How To Get There


Amanda Beebox, here is the second.


How To Get There


Take the red road.  Call it good.  See

the girl you left behind there, her bees

and berries.  Forget your shoes

and cities – she is alone and you

are alone.  She will not turn, she

is determined, slight but brave,

and too busy yearning for the gypsy


dog who couldn’t make this trip.  Not his yet.

Comfort, he’s called, he waits in the loam

and brittle leaf stars under the porch,

below a house that lists against the jumble

of second-hand haunts and the weight of make-do.

The shotgun shabby where you and she

began.  That’s your father in your father’s

old sprung chair, staring at a stolen

television and flicking the lid of his lighter,

open, closed.  And there’s your mother,

pacing in the dim and filmy kitchen,

burning with rage like a nest woven of hair.


Comfort’s legs flicker in the dream

field; he sees your tire-swing wind-twirling

but hollow, no you; and late lightning; God’s carbon eye. 

He cries against it, paws dancing, this heartsick

sense of all of it, and of the razor-beaked V in the sky.


The dog is right to twitch and sigh.

On a steady current, anxious for the

sight of you, the shine of you:  hair

and hazel eyes and the buttons

on an old gingham dress, the hawk

is gliding your way; an archaic

conflation of flight and contempt.

Earth has lost its exertion, he is Newton’s lawless.

He circles and bays his single, cherished word:  mine.

Mine: the young, the panic in the grass.  

Mine, the girl who rustles the red dust,

kicks a piece of broken glass without

ever breaking stride, whistles tuneless through

her teeth.  Do not glance up at him, as she does not,

the urge to hide is a fool’s pretension, as his shadow

overtakes you, singes your best, lost intentions.


Keep pace behind her, never betray her:

you are your own future, after all.  Pay attention;

honor the way she will not falter,

how she holds her chin high, because

just ahead, just there, is the county line, four

directions that meet in a neutral square.

North and south are numbered by the age

at which you die.  So are east and west.

You are almost there.  Most people choose

the simplest phrase, to ease the way:  At

least I did my best.


Then again, you could take the broken road,

it is the same road.  She’s walking alone

there, too.  Time.  You.  One shimmering

step in and you forget her face; with the second step

she disappears, vanished into air as sure as the tune

she whistled, or the wings of a fairy. Try to recall

something quickly, the real falls so fast.  Without

one sweet story to tell about that little girl, the past

will impale you and leave you dying on the barb.

And then you have it!  An image, small as a seed rolling

on a vast plain.  Spring, the wild and thorny bushes,

a drone deep in the flowers, and a blue bowl she carried:

Fragile memory: she loved honey bees and black berries.

Published in: on October 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm  Comments (207)  


  1. Again with the images…thank you so much Haven, you make me want to make art again….I see the pen and ink drawings in my head and the 3d wire sculpture, too…especially from this line:
    “burning with rage like a nest woven of hair”
    A red road and a broken one, just lovely lovely lovely.
    tears in my eyes.

  2. gorgeous.

    also, ***spoiler***

    poetry can, and often should, be enjoyed on the merits of pure sound or imagery. it does not always require the reader to know “What is this about???”

    but, in this case, i am itchy to do a little explicating.

    How To Get There… I’ve said this to my therapist in terms of “I don’t know how to get there.” There being, of course, the other side of my past. How to honor it instead of damn it.

    I think this poem is about getting there. The red road you “call good” I envision as the “Zippy” approach. It’s a brave and determined sort of facing off. You call it good and that may be part self deception or it may be compromise.

    The broken road is the same road… where the hurt and evil of the past threatens to extinguish your story. “Without one sweet story to tell that little girl, the past will impale you and leave you dying on the barb.” (MY GOD that line!!! Just. GOD.)

    And Haven leaves us with hope. The past isn’t going to blot her out. “Spring, the wild and thorny bushes, a drone deep in the flowers” – reproduction/recreation/rebirth. The “Fragile” memory is sooooo fragile but there to grab on to.

    More thoughts to come I am sure…

  3. oh, two more things right away: I LOVE THIS.

    two: i have dreams now of decorating my future babies’ nurseries with a bee theme. i could post this poem in there to remind me what kind of past i want for them.

  4. Amanda: what a lovely thought…to honor an unborn baby’s future by imagining its love-filled past!


  5. also, just as an aside, i am at work now and just tried to do a 3rd grade math problem. i could not.


  6. Amanda just said it. I had wrote down the line Without one sweet story to tell about that little girl, the past will impale you and leave you dying on the barb. I am keeping it with me to look at all day.
    Amanda, I so appreciate your thoughts on these poems, you have such a way with words and it really opens it up to me.

  7. Oh Caryl,

    You are very kind. I appreciate this so much. If I can EVER GET IT STARTED I will be writing my master’s thesis on an obscure modern American poet. Comments like your help me believe I can actually do it.

  8. Oh, Amanda. You absolutely can. You have so many gifts.

    And Brendasynchronicity: It’s great to hear that Haven has you making art again. Me, too. And I’ve felt a little sheepish about it. But she–and all of you–have me noticing the beauty and goodness of the world in the oldest and newest of ways. I kind of found myself with pastels in my hands and realized something wanted to be made.

  9. “Fragile memory: she loved honey bees and black berries.”

    HK, it makes me shake to read this. Your poetry is incredible. i also LOVE the line-stanza break gypsy/
    dog…the imagery throughout is brilliantly VIVID.

  10. Amanda: when I used to write, I configured my computer word processor to open a new document with the pre-written question: What is this story about?

    I’d answer that question with the first line, and soon enough, the whole thing would get written.

    ‘course I was dealing in narratives where 500 words were the norm, but this might be some practical advice suggesting that even a thesis is no more than a collection of sentences.

    To paraphrase Obama, “Yes, YOU can.”

    Maybe I’ll take my own advice and finish up a couple of writing projects I started last summer.

  11. Yes, this is beautiful. A gift.

  12. George–“What is this story about?” is a great one, especially for non-fiction.

    I sometimes use, “What happened next?” because if my reader is waiting, anxious to know that, I’m on the right track.

  13. “below a house that lists against the jumble

    of second-hand haunts and the weight of make-do.”

    My heart is actually breaking while reading this.

  14. I am going to purchase something from Cathy Deleree for 3 reasons:

    1. I would buy free dirt if Haven suggested it.

    2. Her art is quite lovely

    3. Anyone who rescues a dog from a life of pain is a hero in my book and saint of many virtues.

  15. my throat is swollen.

  16. Amy, me too! I’m definitely thinking “Christmas presents” over here.

  17. Exactly Amanda!
    Kate feel better! I am starting to get an ear ache and dry cough so I understand.

  18. Kate, is your throat swollen like mine is, because we are sick, or swollen as in sad/

  19. Ok, that picture is fantastic!

    I was going to comment on the line everyone else already has, but why repeat the same thing, so let me say that I enjoyed this line, too: “One shimmering step in and you forget her face.”

    Just reading this line alone has me wondering “Did someone’s child die, or grow up and move away from home the first time?” I hope I am not right.

