Tomorrow, Monday October 14 is Columbus Day, Italian-American Heritage Day, Native American/Indigenous People Day, and Canadian Thanksgiving. But that’s not what this month of sundays about a months focuses on.
As a prelude; an introduction:
In those years between nursery school and the end of my first try at university – a span of 17 or so years – there are lots of “lowlights” in my education trudge. Despite all the cr*ap, there were incredible “butterfly” moments; awakening, expansion, bliss.
One day in some dreary classroom, I fidgeted: friendless; odd; struggling with math and sciences due to an unrecognized dyslexia; the constant moving between curriculum and school; while keeping my accelerated reading comprehension to myself, a teacher I only remember as a woman who wore sweater sets, instructed us to [gasp, breathe, supremely runn-onn-ssentence!] open some textbook to page xyz.
And, there was e e cummings’ “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful” poem.
Splashing in rubber boots across the page was the sort of unconventional, stretching of the poetic drum skins beating conformity that I understood. I saw the goat-footed balloonman, eddieandbill, bettyandisbel. It freeing like the first time I learned to read – and drove the neighbourhood nuts with my “I can read Dick and Jane. Listen . . .”
October 14 is his 125th birthday. The rest of the post is his words. Biographies, critical analysis of his work, and other “stuff” can be found here, there and everywhere. Closing with an example of how I channel him.
[in Just-] (1923)
in Just- spring when the world is mud- luscious the little lame balloonman whistles far and wee and eddieandbill come running from marbles and piracies and it's spring when the world is puddle-wonderful the queer old balloonman whistles far and wee and bettyandisbel come dancing from hop-scotch and jump-rope and it's spring and the goat-footed balloonMan whistles far and wee
I carry your heart with me (1952)
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
next to of course god america I (1926)
“next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn’s early my
country ’tis of centuries come and go
and are no more. what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”
He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water
Buffalo Bill (1920’s?)
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
And some of his erotica (read at your own discretion)
I like my body when it is with your
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh … And eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new.
I have written many e e cummings’ style poems (often it is E. E. Cummings – but I like adopting this particular version of his name). Kaleidoscope of Joy is a colourful homage I posted in response to a writing prompt back in 2017.
And, of course, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. And, to honour my math dyslexia: Bob and Doug McKenzie (The Great White North – the Canadian content on SCTV from the days when there HAD to be Canadian content on Canadian media – television and radio.)
And, since you asked . . .
What I’m reading:
Ice Cold Heart, P.J. Tracy’s latest installment of the Monkeewrench gang.
What I’m watching:
Still Babylon Fiving it. (Got a ways to go . . .)
What I’m eating:
honeynut squash (the one’s I’ve been eating are a slightly browner shade)
What I’m listening to: