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Friday, 22 March 2013

Every Day


Fields of Sawdust (Bolinas): photo by  Beatrice Murch, 15 September 2007

Awake the mind's hopeless so
At a quarter to six I rise
And run 2 or 3 miles in
The pristine air of a dark
And windy winter morning
With a light rain falling
And no sound but the pad
Of my sneakers on the asphalt
And the calls of the owls in
The cypress trees on Mesa Road

And when I get back you're
Still asleep under the warm covers
Because love is here to stay
It's another day and we're both still alive



Entrance to Duxbury Reef, Bolinas: photo by Beatrice Murch, 22 January 2008

Moonrise above Paradise Valley, Bolinas
: photo by Beatrice Murch, 2 May 2004

Twilight on Bolinas Lagoon: photo by Beatrice Murch, 2 August 2007

for Angelica (45 years on, unbelievably)


TC said...

I put this one up today for two reasons:

1. It brings back happy memories.

2. Garrison Keillor had it up on his blog yesterday -- misattributed to a Scotsman!!

So just to set the record straight: a Scotsman would never say such things.

Otherwise... Angelica and I were wed 45 years ago today, at St Marks Church in the Bowery.

And speaking of pleasant memories, here's a poem we received as a wedding gift from The Best Man:

Ron Padgett: Champion.

Ted Berrigan "gave away the bride" (though not without a congenial attempt at interpreting "give" as "take").

The wedding ceremony was a weird kick to be sure. Very high low church. Music was provided by David Shapiro (violin), Larry Fagin (guitar and vocal), Dick Gallup (guitar and vocal) and Mike Goldberg (vocal, baritone part). David did a wondrous virtuoso turn on Bach. Crowning the occasion was this piece, performed by the full ensemble, under their professional disguise.

Anonymous said...

wonderful poem....congratulations !

TC said...


Muchas gracias, querida. Las fotografías son un recordatorio para nosotros del lugar donde se escribió el poema. Días más felices!

kent said...

Kentgrats, you krazy kids.

The Mrs. and I go forty next month (in the year this was penned).

Remembering pics of young Clark family from back cover of FAN POEMS (at the time secretly hoping my life could be as rich as that then present-tense poet).

Remembering too the "spiritual Erlichman" postcard from Alder Road in '76, one year prior to our cross-country journey from A2 landing in Bolinas on National Nude Beach Day. No poets, just horses.

Now two days past the birth of our THIRD grandchild, a lass named Willa, I firmly recognize the richness of my/our present tense.

A salute to you both from a man who, as another man famously described himself,"Fontella Bass couldn't have needed a life preserver more".

kent (wait for opening day) woodman

BDR said...

Happy Anniversary!

TC said...

Jeff and Kent, thank you for illuminating the dark morning. This puts me in a bright mood for the change of bandages.

And Kent, I'm sure that a chaste soul such as yourself would not have allowed himself to be distracted by the site of nude horses on a beach. After all, that's why Fontella Bass invented blinders, wasn't it??

Hazen said...

That inviting path through the inviting wood. Together. Lovely. ¡Felicidades a los dos!

kent said...

In the category of Chaste Soul Music, "Blind Horses (Couldn't Drag Me Away) is as good as any flotation device.

FB rip


TC said...

Kent -- yes, sadly, Fontella, heart attack a few months ago, we were the same age, she rescued me, but never was I able to return the favor.

Hazen, the path through the wood darkens late on, as I'm sure you know... -- but it still leads on.

That second photo here captures it.

By the way, that shot was taken quite near the prefab-on-a-slab-dream shack where we spent some very happy years. Hard by the corner of two dirt roads named Nymph and Cherry. What's in a name...

Which reminds me I had forgot to say that that photo, as well as the other glorious shots on this post, were taken by a native of that place, the brilliant photographer Bea Murch, now of Buenos Aires. No one's ever caught the image of that unique part of the Earth quite so well.

Wooden Boy said...

Happy anniversary to you both from the Wooden Girl and me.

That's a beautiful morning poem full of love.

Curtis Faville said...


"Ah advantage . . . it stays with us past the asking."

Running in Bolinas on a foggy morning.

Bob Grenier has now moved to New England, so I have no excuses to visit the place that doesn't exist.

"Bolinas . . . the last of California." --Phil Whalen

Merry and I just marked our 44th.

vanderleun said...