  20. Oh Amy, ditto on your 3 reasons!
    And Jerri…I love how you put it that art ‘wants to be made’. So right.

  21. No no, the POEM swelled my throat up. I’m fine!

  22. All You Dear Ones, listen to this: I had a second bee poem picked out for today, and then last night I re-read it. I wrote it a few years ago and it’s very much in the Imagistic tradition most often associated with Ezra Pound. You can look up Imagism but it’s pretty much what it sounds like. The most famous example (and one of the earliest) is by Pound:


    The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.

    So that’s the whole poem right there, and I’m sure Amanda will concur that its publication was considered a seminal moment in poetry’s evolution. Imagism still dominates American poetry to some extent — I won’t name names because we aren’t actually in Continuing Ed With Haven 101. Oh, now see, I near about got out of control right there and considered making a connection between Jorie Graham, language poetry, and Kay Ryan, THANK GOD I FOUGHT THAT URGE.

    Did I have a point? Yes, yes I did. I re-read the original poem last night many times, and what I saw was a perfectly adequate example of Imagism, very dense, well-constructed, like a brick room with no windows. “Nice room you got here, Have, but uh, why’s it empty? And how the hell do I get out?” Also you are all so diligently reading these and wrestling with them; the last thing in the world I would consider doing is showing off. So I just started over completely. I rewrote the entire thing, I gave it a story, I suffered mightily over half-rhymes and musicality, because even though I can’t write perfect poems (I might have one perfect poem) I can give it the old Bobby Knight four-passes-on-each-possession, hustle hustle, get it to Alford outside the three-point line, the big man better have his booty under the basket for the rebound, then the assist and if that fails we’ve got the full-court press. We’ve got our two point-guard weapons, and that miraculous Isiah Thomas languidly bringing the ball up the court and then driving straight through the paint, zigging and zagging, giants towering over him but they can’t even SEE him because he NEVER telegraphs his next move and the next thing you know Thomas has performed a little twirling, behind the back lay-up, graceful as a dancer, and the ball leaves his fingers and the net barely moves as the ball falls through it.
    Right? HEART. The General insisted that his team have heart. So I stayed up all night and it took me eight hours, and this is how I know y’all are cottoning on to me: I spent FORTY-FIVE MINUTES on “Without one sweet story to tell that little girl, the past will impale you and leave you dying on the barb.” I was running my game right up to ‘the past will . . .” I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to say, just like in the Marks the Spot poem, and at some tragical hour I got to ‘impale you and leave you dying on the . . . ” And then. Well. I could see it, I knew what it had to be, but poems aren’t IDEAS they are THINGS and what is the name of the THING? I made lists, I played music, I did Beauty Parlor, it was by then 6:00 in the morning and I looked up and said aloud, ‘BARB.’

    Every line you’ve picked out, the nest made of hair, the gypsy/dog stanza break, those are the ones that required the most effort (but I mean the good kind of work). And of course because of, you know (crooked head), I HAD to do a long Indo-European etymological search on the word ‘bay,’ because I had a vague memory of its origins and what do you know, it’s the furious cry a predator makes just before attacking its prey. I don’t know whether I succeeded here or not, but as Quinn Buckner used to say, when he was doing color commentary for the Hoosiers, “Sometimes you get the W, and sometimes you get the doughnut.”

    Amanda, your thesis is going to be brilliant. You are a nearly supernaturally gifted reader; you read poems exactly as the writer intends, or at least with mine. I don’t think we need to be cagey about meaning, since we’re all in this together. You nailed it. Here we stand: one red road, one broken road, and there is the child we either protect or victimize, and I don’t mean people victimize their own histories on purpose. In this case the woman has to choose which story she will tell, and thus reanimate her history. “You are your own future, after all.” And at the last moment, as the child’s face is disappearing, the adult remembers the blue bowl, and the honeybees and blackberries. So yes, there is hope, but it’s fragile.

    A+ for everyone, my heavens.

  23. Jerri and Brenda are making art? EVERYONE HERE SHOULD BE MAKING ART. And is that you, my own Mimi? Because if so I’m going to say right out loud that you wrote what I consider to be one of the most subtle, tender, perfectly-rendered short stories I’ve ever read and I wish you wrote all the time. Look! I have tears in my eyes thinking about it — the balloons! Oh, I am done for.

  24. Kate is writing a book, Polly has finished a book which is next to me right this moment, GEORGE IS GOING TO WRITE A BOOK, Jim Shue is writing again, Sher is just, that girl, I don’t know — it seems like she can do anything. Who else?

  25. Now that’s a baker’s dozen!

  26. ‘Ello Haven, ‘ello BlogBabies!
    I have been hiding in the corner for many months now and I feel like it is time to come out from the shadows. Like almost everyone has said, I’ve been afraid of being the village idiot and so I’ve stayed quiet. I may have a second grade understanding of poetry, and I confess that after reading the posts yesterday I finally went and looked up Sylvia Plath. For the first time. :: blushes shamefully :: But I still feel like I belong here .. time will tell, right? 😉

    Now that introductions and disclaimers are out of the way, Haven, that poem is gorgeous. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. That could be due to my contact fuzzing up my eyeball, but I think it has more to do with how it makes me feel. I can’t articulate it well yet, but .. that girl is me. It’s beautiful, thank you. 🙂

  27. Kate!! I am glad you’re not sick, just choked up!
    I have 3 children’s stories, and one very long short story that I have been working on for months now.
    I haven’t written any poems since college ( 6 years ago) however I am feeling very itchy to sit down and give it another whirl. You are all so inspiring!!

  28. In this case the woman has to choose which story she will tell, and thus reanimate her history. “You are your own future, after all.” And at the last moment, as the child’s face is disappearing, the adult remembers the blue bowl, and the honeybees and blackberries. So yes, there is hope, but it’s fragile.”

    This, for me, is the magic of Zippy, Haven. Standing at the crossroad, you chose your own future, chose the story you would see and tell one day. You seem to have chosen lovable oddity out of many possibilities, some of them less charming. Many others have chosen differently. Maybe they don’t remember the blue bowl, the honeybees, or the blackberries.

    How beautiful it is to remember the beauty that allows hope, however fragile that hope may be.

  29. I don’t know why, but for several days I have had a craving for some Joni Mitchell. So yesterday I pulled out Lady of the Canyon and played most of it in the car driving in yesterday. This morning I turned it on again and it was on the last song: Circle Game. It was a chilly morning, my beautiful daughter on the cusp of womanhood sitting in the passenger’s seat next to me, my almost 16 year old son in the backseat finishing his homework and listening to his ipod, oblivious. It was all I could do to stop myself from sobbing. I know that my daughter noticed a tear run down my cheek. But, God bless her, she did not say a word.

  30. Haven Kimmel, THANK YOU for “I don’t think we need to be cagey about meaning, since we’re all in this together,” and saying what your writing means to you! Please do this more often!! I understood the poem after reading what you said, but not before. I would LOVE to hear YOUR TAKE on what you write.

