More From Gary Kamiya

Love Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco. Reading the essays in it painstakingly slowly.

Gary Kamiya was one of the founders of Salon.com (still going strong!). An ex-fellow Fellow from Stanford, Jim Paul, used to write for them. As did Chitra Divakaruni. As did Laura Miller. As did Heather Havrilesky.

Self is on Essay # 5, The Harbor at the End of the World:

A 1508 map by Johannes Ruysch depicts South America as the New World, with Asia in the place where North America actually is.

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Private beach access for this homeowner along the Mendocino coast

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sunday Read: TAKING MESOPOTAMIA, by Jenny Lewis

Two books self put on hold are waiting for pick-up at the downtown Redwood City Library: one is Milkman, the prize-winning novel by Irish writer Anna Burns. The other is nonfiction by Doris Kearns Goodwin about Leadership.

The rain seems to be holding off a bit. She planted some lilies and spread organic fertilizer around her roses.

She really needs to get on with her writing, always difficult when she’d much rather be planting. To help her, she’s reading Jenny Lewis’s memoir in poetry of her father’s time in the British Army: Taking Mesopotamia (Carcanet, 2014)

This is a re-read. Self has known Jenny for five years. She heard Jenny read at the British Museum. She was there when Jenny read from her new collection, Gilgamesh Retold, at the Woodstock Poetry Festival in Oxfordshire, last November.

The collection begins with two quotes, the first from the epic of Gilgamesh, the second from Lord Grey of Falloden.

Here’s what Lord Grey has to say about the taking of Mesopotamia, 1919:

  • I think the best thing would be if, at the end of the war we could say we had taken and gained nothing. Taking Mesopotamia, for instance, means spending millions on irrigation and development with no immediate return . . . keeping up a large army in an unfamiliar country and tangling every kind of administrative question.

Self loves the idea of an occupying army taking and gaining nothing.

Stay tuned.

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Sunday Morning, First Day of Daylight Saving, March 2019

A Poem About Donald Trump: FUGUE, Summer/Fall 2011

Self hangs on to everything. This is important. Why else would she have a copy of the literary journal Fugue in her closet? An issue from 2011?

Nevertheless, she picks up the issue, opens to a random page, and finds Mark Wagenaar’s poem:

That The Unified Field Theory Must Somehow Include Donald Trump’s Hair

(An Excerpt)

Add the video of the dog playing the accordion
to the List of Things That Remind Me of Seville,
right beneath rainwater baths & patios of bitter oranges.
I never found who was playing, though from the jaunty
tuneless songs the musician had a great sense of humour.
You could also add the dog to the List of Things I’d Watch
Instead of “The Apprentice,” which is a list that would reach
La Giralda from here. I’m not sure hair can be that bad,
whether it’s real or some sort of Trump l’oeil, but I’m sure
it falls somewhere in the Unified Field Theory, which includes
the zebrafish’ new eyes, & the ghostly hair of nebulae —
the theory of another way to count it all up, to name the world
around us, blackbird, thorns in deadfall, thirst sudden as flight.

From the Contributors’ Notes: Mark Wagenaar’s book, Voodoo Inverso, won the 2012 Pollak Prize. He lives in Denton, TX

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Gary Kamiya Again

  • Hundreds of giant bison, weighing two tons and standing more than eight feet high, headed through the Golden Gate on their seasonal migration, next to the roaring river . . . At the top of the food chain stood the American lion and the short-faced bear.

— from The Alcatraz Triangle, Ch. 3 of Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

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San Francisco, Viewed From Point Richmond: February 2015

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View of the Mendocino Headlands from Main Street

Tomorrow, straight to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Sentence of the Day: Gary Kamiya

The oldest skeleton found in the City is that of a female, unearthed during excavation for the Civic Center BART station in 1969, dating to about 5,000 years ago.

— from Cool Gray City of Love, Chapter 3: The Alcatraz Triangle

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Fourth Sunday of February 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: COLOR OF YOUR CHOICE

Self’s choice is RED.

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Self at 19, with Masako in Shibuya, Tokyo

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Red Woven Bag from the Philippines, in Self’s Closet

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Self’s Red Knapsack: The Penn Club, London, 23 November 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Some of Self’s Publications, For Students Who Ask

The Opioids Issue, Prairie Schooner (Vol. 92, No. 4), Guest-Edited by Glenna Luschei

from the introductory essay, Pandora’s Box, by Glenna Luschei:

  • I talked to our contributors Michael Harris and Ray Murphy about physical and mental pain as a genesis of addiction. Where was so much pain coming from? That is a question I am still asking. Some of our poets address it. In a letter Ray Murphy wrote, “Virtually all of my writing about opiates stems about writing from injury. I never address opiates as a recreational drug. Be interesting to see how many other submissions you get that come out of injury and pain, and then progress into dependency and possibly full-blown addiction. Opiates are at once remarkably versatile and one-dimensional. There is no end to the topic.” Yes, I feel that opiate addicts are like canaries in the coal mine, as the addicts are the indicators in our society of the pain we are suffering. In a previous century, addiction to drugs like laudanum may have been connected to mystical vision, as R. T. Smith conjures in his narrative, Sergeant-Major Perry on Sullivan’s Island.

— San Luis Obispo, July 2018

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Poetry Tuesday: Dorianne Laux in PRAIRIE SCHOONER (Vol. 92, Issue No. 4)

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An Excerpt from Snow

by Dorianne Laux

It wasn’t snowing, and then it was,
like death, like my sister’s texts
that just stopped: I’m in the hospital
then a phone call: We did everything
we could: endocarditis, valve leakage,
her heart on heroin. She wasn’t addicted

and then she was, on and off, for years
her and her daughter, my niece, living
on the streets, every few weeks, a phone call:

Amazing issue.

Kudos, Prairie Schooner.

 

 

Sunday Read: Philippine Religious Imagery in Ivory (Exhibit Catalogue, Intramuros, Manila, 1982)

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Self’s childhood home in Manila was crammed with santoses (religious statues). Dearest Mum collected them.

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L: San Vicente Ferrer R: San Pedro Martir

The santos carvers were unknown. It was an industry, like making furniture. The head and hands of the figures were usually ivory.

The caption for San Pedro Martir reads, in entirety:

  • Ivory head and hands on batikuling body. A bolo (machete), now missing, the instrument of his martyrdom, was originally embedded in his cranium. He is usually depicted holding a palm of martyrdom, also missing. 19th century.

Batikuling is a Philippine tree, presently listed as endangered.

Stay tuned.

 

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