Wonderful. And at the sainted St. Marks too. Congratulations on winning the marathon.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

So many milestones passed by so many fine couples—I’m going to put on one of my favorite LPs, sit in front of the fireplace with my wife and listen to “The Road Goes On Forever” from start to finish.

TC said...

Thank you, dear Wooden Ones. The wooded places of Earth remember themselves in you, and this post remembers them, somehow, even without WiFi or an unlimited-memory Smartphone. In our day there, the houses (ours anyway) never had proper heating (well, the one we have here doesn't either, though it once may have done, 100 years ago). So keeping warm in winter meant keeping the wood stove burning. The smell of eucalyptus smoke lingers in memory.

Curtis, Congratulations to you and Merry, I think of you every time I survive the pedestrian crossings at the traffic roundabout at the Circle. About Bolinas, Phil had it right, at least as far as we are concerned. We never go back. But we do hear from some still living and well-contented there -- Stephen, Joanne -- which for us makes missing a vanished past keener, more acute.

Vanderleun, I wish I could say we were among the happy mob at the refreshments tent, basking in our exhausting achievement, but no, the current conception of a marathon here is pretty much limited to managing the stairs without falling down. (The woman of the house makes fairly good time at that, but for myself, I must concede I struggle to break the two-minute barrier for the seven stairs to the basement... where, perhaps, the trophies are kept?)

Vassilis, It's lovely to imagine the logs crackling in the fire there in Meligalas in Texas Hill Country. Great song that one -- have never been able to decide between the 1989 original:

Robert Earl Keen: The Road Goes On Forever

and Joe Ely's cover version a few years later:

Joe Ely: The Road Goes On Forever

The Ely version leaves out the verse that might be thought to invite arrest... but the remaining lyric comes across clearer.

(In any case, obviously, no need to choose.)

Hazen said...

Along about the middle of the Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry channels Dante and bestows this on us:

Nel mezzo del bloody cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai in . . . Hugh flung himself down on the porch daybed. A strong warm gusty wind howled over the garden. Refreshed by his swim and a lunch of turkey sandwiches . . . he lay watching the clouds speeding across the Mexican skies. How fast they went, how far too fast? In the middle of our life, in the middle of the bloody road of our life . . .

Clouds, years, todo igual. Always the path . . .
(with a mate works just fine).

TC said...


That's definitely the primordial dark wood in the middle of life's long path book. The first time I read it (carrying a ragged Penguin edition around Italy in a knapsack one summer in the early 60s), I guess I was too young to fully understand. I couldn't quite locate the center of the thing. Now, though, as experience always seems to alter the shape of the view, a form emerges...

A year ago, when I was lying in the street in the rain, unable to move, as the paramedics cut away my clothing so that there was nothing left between me and the streetlights, the lowering sky and a godless heaven, the one thing I was concerned about was a lost shoe, knocked off by the impact, and rolling down the street. My shoe!

Little things may signify bigger things. The passage you have cited puts me in mind of an incident in the book which seems to signify the beginning of the ultimate sounding of the depths. It's the scene in which the visitor to this underworld is discovered to be missing something important.

No socks!

Let us therefore gather up what essentials remain to us. Each other, to start with. Todo igual. And our shoes, our socks.



Sweet poem from all these years ago, still as fresh as the day it was lived and penned. O those eucalyptus, still going strong, sun on its way north again coming up just now above the ridge.


light coming into sky above still black
ridge, birds beginning to call in field
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

the past in its place, some
mental object present

“that,” voice becomes faint,
replaced by intention

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
sunlit green of pine on tip of sandspit


ps. hearty congratulations to you both!

TC said...

Lovely, Steve -- putting

the past in its place, some
mental object present

“that,” voice becomes faint,
replaced by...

traffic roar.

Far preferable, the intricate consonantal music here:

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
sunlit green of pine on tip of sandspit

(Lines to grace the tip of the tongue...)

VANITAS said...

Dear Tom And Angelica

Happy Anniversary! 45 is a beautiful number. We are still on The Coast, thinking of you a lot. We had a great time imagining all those poets singing "I Love You Truly" slightly out of tune.

We send continuing good vibes for health, happiness, football, and poetry.


Oliver, Isaac, Vivien & Vincent

TC said...


The poets were of course always slightly out of tune, back then.

("Except for Mike Goldberg," recalls A., possessor of the house's sole remaining intact memory... "but then he was a painter.")

But now thank heavens there is a new generation to tutor us in the classic musical arts.

Thus we turn again for solace to The Greeks.