    Have I been too subtle here? hmmmm …

  31. Two more things:

    1. You must always read the quotation at the top of the page, as I choose them with great care. As this one is from Freddie Mercury, you should also genuflect and perhaps perform an animal sacrifice. Choose some, I don’t care, diseased animal everyone hates. Isn’t there something called a Hoary Marmot, or was that someone I went to high school with?

    2. George, Stephen King begins every book by asking himself “What if?” What if the government lost control of a biological weapon that killed 99.44% of the human population? What would happen to the survivors? What if a man has an accident, and as a result becomes a genius, an oil-painter, but what he paints comes true? I admire this process very much. None of that hanky-pankying around with, “And here’s another very precious sentence I wrote; please note that it is both effete and muscular, and that it in no way advances the plot, because it is so pretty.”

    C. I chose that photograph of Melinda and me because we look so much alike we could be the two protagonists of the poem. As you can see, Melinda would never, ever let me step onto the county line, where all four directions mark one’s death. She would give me SLIPPERS.

  32. Can I sacrifice a baboon? Or maybe just a possum?

  33. Yes, Haven, I am making art. These conversations are the lures employed by God, the lures toward yes, toward participation in the beauty. I simply responded to the demand inside me.

  34. Is hope fragile or the most indestructible force around? Lots of evidence to suggest that it is the one thing that seems to remain even after it is crunched, exposed to caustics, even set aflame. It is catalytic, capable of combining with other human elements and producing unpredictable chemical reactions, but, mysteriously, not itself consumed. For example, you can mix it with a measure of good intention — or even a cup of wild despair — and end up with effort or desperation, but either way the formula produces an action — the main ingredient of survival. As for its indestructibility, I’d rank it up there with its sempiternal cousins, faith and love.

  35. Don’t you think it can be both? Fragile and indestructible, I mean.

  36. JERRI: I just don’t know the answer. Perspective is everything and from where I sit, I see Hope come walking out intact from all kinds of catastrophes.

    HAVEN: That’s good advice. I will take it to heart with that ten percent rule. In any case, I don’t want to ever be accused of writing an effete sentence. The hillbilly in me would be so…oh, what’s the word…pissed.

  37. About YOU saying what your poetry means, Ms. K —

    What were your words in response to me once, Haven? “We are an APPLIED people”? I LIKE having things spelled into my palm, Annie Sullivan. It’s reassuring to a person like me who grew up in Indi-Nowhere-ana, where we are an applied people.

    If you TELL me what’s in that casserole you baked, I’ll appreciate it a whole lot more than if you leave me guessin’.

    I like Queen, but Freddie Mercury scares me with his intensity and queenliness. He’s not a person I could comfortably have gone to lunch with.

    I stand by my earlier statement. =0)

  38. Off topic alert;
    Haven, I went on to Graeme Mitchells site, I love his work. How can one go about purchasing a print, does he sell from his portfolio, is he terribly expensive?

  39. MELINDA I see drapes were fashionable atire in moreland like they were in my home town of Dexter in the 70’s

  40. LINDA: Have you tried Joni’s latest, Shine? Last year, I heard Tom Rush sing Circle Game. It’s better with each passing year.

    JODI: Yes, but sometimes the pleasure of the sausage doesn’t come from what’s crammed inside the casing. What I love best about music without lyrics is the discovery of the narrative in the notes.

  41. Sorry…let me rephrase:

    JODI: Yes, but sometimes the pleasure of the sausage doesn’t come from SEEING what’s crammed inside the casing. What I love best about music without lyrics is the discovery of the narrative in the notes.

    —–you know what? This sentence doesn’t work well either. The analogy and metaphor just falls apart. It is, at best, effete. I will now just place myself in the nearest corner.

  42. Michael you made me laugh out loud, and I’m in class. hahaha Drapes.

  43. George–I agree about hoping walking out of the most horrific catastrophes. But I think it walks with hopeful people. Maybe some have just plain had the hope beaten out of their DNA long ago.

    For instance, my son was in a terrible car accident and spent much time in brain injury rehab wards. I, therefore, did too. Hopeful parents hoped despite all odds against recovery. Hopeless parents did not hope in even the least dire circumstances.

    This is a small sampling, mere observation. But I’ve watched the world a lot since then and continue to wonder why some people triumph over tremendous difficulties, even harness them to their purposes, while others wither in situations that appear far less difficult. (Notice I said “appear,” cause you never really know another’s pain.)

    Some people “don’t see no point in trying,” as one of my aunts used to say. Others of us feel it perching in our soul, hear the tune and believe the song of that feathered thing will never stop.

  44. POS Glad I could be of help hehe

  45. Jerri:

    You say it well and offer another perspective. I wonder the same thing — why some triumph and others wither. I guess the thing that sits on the other end of “don’t see no point in trying,” is the adage, “well, it can’t hurt.” What a spectrum we people sit on.

  46. George, I have not bought any of Joni’s music in a few years. But, her music shaped my high school years more than anyone. Actually, she probably influenced me well into my twenties.

  47. I cannot abide George’s ersatz sausage metaphor.

  48. I love to think of Dickinson in her locked room, writing Hope is a thing with wings.

  49. Michael T, darlin’, that garment is made out of TOWELS. Melinda could make anything out of other stuff.

  50. Ha…Ha…

    I cannot abide with it either. I’m a dumbass. I admit this. Jodi, I admit this. Haven, I admit this.

    It’s the first step in seeking help!

  51. Of course, it’s towels. I think my Grandma had some. I thought they looked awfully familiar.

    Now the question is…why? Is that a Blessed Virgin Mary costume for the Nativity at Church?

  52. Kittery, you seem most fabulous. There’s a spare room next to Dorian, but there is snoring involved.

  53. But we have hope you will get better….or at least better metaphors, George.

  54. Oh good heavens, I just realized it’s more like Cher. As in, Melinda thinks this outfit is HOT.

  55. My sausage metaphor was WITHOUT hope! Please people, don’t banish me from the blog. I repent.

  56. George take heart, I love a good sausage with natural casing that snaps when you bite it. Now, what that has to do with writing I have no idea.

  57. Kate, we are QUAKERS. Our costume choice is limited to Liberal Do-Gooder. Wait, I think last year I saw a My Humility Is the Trait Of Which I Am Most Proud.

  58. George, you are IRRESISTIBLE!! I will abide with you.

  59. Yeah, well that one snapped before anyone bit into it!!!!

  60. Nor yet ersatz sausage.

  61. I wonder what Ben Franklin would say about that?

  62. I have earplugs. Snoring is not a problem. 🙂

    And .. before sausages took over the conversation – I don’t think hope ever truly disappears. I think people fail to recognize it, though. I think it’s often disguised as longing.

  63. honestly, where were all of you around 3 o clock today when i was propping my eyes open with toothpicks?

  64. Does anyone know how Emily Dickinson felt about ersatz sausage? Could she abide it?

  65. (pssst — feathers, not wings. Hope is the thing with feathers. But you know that. Have another snausage.)

  66. Once when I was in college I had this great, gorgeous male friend, an actor. We did forensics together. At a Halloween party our senior year I saw him standing by the fireplace, dressed just like his usual self, and I said, “That is a very convincing Closeted Gay Catholic costume.” HAHAHAHAHA! Except he was totally gay and totally closeted and in short there was awkwardness.

