”

13. she smiled, between nibbling a muffin. “yes,” she said. we walked over to the table and some room was made and we sat down.

14. the lively pop music conversation continued. it would have perhaps been exaggerated to turn to the new person and ask questions. but i could not help but wonder, “have we learned so little from the ways of youth and cafeterias?” … “have we forgotten the feelings of anxiety of arriving new to a colony like this?” … “where is our education ? our manners? our fundamental kindness?”

15. in conclusion, i hasten to add that mine was a heroic act. or even all that kind. i was simply and overwhelmingly shocked by the rudeness of les autres and felt the need to correct it as best i could. i can only hope to blame the incident on the early hour of the day, the slow in take of caffeine and the lively music conversation, for i know that my fellows at the table are not such delinquents but kindly awkward people in and of themselves (much like me…!)

16. at any rate, i hope the new poet feels welcomed. when i arrived it was at a more social moment (cocktail hour) and i politely refused the martini i was offered. still, it is nice to have that social interaction when being new to a group…is it not?

well hello

well hello

ciao for now,

journaling di nuovo

February 5, 2013

my friends and fellow citizens—

greetings from a land where the earth is frozen but the heart and mind are afire…! i am enjoying a sojourn at a country estate where other artists work on various projetti. as for me, i am relaxing and basking. long walks, long naps and reading reading reading.

plus, I have been keeping a record of my state of mind and (lack of) activity with a notebook. si, amici miei, I have been journaling di nuovo! as a youth I kept a journal—never a diary mind you!—and it is a most pleasant thing to do. better to get all your worries and frets out on paper than have a turmoil of the tum!

a personal journal!

a personal journal!

i also find that putting pen to paper has a kind of ancient and olden feeling. to see my dear chicken scratch move across a page… to marvel as the pen’s ink catches a glint in the low evening light…these things bring a small joy to me—however small they may be.

moreover, as I write down my thoughts and observations—and yes feelings too—I sometimes realize: oh kippy, you are such a tom petty! a woe written down from a few days past seems not so tragic in the present.

i have also been deeply engrossed in a biography about wittgenstein. my studies of philosophy were entirely continental so reading this analytic mumbo jumbo both fills me fear and dread. yet, on an interpersonal level i have great affection for this fellow, even if he is also confouding.

anyhoo, time to make the donuts! (yes, i am doing a small kitchen stint here at macdonalds!)

i dream of a gluten-free versione

i dream of a gluten-free versione

a bientot,