Friday, December 14, 2007

What I Did During My Blogger Vacation

I was touched when Bennie forwarded an email from the gallery the evening before last. It was from Paula. "Are all of you OK?" she asked. "You haven't blogged in a while."

As I told Paula, I've been home and in the stores and on the highway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and my vintage laptop doesn't allow me to post. This is what I've been doing instead:

1. Purchased presents for relatives in Alabama, California, and Illinois. Was in particular pleased with a set of "gnarly teeth" I found for my great-nephew. A kit that comes with teeth for a host of personalities--the Six Faces of Kade--Werewolf, Grandpa, Clem (country bumpkin), Mad Scientist, etc. Almost kept them myself. After all, we give what we'd like to get.

2. Wrapped presents. Discovered a plastic bear that poops jelly beans is a bitch to wrap.

3. Wrote annual Christmas letter, wherein I condensed 2007 into two pages, 10-point, single-spaced.

4. Addressed Christmas cards, inserted letters in cards.

5. Did some cleaning out of drawers, in anticipation of the arrival of new space-occupying stuff in the form of Christmas gifts. Was stunned to discover medical records from 1984. This means I hauled all that from lower Pacific Heights in San Francisco, to Laurel Heights, to Parkside, to Pacifica, to the southside of Santa Fe, to our current home outside of town. Why? Am I that sentimental about my old blood lipids readings?

6. Went to see the Coen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men." Thumbs up! Maximum creep factor! Gnarlier than gnarly teeth!

7. Went to see Flannery's African dance performance. Totally gnarly, and in the very best way. STANDING OVATION.

8. Went to see Andre Rieu Orchestra with my in-laws. Somewhat gnarly.

9. Rearranged furniture to make room for Christmas tree.

10. Found this poem I wrote, published in 1982. I retroactively dedicate it to Heather, since she's an Einstein adorer:


in Einstein's house, in the closet
every corner is singing

the black, explicit song
of the closet

the hat boxes
the lyrical curves

of the violin case give way
to corners, the closet's

boxed-in, singing
angles. or are they

are there angels, singing

in the corners?
are there angels boxing

in the darkness?
if angels, will they hold

against the darkness?

will they take bows
against thin air?

is it air we hear
when we hear

that singing?
if air, are the angels why

this unstrung music?
are the angels why music

goes on falling
from nowhere?

why the violin case
hums and hums?

are they why the insides
of shoes

and the pockets of clothing
fill with song?

are the angels why
Einstein's overcoat hums along?


BBC said...

Hi San, I am so not into Christmas anymore, it will take me about ten minutes to do my Christmas shopping, and will cost me under ten bucks.

You asked if you should close the door on the way out. If you like, but don't let it hit you on the butt on the way out. LOL

I'll be back, this is just a very hard part of the year for me, I'm surrounded by so called Christians you know.

Anyway, I hope that things are going well for you. Hugs.

San said...

Watch out, young man, or you just might get a lump of coal in your stocking.

self taught artist said...

lots going on...the painting looks appropriately christmasy, great pictures all of them!
glad you have been well, busy and productive falalalala la la la la

San said...

Paula, when I did that painting, it was June I believe. The last thing on my mind was Christmas. Then, when I put it at the top of this post, I thought: that looks just like a tangled mess of Christmas tree lights.

Falalalala to you too.

QUASAR9 said...

lol San,
a bear that poops jelly beans?
what next, fur rabbits that poop chocolate covered raisins

QUASAR9 said...

Great String Painting
Now if we can only untangle the al dente spaghetti

Lee said...

Hi San, Interesting poem. I like the images of things singing. "Lyrical curves of violin cases giving way to corners" they flow nicely into one another and thus make sense to my fantasy mind. "This unstrung music", "are angels why music goes on falling from nowhere", and "the pockets of clothing fill with song" are wonderful. You paint with words. Where did you get the idea of Einstein's closet?

String Theory is VERY festive! Great holiday effect! It fascinates me; there is depth of field in that painting. You are very talented!


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

A plastic bear that poops jelly beans!
HAHAAAAAA oh stoppit it herts ah ahhhahaaahhAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


San said...

Quasar, watch them come out with the chocolate-raisin-laying rabbit for Easter.

San said...


Never-ending coils of spaghetti al dente. That's something to chew on.

San said...

Lee, thanks for reading the poem closely. I love that it appeals to your "fantasy mind." Where did I get the idea of Einstein's closet? Memory fails. That was some time ago. :)

Glad you like the painting and find it festive. Joy to you, Lee!

San said...


I feel your pain, hon.

Merry Christmas.

kate said...