  67. rams, Your comment is soooo funny! I keep reading it in a whisper and laughing.

  68. JODI: You are a kind soul. With your wit and command of the language, you could have whacked my sausage metaphor off and speared it up off the ground and shown it to me before I knew it was gone!

    Kindness…I appreciate it. Give me kindness over candor any day.

  69. As opposed to the brilliant closeted Mormon in the MFA program who came to the Halloween party in a nice jacket and tie carrying a brand new, bright red crowbar with the price tag still on it. When we said “We bite, Justin,” he answered “I’m an American deconstructionist.”

  70. RAMS: I am laughing in two directions!

  71. Haven, please answer the Graeme Mitchell question for the love of God, and you seem well by the way, can I put my “living on the lamb” suitcase away?

  72. George, maybe somewhere, in the very back of Emily Dickenson’s desk, where it fell through the back of the drawer when she rejected that version of the poem, is one that says ‘Hope is a sausage with wings’?
    Well, it can’t hurt!
    Thanks for making me chuckle.
    And I thought the dress was drapes, too…remember the Carol Burnett Gone With The Wind skit? The drapery rod, oh my heavens.

  73. George,

    “Give me kindness over candor any day.”
    Give ME hot fudge over ice cream.

    Don’t get the wrong idea about me, George. Remember, I’m called SATAN WOMAN by Haven. And although you have invited it, I will not “whacked my sausage metaphor off.”

    But thanks. Thanks a lot.

  74. Kittery, how incredibly interesting you’d say that. First of all because it suggests that our most primitive natures — the genesis of our feelings — evolve autonomously. But also in the very poem we were earlier discussing, the hawk originally knew a single word: longing. What I wanted to evoke was hunger, which can take an infinite variety of forms. Nostalgia is a form of hunger, as is eros, or the death wish — it’s a DRIVE. But with raptors I also wanted to be accurate, and his longing would be literal hunger and he would not be refused.

    I fear I am making not a lick of sense.

    YES, a thing with FEATHERS. But now that I type out the word feathers that just looks dumb.

  75. Haven? Honey? Are you … could you be speaking in TONGUES?

  76. I hope George awakens in a fug of shame around 3 a.m. for putting whack and sausage in the same sentence.

    Caryl, no mail here today. Things are moving slowly because of absentee ballots, I was told. As for Graeme Mitchell, I absolutely adore him, both as a person and because I honestly believe he has that once-in-a-generation talent. He is SCARY talented. And yes, the photographs are very expensive. I don’t even own one, and as you know, I throw money from the back of trains.

  77. Jodi, let’s review: Q-U-A-K-E-R. We don’t even HAVE tongues.

  78. Brenda: You are killing me, but it doesn’t hurt!

    Haven: Please delete my entry on the sausage before Suzanne or Dorian see it.

    Jodi: Don’t mention it. It’s my duty to give someone a chance to be kind every day.

    Wings. Feathers. Drapes. Towels.

  79. deconstruction, crowbars, predatory birds, hope and sausage

  80. Haven,

    What excuse do Quakers have, then?

  81. I’ll set my alarm clock for a 3 a.m. fug of shame, open the window, and shift the blame.

  82. George,

    That’s a nice little rhyme you put together, friend. Just a suggestion, though: leave out “3 a.m.” and the whole thing bounces along much better.

  83. “First of all because it suggests that our most primitive natures — the genesis of our feelings — evolve autonomously.”

    Isn’t that true, though? How we act isn’t always in accordance to how we feel. We don’t choose who we love, how we feel .. the things that move us most deeply can’t be rationalized. Wouldn’t that suggest that we don’t choose? Our only choice is how we react?
    I fear that I’m missing the point entirely, and/or not making sense myself. :/

  84. Wait…Quakers…aren’t they the ones who became eunuchs for the sake of Christ?

  85. pop quiz!!! your mom is coming to visit. only for 24 hours. do you a) clean the apartment or b) stay up all night reading A Lion Among Men (Maguire)

  86. Eunuchs for Christ????!!
    Don’t forget. Tomorrow is Halloween…that sounds like a great costume.

  87. Amanda, read.

  88. Amanda – At my worst, I’m still tidier than my mother.
    The answer is B. Stay in bed with my kitten reading A Lion Among Men. 🙂

  89. No-brainer for me: Get the Lemon Pledge, Pine-Sol and Tidy-Bowl and get to work, boy!

  90. Kittery and Caryl, I like the way you think!!! My kittens do too.

    George: REALLY?

  91. Really, really. Why, you need your place cleaned? I’ll do it. There is a recession going on.

  92. Oh George.

    Actually, when I was in the middle of a deep depression, my outlet was cleaning. I spent my weekends with a toothbrush, on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor FOR HOURS. It was NUTS.

    Remembering that, I think I might just read.

  93. Reading fantastic books with a kitten that occasionally gazes up at you with adoring green eyes – does it get better? My kitten and I think not. 🙂

    Although .. and I may be put in the corner for this – I really enjoyed Wicked and Son of a Witch, but I found Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister to be my favorite.

  94. I had a bout with depression some years ago. My deal was standing in front of items at the supermarket, reading the labels, computing the nutritional values, comparing unit prices, even the color of the packaging, before indecision would drive me out of the place. It was awful.

    On the good side, I lost some weight.

  95. Amanda, read, too.
    because no matter how clean it is, it is never clean enough for the German Mother, so why try so hard? Besides, she would just say ‘Gutt En Himmel’, shake her head and understand….she’s a reader too.

  96. Emily Dickinson could and/or would abide if her sister-in-law was holding the sausage.

  97. As Haven would have it, I snort unbecomingly. Hope and sausage, ‘I LIKE having things spelled into my palm, Annie Sullivan,’ ‘…both effete and muscular,’ and oh my sweet lord, Haven’s Halloween story, equal measures horrifying and hilarious, George’s excellent poem expertly edited by Jodi…

    For those of us who are poetry-challenged, reading the poem, reading the supernaturally gifted readers’ posts, then Haven giving her intent — this sequence was the most rewarding for me. Allows a savoring first, then the sausage for those of us who need it.

    Just picked up Lion Among Men yesterday. I won’t be cleaning for some time.

  98. In the spirit of Halloween, I come bearing gifts. 🙂
    Since all of you are amazing creative people (and at least one of you makes REAL homemade carrot cake), I offer you … Soul Cakes!

    It was believed that on Samhain the souls of the dead would return to earth. These soul cakes were made on All Hallows Eve and passed out to the poor and also left on the graves of loved ones.
    Kids would go from home to home asking for soul cakes. In return, they would offer prayers for the deceased relatives of that family. (Not unlike the practice of selling Indulgences in the Roman Catholic church). Anyway, here ’tis!

    1 C Butter (room temp)
    3/4 C Sugar
    1 tsp Lemon Rind (grated)
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom
    1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
    1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
    1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
    1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
    1 Egg
    2 TB Milk
    3 C White Flour
    1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    2 TB Apple Juice (approximately)
    Sugar, currants and slivered almonds for decorating.

