I’ve not been a very productive blogger lately.
Well, unless you asked my Tumblr.
This will be rectified. Expect the usual combination of travel photos, poems, follower appreciation, themed playlists, and terrible advice.
For now, enjoy the forty-eighth runner-up in the Songs to Be Played at Liz’s Ninetieth Birthday.
Holy pun, Batman!
By now it is very likely that you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises and have heard scores of arguments about any given facet of the film. Don’t worry: this will not be another one. Most people who know me well have already been subjected to my alternating rants and gushings on all things related to the Caped Crusader. If you have missed out on such an honor, feel free to call me at two in the morning.
Instead, I thought I’d welcome you to a strange point where two of my favorite things meet.
Batman and poetry.
It’s been a long time coming, so let’s talk about Tampere. If it were possible, I would get Will Ferrel’s James Lipton on the line to call this little city two hours(ish) northwest of Helsinki to say, “You are a delight,” over and over again–there is no world in which the actual James Lipton would take my calls.
At roughly 12:43 PM Eastern Standard Time, I arrived back in the U.S. I’ve been getting up to play with my dog almost every hour on the hour, so I’m happy as a really happy thing right now, if a bit covered in hair and slime as I type. Sorry, Steve. It’ll be a busy first couple of weeks back, but not so busy that I can’t get the rest of the Rambling 2012 posts out to you lovely individuals.
In the meantime, here’s the opening poem to BJ Ward’s Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands for what I think are pretty self-explanatory reasons.
Idaho trails from my left pennyloafer,
Arizona from my right.
A Nevada waitress hangs from my heart.
The many loves of the many states
are crushed into my wash-needing socks.
My ears still cling to the musicians
I’ve loved in these many places.
There is here, in my pocket,
a memento for you.
It is a sound,
and if you could open it,
your very palms would shiver
with what my travels play
in the small, well-boned ears
you have in your hips,
your legs, your ankles, your feet.
Are you dancing?
It’s not my favorite from the book, but all of those are generally sad, inappropriate, or both.
Now that I’ve reminded you how long it’s been since you watched Tim Burton’s Batman, I’d like to tell you a bit about Justin Evans’ A Good and Happy Child. I’ll give you an out, though. If you want to save yourself a bit of reading, you could watch this promotional video that manages to be both horrifying and in no way representative of the novel itself:
Had I the Choice
Had I the choice to tally greatest bards,
To limn their portraits, stately, beautiful, and emulate at will,
Homer with all his wars and warriors—Hector, Achilles, Ajax,
Or Shakspere's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear, Othello—Tenny-
son's fair ladies,
Metre or wit the best, or choice conceit to wield in perfect
rhyme, delight of singers;
These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter,
Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to me transfer,
Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse,
And leave its odor there.
Carry Me Back
Carry me back to old Virginia.
Magnolia blossoms fill the air.
Carry me back to old Virginia:
the only way you'll get me there.
The first stop on my trip was Helsinki, which was celebrating its two-hundredth year as Finland’s capital. That meant festivals and street fairs all over the place. I was lucky enough to run into the lovely Anna, a local lady and fellow Trinity student, who endured my head-lolling and snoozing throughout the plane journey, and still found it in her heart to take me around.