Hi San,

It sounds as if you have been up to lots of things these days. I love the teeth and the pooping jelly bean bear. A pic would have been cool :)

Your poem about Einstein's closet was wonderful ... I loved the parts about the violin case humming.

I loved the colours in your painting!

San said...


Yeah, I should have posted a video of the bear in action. Too late now, as it's been shipped off.

Thanks for your kind words about the poem and the painting.

Your new profile image is sweet.

Flannery said...

a) I love that poem.

b) Please can I have a bear that poops jelly beans for Christmas? I NEED that.

c) I want to see this so called "family Christmas letter." How much have you embarrassed me? Email it immediately.

murat11 said...

Wonderful how the poem's lines tumble gently upon one another, a slowly pondered avalanche of "the black, explicit song." A nice bit of gold to bring up from the vault.

"Looking" "forward" to the Coens film meself. McCarthy (your neighbor, now that he has moved on from El Paso) is definitely in the pantheon, though he is not always an easy read, emotionally: I had to circle Blood Meridian and No Country for months, before I could get myself in those two labyrinths. All the trailers I've viewed tell me that the Coen boys GOT Mr CM in a way that Billy Bob did not, in his eviscerated version of All the Pretty Horses. And, as I've said before elsewhere in Blogville, Tommy Lee's Three Burials was as CM as you can get, without being CM. In fact, I felt like on some karmic level, TLJ restored the missing piece of the lovely ending "search for home" in All the Pretties...In recent days, I've found out that TLJ and CM are apparently buds of a sort, which certainly helps the cross fertilization.

Welcome back from "vacation."

BBC said...

I've never seen that poem before. I wonder what Einstein would be saying if he was here today. I know that he fussed about wars as much as I do.

I'm not putting up a stocking so I'm not worried about getting a lump of coal in it. :-)

I want world peace and nothing else, I already have all I need and want other than peace on this planet.

Dan said...

While you think the new Coen brothers was tops in terms of creepy factor, I'm having trouble getting past the bear that poops jelly beans.

San said...


a. Thank you!
b. If Doodlet's hasn't run out, Santa will see what she can do.
c. Retractions in the mail.

San said...


"A slowly pondered avalanche of 'the black explicit song.'" Shucks. Thanks.

"All the Pretty Horses," Billy Bob version, does come off more as classic western genre, doesn't it? "Three Burials"--I'll add that to the Netflix queue. Haven't seen it, but that's a tall recommendation. Didn't know that those two are buddies, but it does make sense.

Steer clear of dark-haired men carrying devices that look like oxygen tanks.

San said...

Well, BBC, since you won't be hanging your stocking up, I'll refrain from bringing over that nice CURMUDGEON OF THE YEAR PLAQUE. I was looking forward to seeing your eyes light up come Christmas morning.


San said...

Hey Dan,

Know what you mean. I simply cannot fathom a mind that would invent such a device. And intended for our children. Shudder.

Sparkling Red said...

I do love that poem! I am imagining what it might be like to reach into my coat pocket to find my gloves, and come up with a handful of song instead.

Thanks for coming to visit me! :-)

San said...

Sparkling Red,

Looks like your own imagination sparkles...keep shining, babe!

Daphne said...

Sounds like you've been enjoying all of the busyness. Hmmmm, are you a high energy person? do you like to cook too? Cook, shop, paint, business owner, poet, parent and a partridge in a pear tree.

San said...


Often I feel overwhelmed during the holidays. For some unknown reason, I'm relaxed this time around. Yes, I do like to cook when I'm not rushed. I wouldn't really call myself high energy though. Just your run-of-the-mill partridge chillin' in a pear tree.

You're the high-energy one. Hugs.

HMBT said...

Thanks for the dedicated to me poem! I love it, I will now have to paint about it of course.
A Cohen brothers movie is the only movie I ever walked out of (awhile back) because of the violence was soooo graphic I couldn't stand it. But several of their works I do love and plan to try and see this one too.
Loved the squiggly line painitng, I think it looks like christmas lights at night when you are a little kid and just spin around and around then watch the pretty light show!
Have a great week my friend!

San said...


It's always a pleasure to read your comments. Love your fanciful take on the painting. What's seen by a little kid spinning around--wondrous!

This Coen movie is violent but not over-the-top. My violence threshold is pretty low too.

Can't wait to see your painting inspired by the poem...

The Moody Minstrel said...

Christmas shopping here in Japan can be kind of tricky and time consuming, especially when I try to find things for my parents back home in Oregon.

It sounds like you're having more of an adventure with it than I am!

San said...

Well, Moody, best of luck with finding the right things for your family...

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