    Cream the butter, sugar, lemon rind, salt, spices, egg and milk together. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix some more. Blend the baking powder into the flour and tap it into the creamed ingredients, stirring gently. Dribble in as much apple juice as necessary to form a workable, but not sticky dough.

    Preheat the oven to 350*F and line a cookie sheet with parchment. To form the soul cakes, either roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness, cut impressions with a cookie cutter and sprinkle sugar on top; or roll the dough into small balls and press to the same thickness with the buttered, sugar-coated bottom of a glass. Place the soul cakes on the cookie sheet, and press slivered almonds and currants onto the dough for decoration. Bake 7-10 minutes.
    Makes approximately two dozen soul cakes.

    (Romancing the Stove by Margie Lapanja)

  99. Also, a little off-topic, but I was fretting to a friend about the story re: WV touchscreen voting machines flipping early voters’ choices for the top three offices to Republican, and repeatedly so. Feeling quite certain that the last two elections were rigged, I’ve been extremely jittery that the Dems were doing nothing to address this. Said friend’s fiance, an attorney, was off to Ohio to man the polls. Apparently Obama has recruited and deployed 40-50,000 lawyers for just this reason. Phew. The spread may let in a sliver of light (+5.9 average of all polls to Obama right now), but that sliver could be obliterated by a few million votes going astray as they did in WV.

    I’m on tenterhooks, here.

  100. Shoot…I made no baking plans this Halloween. I had considered making Bread of the Dead, but I forgot.

  101. Kittery! There really is such a thing as Soul Cakes?? I thought it was just a winsome lyric. And providentially, I have everything but the apple juice and currents.

  102. Kate Cake, you are entitled. You have, after all, been ill, and are just recovering from being all delicate and such.

  103. Haven, that poem really speaks to me and relates to my book. When did you write it? It’s almost spooky. And as usual everyone’s comments are brilliant and inspiring.

  104. Haven, that poem really speaks to me and relates to my book. When did you write it? It’s almost spooky. And as usual everyone’s comments are brilliant and inspiring.

  105. Carrie, I hadn’t heard that, but I’ve also been nervous. The last election, there had only been four years of awful. Now there’s been eight. All we can do is get out there and vote, and be like George, sitting in front of a phone for hours, trying to get the message out. I think things will be okay. If I end up being wrong (please, god almighty, no), I may have to give in and finally acknowledge that this country is made up of toothless baboons who have been fitted with dentures and shaved. :: sighs :: (Blogbabies excluded from this less than flattering portrait).

  106. Carrie, my BIGGEST fear for many weeks now has been election fraud. As soon as the polls started tipping I started worrying.

    I literally cannot imagine a McCain/Palin victory/administration. I think this is what that Malcolm guy would call A Tipping Point.

    If I pray for anything in the next few days and hopefully years it will be for Obama’s Safety and Victory.

  107. Amanda,

    Re Mom coming to visit in 24 hours.

    Move to a different state. Leave no forwarding address. Take Maguire with you.

  108. Jodi,

    When did you meet my mom?!?!?!

    🙂 Seriously, you cracked me up.

  109. Amanda,

    Great quiz!

  110. GEORGE,

    Have you read Haven’s chapter on the book of Revelations in KILLING THE BUDDHA: A HERETIC’S BIBLE by Peter Manseau & Jeff Sharlet?

  111. Amanda, Gregory Maguire is more important than almost anything known to our species. Your mother cannot divorce you, at least not legally, and if your house is a little dirty she’ll assume you need money and slip you some as you go out the door. How do I know this? Because as Kat was leaving a few days ago I said, “Here’s forty dollars.” She said, “Mom, I work — I have money.” I pushed it in her hand. She said, “I owe him forty dollars anyway,” pointing to her boyfriend. So I tried to give it to him and he wouldn’t take it AND YET. By the time they left I had given them EIGHTY DOLLARS. Let this be a lesson to you.

  112. Kittery, VERY IMPORTANT BLOG RULE: all recipes must be sent to my husband. I am far far too weary to prepare food. I’m too weary to eat it, frankly. But that cake sounds GOOD.

  113. Polly, I wrote the poem last night — I stayed up all night. It’s funny, because I have your book with me ALL THE TIME, it’s basically been living in my sweater. I wish I’d known there was some connection; I could have plagiarized and gotten some sleep. TONIGHT I BEGIN IT THOUGH.

    Wait. I have to prepare the Halloween post, THEN begin it. I have four different colored markers out.

  114. :: sighs :: I knew I had things to learn!
    In the future, I shall do as you say. 🙂

  115. I can’t believe the way you people are talking about Quakers, the FINEST HUMAN BEINGS EVER WHO WERE NOT DOGS.

  116. Well, how exactly is she supposed to do that?

    John needs his own blog devoted to rare albacore steaks and whatnot.

  117. oh Haven,

    if my dad were visiting I might well receive the extra funds. my mom, however… not so much.

    despite this: the kitties and i ARE in fact, in bed with Mr. Maguire

  118. Haven,
    After it was suggested some Quakers went without their goods, I had to do a little research. While I didn’t find anything in that vein, I learned that some Quakers were responsible for promoting hot chocolate (that and the Catholic priests, but their motivation was far less noble. Hot chocolate while fasting – tosh). Anyway, Quakers are fine people indeed. 😉

  119. Yay Amanda!
    Lily (my kitty) and I salute you.

  120. Kittery, you are wise. Last night I had this conversation with my best friend, Scott.

    HAVEN: What are you going to do?

    SCOTT: I’m going to do everything you tell me to do until I feel better.

    HAVEN: And why is that?

    SCOTT: Because you are the boss of me.

    HAVEN: Yes. And why else?

    SCOTT: Because I’m scared of you.

    Of course he also said this. I was telling him about some of our recent conversations and I said, “Hey, if you could own one piece of art, anything in the world, what would it be?” Scott is a very worldly, sophisticated man, has traveled extensively and I could see that the question vexed him somewhat, because there was so much to consider. Finally, he looked up and said, “I would choose Sting’s ‘The Soul Cages.'”

  121. kittery, you ARE wise. plus i also realized that not cleaning my apartment makes it more likely that my mom will clean it for me in her fit of pique and despair. win/win?

  122. :: laughs :: You’ve got us all trained. 🙂
    Sting, eh? Last night I was on youtube listening to him sing John Dowland songs (you were going to figure it out sooner or later – truly, I am a raging dork).

    Is Kate correct? There isn’t an already established method of sending amazing recipes? I figured this was just something I hadn’t learned yet ..

  123. If you do a Wikipedia search for . . . I forget, Famous Quakers? I can’t remember the term, I am there between Thomas R. Kelley, one of the greatest Quaker mystics in history, and Sir Ben Kingsley. I find this jocular. Our own Brent Bill is there, and a whole mess of CADBURY’S, which is where all this rapacious gossip began.

  124. Amanda, it sounds as though you’re about to have an amazing weekend. Kittens, free cleaning, and Mr. Maguire. A cup of chai tea or hot chocolate 😉 and you’ll be all set.

