Reading The Malahat Review, on the Hottest Day of 2010


That is all the energy self can summon up, today.

Why have we had three successive days of the hottest weather of the year?

Where is fall?

Why is Redwood City 20 degrees hotter than New York?

Can self summon up the energy to re-enter her (boiling) car, and watch another movie?

Yesterday, right after getting back from teaching a Writing Lab, self barely made it to the 3:30 screening of “Cairo Time,” at the Menlo Park Guild.

Which was excellent.  Not only that, the characters were constantly remarking on the heat.  Ninety degrees in November, or something to that effect.  If only self had a figure like Patricia Clarkson’s.  From the back, she looks like a teen-ager —  yes, her waist is that slim.  And her blonde hair is wonderfully voluminous and feminine.  And she has hips, people!  Not fat, pear-shaped hips, but slender hips!  And the guy who played her escort (Not in that way, just a friendly escort around Cairo, to keep Patricia from the unwanted attentions of roving males) had gorgeous, Omar Sharif eyes.  And the background piano music was just gorgeous.

But, today, self had nothing as exciting on her plate.  And it was just as hot.  Or even hotter.

After hubby took himself off to his dreary office, which is causing him to smoke excessively, and therefore polluting not only his lungs but self’s, self had to water.  Water, water, water.

Then she had to mail something to the Vermont Studio Center.  Due October 1, and since the Vermont Studio Center is in some remote area called Johnson, Vermont (354 miles directly north of New York City!), she had to mail the stuff today, and the FedEx rate was $29.01.

Then she went to Barnes and Noble, and hunkered down in the Mysteries section.  And found two more mystery writers she had never read before:  Christopher Fowler (a mystery called White Corridor), and Louise Penny.

And then she proceeded to Safeway, to replenish her stock of Minute Maid Lemonade.  And she decided to replenish the two cartons of lemonade with a six-pack of Shiner Bock.  And some whole wheat bread.

And after getting home, she watered some more.  And when she had reached the point of almost total exhaustion and resentment (Gods!  Why inflict this punishing heat on a woman who cannot afford a regular gardener?  And whose husband doesn’t believe in automatic sprinklers?), she decided to read The Malahat Review.  And the first piece her eyes landed on was a poem called

“The Sad Truth About Engineers”


which happened to be written by a woman named Karen Schindler, described in the “Notes on Contributors” as having herself been a former “chemical engineer.”  But Ms. Schindler has apparently escaped that sad existence, for she is described as “director of the Poetry London Reading Series in London, Ontario.”

The poem begins:

His bed propped up by a stack of textbooks,

twist of sheets at your feet.  Outside the window,


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: