Just a Few Things Intentionally and Unintentionally Related to Today

HOME TO ROOST

The chickens
are circling and
blotting out the
day. The sun is
bright, but the
chickens are in
the way. Yes,
the sky is dark
with chickens,
dense with them.
They turn and
then they turn
again. These
are the chickens
you let loose
one at a time
and small–
various breeds.
Now they have
come home
to roost — all
the same kind
at the same speed.

–Kay Ryan

From her interview at NPR at the time she became the poet laureate:

First of all, it comes from the thing we say to other people when they’ve done a lot of stupid things, and now they’re getting their comeuppance. We say, well, your chickens are coming home to roost, and I have no doubt that when I wrote this, I was chastening myself, and I was telling myself this, but unfortunately, this poem was sitting on the desk of an editor in New York at the time of 9/11, and it suddenly took on this terrible added significance, and I had to withdraw it because it seemed cruelly appropriate. . . . Now right after 9/11, that sounded, you know, the blue sky in here, the clear sky, sounded just like the beauty of that day, and those chickens sounded much too much like airplanes.

In relation to the beautiful day it was 10 years ago, here are a friend’s sentiments.

You can view this interactive map from the New York Times to see where people were on that day. You can click on it and write where you were and how you felt/feel.

This is an NPR interview with John Adams and his commission to compose a piece to commemorate the one-year anniversary of 9/11.

This is the first third of the composition:

10 years.

Still healing.

Hey, Ray

I met you through LiveJournal one day, and it took us a while to meet, to make sure we were as cool IRL as we made ourselves out to be virtually.

Not meaning to be cool, of course.

You’d always make the effort whenever you came even near the city to meet for food and conversation and a few hugs.  I’m sorry I’m in Florida. The distance seems to strain everyone’s life, including my own. But maybe I’m flattering myself, which is not the point of this post.

Thank you for being my friend.

Still flattering myself, for your influence in my life is one of the greatest compliments I could ever have.

I miss you, and I hope you have the grandest of birthdays and the grandest of years.

Happy Birthday, Ray.

More than a Formality

Today’s guest blogger is my friend, Ray.

I feel inadequate introducing him. I’ve read his post. His piece provides a strong impression. A great impression.

I met him virtually before we met for the first time in real life, one 70-degree Thanksgiving day in New York City. 2004. His daughter was with him. We stopped in a Starbucks for a cookie and hot chocolate.

Thanks, Karissa, for introducing us. Crazy triviots.

Thanks, Ray, for following my life and checking in and making time to meet up whenever you’re in town. You’re kind and generous and a devoted friend, father, and husband. Your writing dazzles, your stories touch. You always have more to give. Keep on keeping on.

I Got to See Ray Today

And we walked to avoid the Parade for Puerto Rican Day
And we threw back and forth some wordplay
And it made me wish even more in New York I could stay
And is it fair to rhyme day with today?
And we had something to eat after we found our way
And then he went to see if he could watch the Yankees play
Or whatever it is they do, whatever they say
Because that’s not baseball, so we should pray
That their luck changes to match their outrageous pay.

***
So we said goodbye and hugged. And I got pretty emotional crossing Lexington Avenue at 42nd Street. *Sniff*

I’ve had a headache since Friday, and today I took some medicine and drank a caffeinated beverage to alleviate the pressure. It took a while for these chemicals to kick in, but once it did, I was a bit more laughy and eager to learn the Oompa Loompa dance from that Willy Wonka movie.

Then, mostly against my will, I watched Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights. If you want an incredible ensemble cast with a decent cameo and amazing acting, please do NOT watch this movie. If you would like to know how to express your utter happiness when you’ve found true Cuban, latin-dancing love, find another flick. Or write your own. And have your friends be the actors. Because the movie you make would be so much better than what I saw. I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too harsh.

Then I went back uptown to a potluck dinner. I came just in time for games. We played one of those question games where you had to guess who wrote the answers.

At this party I learned a lot of stuff about people!
First celebrity crushes were:
Ricky Shroeder
Bon Jovi
Jennifer Connelly
Casper the Friendly Ghost
Christian Slater
Kirk Cameron
etc.

First tapes bought with one’s own money were:
Bon Jovi (not the same who crushed on him, who happened to be a guy)
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Billy Joel’s Stormfront
Beauty and the Beast
Soundtrack
Weird Al Yankovic
etc.

Animals people wanted to be:
Eagle
Eagle
Cat
Dolphin
Killer Whale
Manta Ray
Lamb
A dead animal
etc.

I also learned what a zebra sounds like. That was fabulous.

Can you guess which of those are mine? My first celebrity crush? The first tape I bought with my own money? The animal I want to be? Can you guess which ones are Becky’s?