  125. Oh you don’t even know… my mom will visit for 24 hours. There will be hiking with her and Boyfriend Dave. Sunday I will travel to Greenville, SC to surprise my greatest mentor/friend/former professor/dearest champion at her Open Studio Art Exhibit. THEN! THEN! Dave the Boyfriend and I will head back north to see DAR WILLIAMS in Charlotte.


  126. HK,

    Here’s your link to AMERICAN Quakers on Wikipedia:

    FYI, Ben Kingsley is not listed.

  127. Haven, I was raised Mennonite..How similar is this to Quaker I wonder?

  128. That’s odd, Jodi, she’s on this one ..

  129. I sometimes lose the ability to know what I’m talking about.

    BEN KINGSLEY is on that link I just posted.

  130. Hmmm … Maybe Ben can’t make up his mind.

  131. Did someone say Dar Williams? Ooooooh she is talented.

  132. Hahahahaha…you believed me when I said that Quakers castrated themselves!!!

  133. Kate you ARE evil…still, a great Hallow’s Eve costume….Eunichs for Christ. How about Nuns for Pan? that could be fun, too.

  134. Kittery’s list of Quakers is better because it says:

    Thomas R. Kelly
    Haven Kimmel

    Only without the capital letters.

  135. My favorite costume? Whenever I’m pregnant I dress as Hester Prynne.

  136. Ben Kingsley. Yet another hot, bald man.

  137. Regarding the photo – when I first looked at it, I initially thought it was Kat with some cute little girl. It took me a while to realize the photo was of Haven and her sister! What a strong resemblance Kat has of your sister, Haven! 🙂

  138. Haven, when you read my book you’ll see connections with your poem. But wow, besides being listed with other famous Quakers, how does it feel to have your own page on Wikipedia?

  139. That’s so funny Kate, when I was in high school I actually made a gold top with an embroidered scarlet letter on it, just like Hester’s. What a hoot!

    Haven, I also was struck by how your sister looks like your daughter. I had to look at the dated background in order to figure out which decade it was.

  140. Lord have mercy! You people have been busy. Went to dinner and came back to twice (or more) responses than there were at 6 p.m.

    One word: snausages

  141. Does anyone remember that episode of Kids in the Hall with the German art film about sausages??

  142. Also, at dinner I was telling Robbie how Haven used to do forensics, come back to the blog and she’s mentioned… forensics. STOP IT! Get out of my brain woman! (or have I gotten into yours?)

    And KatyCake: priceless Halloween costume! Fell over laughing when I read that one.

  143. Wow, sometimes reading the comments is even better than the post. I mean, it is so cool to find a yummy cake recipe, learn that HAVEN outted a gay friend in college, and learn that Ben Kingsley is a Quaker, and that all of you are working on or have books written. I’m so jealous, but not in a bad way. I may not have a book, but I have a fun blog post about why Halloween is my Favorite Holiday with tons of old pictures …anyone want to read it come visit me

  144. Thanks Sock! My mommy made it! She’s so cool! She also dressed us up as the main characters from Amadeus one year. I was Constanze and my brothers were Mozart and Salieri.

    Everyone thought we were Cinderella, George Washington, and Darth Vaders. Uncultured swine.

  145. Don’t tell me about Quakers. I was at Howard Brinton’s second wedding, he who co-founded Pendle Hill. I’ll thank thee to sit still and wait upon the Spirit.

  146. Oh Kate .. sometimes I am ridiculously gullible. Har har. :p Though I forgive you now that I know you dressed up as Stanzi. I love Amadeus!

  147. Busy, busy bees are we?

    I have been conducting myself with the utmost self-control this week, don’t you think?

    Several threads ago there was mention of being a Smoker or Non Smoker. I think this blog is my “smoke” – but I have deadlines people! And I am pretending to be fascinated by everything happening between the arsenic hours of 3 pm – 10 pm within my four walls.

    I made the ultimate over-achiever mistake tonight of going to the grocery story to pick up a prescription and some essentials. Now, get this – I go to the store _NEVER_ the Donald, he does this all at 5 a.m. on the weeknd – he is mine, keep your bloody paws off him! But I’m pretending to be energetic after a gym workout . . . blah, blah, blah – did you know that those freaky Kroger people were having a Trick or Treat night with crafts in every f)**))ing aisle AND nobody pre-bought their candy this year (I bought 20 lbs 3 weeks ago at Sam’s 🙂 – they were literally fighting over bags of Snickers like they were the last Cabbage Patch Doll!! After 50 minutes I left with my 3 or 4 items . . . and I live less than a mile from this store . . . I am dramatized!

    Thinking about having a studio opening on November 15th – who wants to come???? Maybe I need to post my work on e-bay, too – I could charge 1/2 or less than the galleries do with no overhead?

    I have something similar to yesterday’s beautiful work – this one actually has a copy of my Kindergarten Report Card as a foundation . . . and I use BEESwax, so I’m thinking this is serendipitous?

    And, of course, we can’t forget John M. as a laudable creative . . . in fact, we are all creatives, look at what we have created here in virtual space!!!

    Love you all,

  148. Oh, I forgot to gush about the photo . . .
    the vintage images you have shared have been one of my favorite aspects of the blog and your books, Haven.

    I just love photos from the 60’s and 70’s – the nostalgia just wrecks me. I think I still have those olivey-green floral towels that Melinda is wearing in that photo – my mother-in-law collects towels – I swear to God. At rummages, from the beach, off the road, whereever!!! Then she uses them as packing in boxes – she is the ultimate green shipper. She once traveled with a vintage green breadbox (gorgeous enamel from the 50’s) that she had found me and she got stopped major because the security cameras freaked out – this thing must have looked like a bomb or casket – so funny!

    I could save this for Halloween, but isn’t tonight All Hallow’s Eve . . . anyway, here I am in ’76 or ’77 in my very hip Holly Hobbie shirt and embroidered jeans carving my punkin’

    Notice the paneling??

    Lets post some more links to vintage photos of the blog babies . . . I love checking out the links and images . . .

  149. WELL. I am fed up to my EYE TEETH. I made a very special Halloween recording for you and I made two TINETY errors and I simply am not bright enough to figure out how to splice and remove the word. I’ve recorded THREE AUDIO BOOKS WITH A MEAN-LOOKING BALD MAN! When I recorded Zippy I was in one studio and Velvet Revolver was in the other. You would be shocked, shocked I tell you, to discover how extraordinarily handsome Scott Weiland is. Generally I don’t find heroin an attractive fashion choice but, you know? It really suits him. Slash is also very attractive. He had to take his hat off because the sound booths get so hot, and that is his real for sure hair. You can tell he’s got some interesting background, like a mother from Uzbekimooreland and a father who is the sole native of American Guam. Diversity is what I’m talking about. Now I don’t know whether to start over and re-record the entire thing, and what if I made THREE mistakes instead of two and the situation is thus multiplied by the power of one? I could just spit.

  150. Uzbekimooreland… is that close to Advancekestan?

  151. Haven, do you REALIZE that all of your poems have the beat of Kate Bush’s D.R.E.A.M.T.I.M.E.???

    That is not just a quinkydink it is an earth beat!

