Monday, January 28, 2008

january in my apartment

You know what's nice? Clomping home up a snowy hill to a strong glass of karkaday that's been steeping all day long, and a box of tasty dates. Such a nicely Middle Eastern way to live in Southern Maine. Now I just need a cat.

Friday, January 11, 2008

His deep soft voice still echoes.

I listen to him, not every day, but when I do, it's for hours. I met him summers ago, working to catch his voice, to letter his words...not knowing that to transcribe, you have to know the words already.

I remember the day we found his own writing, his own English version of the story, written out on a rough scrap, in the shaky letters of men who don't work on paper.

I couldn't understand much of it.

So I listen. I listen and I listen, straining to hear his words, straining to hear a faint syllable, trying to grab back every scrap of sound, everything that was lost.

He sounds nervous, uncertain at times, but then there's the bear story: almost four hundred pounds it weighed, he says!

Or how they beat the Mohawks who came to fight. Or how the flaming vampire skeleton ate that man's friend up. Or...well, these are all just the stories I find in his sounds: are they even really there?

After all, now, with the man gone, and no translation with him, no translation by him, what do I make of it? What do I make of him?

I pick away, I note a schwa, wonder if that's a t or a devoiced n, wonder if there's a short demonstrative pronoun there, or if it's just a tweak of his lips closing. I have no one to answer my questions.

I met his son, already an elder, grandparently. He only remembers one word from his father, and asked me what it meant. I told him it means 'maybe'.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Another one of those days where I hit the wall of my own distractability.