Simeon Dumdum, Jr: “Cattle Egret”

Excerpt From CATTLE EGRET

— by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.

You’re riding on a carabao
(Oh, what a day and what a life)
As birds would settle on a bough

Light cuts the sky with a long knife
And morning drops its load of dew
(Oh, what a day and what a life)

— from the collection If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010)

Simeon Dumdum, Jr. is a judge in the central Philippine island of Cebu. His other poetry collections are The Gift of Sleep, Third World Opera, and Poems: Selected and New (1982 – 1997)

The white Cattle Egret is found throughout the Philippines. It perches on grazing cattle and rids them of lice. Its native name is: talabong, tabong, tagak kalabaw.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Really Delightful: Hanna in Anne Enright’s THE GREEN ROAD

The following excerpt could be either funny or sad, depending on your mood. Hanna is an aspiring actress with a drinking problem:

. . .  that evening, somehow, the baby got hold of her little Innocent bottle and spat the stuff out, spilling it all down his front and, never mind the hole in the fucking universe, when Hugh smelt the alcohol off the baby’s Breton striped Petit Bateau, the world as Hanna knew it came to an end.

. . .  The thing was through the washing machine on the instant, so Hugh had no hard evidence. But he had the baby. He was sleeping in the baby’s room. He would not fight with Hanna, he said, but he would not leave her alone with the baby. And when it came to Christmas he would take the baby home.

Hanna said, “That’s a relief. No, really. Childcare at last. Fucking fantastic.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

2nd ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Quote of the Day

If I meant that, I’d have said it.

— Humpty Dumpty to Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Chapter VI (“Humpty Dumpty”)

Quote of the Day: Lewis Carroll

“You alarm me!” said the King. “I feel faint — give me a ham sandwich!”

On which the messenger, to Alice’s great amusement, opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a sandwich to the King, who devoured it greedily.

“Another sandwich!” said the King.

Alice in Wonderland, Chapter VII (“The Lion and the Unicorn”)

Too Funny! More Anne Enright

  • It was very ageing — fat. It made her daughter look like an old woman, which was a kind of insult, after all the care that was put into the rearing of her. The coat didn’t help. It was like an anorak, almost.

The Green Road, p. 160

Details 4: Surprises Reward Close Observation

For this week’s challenge, try to look past the big picture and take a more intimate approach . . . zoom in on details in unexpected places.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Today:

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Interesting Adornments for a Mercedes Benz!

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At the 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis, The Loft had a kind of raffle: You wrote the name of your favorite book and dropped it into a big tumbler. Then you picked out a card to see a book someone else had recommended. Self wrote: Suzanne Collins’ THE HUNGER GAMES Trilogy. The card she picked out had this book recommendation.

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Just in time for the upcoming U.S.Presidential Elections, a book with a very rad picture of Hillary, doing a kind of Dirty Harry pose. ROFL!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: From THE GREEN ROAD

Self has loved all the books she’s read so far this year. Some are lighter reads than others, but in general she’s been really lucky in her reading choices. Here are the books she’s read so far in 2016:

  • Road Dogs, by Elmore Leonard
  • The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins
  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy
  • Candide, by Voltaire
  • Watch Me, by Anjelica Huston
  • My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
  • The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
  • Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart
  • The Green Road (currently reading), by Anne Enright

This is a sentence from Enright’s novel. Two “boys,” Dan and Billy, are walking together on a clear Manhattan night, just “after rain.” One of the boys is out of the closet, the other not really:

  • The boys’ winter coats were both open to the mild night, their long scarves hung down, blue and green.

And that’s it! There’s the sentence. Hope you like it as much as self did.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay night.

 

Still More of Anne Enright: THE GREEN ROAD

Self does not know how one can write like this. Where every sentence has such a pitch of intensity.

First there was Ireland and oh the sadness of a Sunday family dinner and people nattering on and seeming to erode to dust, right before our very eyes.

Then, we’re in New York in 1991 which was a terrible year, self can tell you right now, and right and left, people are dying of AIDS, and Enright writes a beautiful sentence about how a man can start reading the classics, later in life, and how he can become “tender of his eyesight and of his time,” and about Achilles’ dream and the dead Patroclus and about how in dreams there are no words and this is what the dreamer misses most because “words are also physical, don’t you think? The way they touch you.”

And self knows exactly what she means.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Still On: Anne Enright’s THE GREEN ROAD

The Green Road is taking self to some very unexpected places. Such as: New York City, 1991. Which turned out to be a watershed year for self as well. Just read her story “Lenox Hill, December 1991” in Charlie Chan Is Dead, Vol. 1, edited by Jessica Hagedorn.

Here’s an excerpt from Enright’s novel:

DAN – New York, 1991

. . .  if the question was whether Billy was still sleeping with Gregory Savalas, then the answer was that they had barely slept together in the first place. Billy was a blonde boy, on the sturdy side, with a thug/angel thing going, so there was a line of sad bastards queuing at his door; half of them married, most of them in suits. And Billy hated the closet. What Billy wanted was big, shouty unafraid sex with someone who did not cry, or get complicated, or hang around after the orange juice and the croissant.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Anne Enright’s THE GREEN ROAD

If you crossed the long meadow, you came to a boreen which brought you up over a small rise to a view of the Aran Islands out in Galway Bay, and the Cliffs of Moher, which were also famous, far away to the south. This road turned into the green road that went across the Burren, high above the beach at Fanore, and this was the most beautiful road in the world, bar none, her granny said — famed in song and story — the rocks gathering briefly into walls before lapsing back into field, the little stony pastures whose flowers were sweet and rare.

The Green Road, p. 15

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