    Did you miss my post that I have a vhs tape of all of THE WHOLE STORY videos – 18 videos!!! Hum, maybe I could be convinced to burn a copy on the DVDR/vhs dubber? Hum???

  152. And, um . . . just as a little Halloween caveat? Try not to buy any taxidermy from Germany. (What does Twain say? “Wagner’s music is much better than it sounds.”) I told Kate earlier that a certain something looks, oh dear, I’m not sure if I should even say it. There were some anti-American practices on this fellow when I first uncrated him but I’m no xenophobe, right? And yet, see — what they did is just not a good idea. And as you know from other photographs, the art of taxidermy is to preserve the animal in its beauty, and so everything I own looks alive. With the shoulder mounts you just have to pretend that the reedbuck is alive and THE REST OF HIM is on the other side of the wall, which is perfectly natural and occurs in nature. But. Oh my. I finally realized that not only does it look dead, it looks deader every time I come into the room. It IS PERPETUALLY DYING. I’d be out here working, go inside for a while, come back out: D-E-D. My mentalist would ask me how this makes me feel and I would say I don’t talk about my feelings, and then we’d have THAT whole argument again, so I’ll just come right out and say THIS MAKES ME FEEL WONKY.

  153. What are your feelings on the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland? There were quite a few times where it was just his head floating in midair .. and more often than not he looked a little stoned .. Perhaps you could substitute perpetually dying for a continual trip?

  154. We are officially all punkin’ heads now – Happy Halloween . . .

    I’m going to snooze awhile as I have a big scheduled day tomorrow and it won’t end until VERY late . . .

    I hope to peek in on the blog babies sometime tomorrow . . . in my stead I will send scary moonbeans your way on a magic lightningbug . . .

    I want to write and illustrate a children’s book . . . why not?

    sweet dreams . . .

    OMG my dreams last night!!!! Fah-reak-a-zoid!

    I totally wanted to log on and spill my roiling guts . . . but now the images escape me . . . but they say how you feel in the dream is more important, well crap – I am a stunned bunny rabbit in the jaws of a grizzly (but I think they are herbavores, no they eat salmon, anyway, you get the idea)? I. need. some. sleep.

  155. Sher: sent you emails earlier (this morning?) Great art! Your encaustics rock!

  156. Sock Monkey – you sent me e-mails??? Where? on Yahoo – thos bastards won’t let me on there today . . . boo hooo!

  157. Nope. Your AOL link from your website.

  158. Oops – see I was on this blog and researching and had my “mail dingy thing turned down” – but I just retrieved them and THANK YOU!!!

  159. I keep going back and looking at them all… they really are lovely and mysterious.

  160. Encaustics are amazing – it is the first media I have ever tried that does not bore me after I “mastered” it, if that makes sense – it is so multi-dimensional, luminous, it is like a human, hidden layers and randomness and revelations and veiled imagery – – – I am delusionally tired right now . . .

  161. ok – I’m out, I’m not going to look at the clock or the alarm . . . zzzz! See you all tomorrow!

  162. Makes perfect sense. once you “master” a medium, it’s no longer a challenge.

  163. Kittery, the Cheshire Cat can suck my butt. I hate that thing. Not that he’s really any less attractive than the hooka-smoking worm . . . item.

    The Deutschland Mistake has now flipped himself upside down on one of my chairs. I’m sure these are going to be the continuous death-throes of the next fifteen years. 5:43 a.m. and nothing but the dead and dying here in my little barn.

  164. pm rams: that whole Brinton, Philadelphia Quaker, generationally connected to England jibber jabber is the reason WE ARE IN THIS MESS TODAY.

    p.s. I grew up visiting D. Elton Trueblood. Eighth generation. I can’t remember if it was ever discussed on this blog or only on Brent’s, but I just took charge and placed Elton in Purgatory. I’m going to leave him there as long as I want. He is not allowed to hold court, and if I decide he can have paper and a pen, I will also send in a brutal editor with a blood-red quill who slashes whole pages, hour after hour, until finally concluding, “If YOU had done this, your fifty books could have been reduced to one good one.” And that one good one can only contain one subject: how Quakerism never would have been born, let alone survived, without women. He will be forced to name the women and their accomplishments, and then p.m., then he will know what pain feels like. LUCRETIA MOTT ALONE — he must have found her breathtaking courage, her ceaseless activity, her superhuman accomplishments, her astonishing verbal acuity — those things must have seemed woefully unattractive.

  165. Sher, it drives me mad the way our posts get jumbled. I blame the Republicans. I missed EVERYTHING about you owning THE WHOLE STORY. Seriously, do you think Sarah Palin is going to let us watch that together, even if we are softening the seal leather of her boots with our gums? She strikes me as a tone deaf.

  166. It isn’t like I don’t KNOW I get feisty at this hour. I do KNOW it. And yet I must address a grievous earlier exchange: JODI JODI BO BODI BANANA FANA FO FODI ME MY MODY, JODI? You take back what you said about Freddie Mercury or I will never, ever tell anyone one of my favorite Bob Jarvis stories.


  167. You are feisty feisty this morning! 🙂

  168. Happy Halloween everyone!

    Jodi – TAKE IT BACK so we can hear the story. Please?

    Sher – You have a death grip on that knife. 😉

  169. Uncle. UncleUncleUncle, Trixie B.

    I take back everything I ever said about Freddie M., ’cause it was all just supposition and I admit freely that it could all be Egregious Error. On this Halloween Day I appeal to The Spirit of Freddie Mercury, asking him to Visit Haven Kimmel in Spirit, in her barn, between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 pm. Freddie, you are asked to take a Kindly Form, which will APPEAL to Ms. K and increase her devotion to you. For there is No Greater Disciple of Yours than Sweet Haven K., who even today, many earthly years after Your Passing, speaks of Your Greatness, Your Gifts of Writing and Performing, Your Sheer Perfection while you Did Walk upon our mortal coil. It is with bowed head and heart that I ask this, with a full heart and a terror of Bloggers WorldWide, who long for stories of Bob The Jarvis, yea, long with all their hearts.

    And Miss Haven, please give us confirmation of Said Visitation by Freddie M., detailing Words, Form Assumed, Time of Visitation, and Any Other Halloweeny Queeny details You Might Be Allowed by Said Fred to share.

    So Mode It Be.

  170. Jodi! That was a PERFECT way to start my day!!! You are hilarious!

  171. Did I mention that I love Bruce Springsteen? Well, I do. And today I love him even more since he sent a special Halloween music video out to his fans. OOOOOOHHHH Spooky:

  172. Sher, I drool over your Holly Hobbie shirt.

    Freddy Mercury? Lunch? Who needs it? I just want to listen to him sing to me with that perfect, crystalline voice, preferably in that v-necked satin jumpsuit. I like it better than his “I’m a biker in the Village People with a terrifying mustache” stage.

  173. Oh, Linda…I too love me some Bruce! Thanks for the tip on the video, I will check it out post-haste. I hope you got to go to his Nashville show this summer…I understand it was amazing.

    And a Halloween quote for you all (and I’m cheating as I am taking it from the “quote of the day” here at work):
    “Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen/ Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!” – Dextor Kozen

    Have a great day, everyone!

  174. Shout out to Sher- I will not only come to your studio open house, I will work at it for free. I will hand out programs, or refreshments, or be a car parker. You just say the word.

    Oh, did I mention I am having lunch with Sher on Monday? YIPPEE!!!

  175. HK, i didn’t realize that you thought the Cheshire Cat could “suck your butt”. My sister went to school in Cheshire and their mascot was the Cheshire Cat. I always thought he was pretty cool.. He seems to like to smile.

  176. Jodi, how very very gracious of you. I shall indeed share any and all exchanges I have with My Pretend Gay Husband when he arrives. I might have to move that decaying animal. Nah, Freddy’s probably used to that sort of thing by now.

  177. Halloween Tic-Tac-Toe anyone?

  178. Haven, you must take a picture of the awful German taxidermy so we can can be horrified right along with you.

  179. ALL RIGHT! HEADS UP! How many of you KNEW that Randy Newman released an album of NEW SONGS in August called Harps and Angels, and did not TELL ME?

    And you call yourselves my friends …

  180. Oh, Haven, I just love it when you SAY what I’ve always THOUGHT – Scott Weiland is a hottie, isn’t he? I think it’s the bad boy rocker thing, I don’t know for sure, but I agree!

    Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe! Steph

  181. Jodi, I depend on all of you to keep me up on good music. You can’t depend on me, my internal DJ gives me things like “Womanizer” on repeat over and over again. I should take the presets for all pop stations out of my car immediately.

  182. Happy Hallow’s Eve All!
    I love this day.
    Sher…I missed you…And now I have a new favorite word:
    I may change my name legally.
    We need to start a separate file on the yahoo site for recipes cause I like them a lot, especially with stories attached…’Like Water For Chocolate’ is still one of my favorite reads.
    Also very much agree about Haven’s archival/past life photos…I love to see them, too.
    Thanks for giving in so sweetly, Jodi, just so we all can get stories. And thanks, Y’all, for pointing me toward new music that I never would think to look for on my own.
    Now I gotta go look up Brandon’s pictures.

  183. oh, wayyyyy back to the poem, i meant to post earlier that i would give just about anything to hear you read this aloud.

  184. Oh, and girlfromtheghetto’s pictures, too.

  185. Carol- I did see Bruce when he was in Nashville in August and he was amazing. It was a blast. I was born in New Jersey and grew up outside Philly so I am a Bruce fan going way way back.

    Jodi- I knew Randy Newman had a new album out and I swear I was not trying to hide it from you on purpose.

    Speaking of hearing things read out loud, Amanda, I wish I could hear everyone in these posts. I have pretend versions of your voices in my head. When we have our Haven Convention it will be cool to see how close my versions are to the real things.

  186. Another night, another damned PJ party, and I was a-bed, exhausted from my night of calling the unpersuaded on behalf of Obama, summoning my Most Persuasive, Reasoned, Calm and above all, SAFE voice (the tone is akin to my inner teen asking a cute Anabaptist gal to remove her bonnet and reveal her crowning glory.)

    This I do for you, sweet Haven’s sweeties, and for the Good of America, though I miss the party.

    I have some things to say…

  187. Hey there George…I am voting on my early ballot right now, as you write. I considered voting for a Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert write-in but of course I am voting for Obama and against Arizona fundamentalist wankers anti gay marriage proposition…don’t get me started…gotta get back to the Zen All Hallow’s Eve mode.

  188. I just found this t-shirt haha

  189. …but I forget what they are…

    JODI: What a great job you did conjuring Mr. Mercury for Haven. Would you summon Bessie Smith for me? No, I haven’t read Haven’s chapter. Would you scan it and email me sometime today, please?

    HAVEN: I may have my facts wrong, but wasn’t the Cheshire Cat modeled on Garfield?

    SHER: After seeing you in that outfit, all I can say is I will climb in a time machine and let you carve my pumpkin any day of the week!

    KITTERY: That’s a recipe I could follow. Thanks, who knows. Ever so often I like to do a little cookin’.

    KATE: Does Willard Library still have a ghost tour? I used to go to Willard all the time when I was a kid. When I was in high school, our gym teacher used to make us run laps around the Willard grounds. Once, they timed us in running the mile. Everyone used stopwatches. When they got to me, someone whipped out the Mayan calendar and an hour glass.

  190. George, I am the originator of the 45 minute mile!!

    They do still have the ghost tours. Remind me to tell you my husband’s tales of meeting the ghost of some long dead carpenter.

    I missed the Ghost Tour this year but I am planning to go the Reitz Home for “Lingering Spirits” on Sunday!

  191. That’s Carpenter, not carpenter. It sounded like I was talking about a non-resurrected Jesus there for a minute.

  192. Okay — it does appear that this particular posse has powers over the invisible world. Because I recorded a story for today’s blog post and all you have to do is *click* to hear it, AND Scott said he’d like to establish a separate page that’s just for audio versions of poems.

    It’s almost done! Prepare to reload!

    George, Jim Davis once left me a $100 tip on a $25 bar tab. He was wearing a full-length fur coat.


  194. Kate – love GarfieldminusGarfield – isn’t it odd?

  195. It’s beyond odd…it’s…just…right!!!

    I liked Garfield fine when Jim Davis was drawing it, but when he started farming it out it just went downhill.

  196. I woke up this morning and had a dream in the night, well it wasn’t a dream because this actually happened last week, but it re-happened in the dream??

    I am organizing the studio and go to move the 12 ft ladder, forgetting that I have a 50 lb staple gun and MALLET on the top of it . . . which they proceed to RAIN DOWN on my head . . . ouch. see stars. sure there is gushing blood, but no – nothing . . . I was a little cornfused, but lived . . .

    but THIS MORNING, HALLOWEEN, after waking up from THAT dream, I was listing to the left shall we say, and very dizzyzy . . . for Haven’s sake, I thought I was going to have a seizure. I was almost afraid to walk my daughter out to the bus stop. Now my neck just hurts.

    I think it is a physical manifestation of . . . stupidity???

    No to mention my drunk-like writing last night and I posted pictures of myself – all without a drop of alcohol – I forget sleep deprivation has the same symptoms!!!

    JODI – thanks for the rebuttal, I was stunned – Freddy, he was the Queen of them all . . . I am strangely attracted to gays – TIM GUNN, wow, baby . . . give me a fan, please!

    GEORGE – there are more photos where that came from . . .

    Kate – I have another photo of me in a HANDMADE, Bi-Centiennial Holly Hobbie (fabric from Ben Franklin shirt).

    that has both Holly Hobbie shirts . . .

    I’m starving, I WANT CANDY AND I CAN’T HAVE ANY . . . the smell of the candy is pissing me off!!!

  197. FAN-freaking-tastic Sher. Love it.

  198. Haven as always you break my heart in the good way. I’m also loving the Blog Babies. Hi, Blog Babies!

  199. b) stay up all night reading A Lion Among Men (Maguire) MY VOTE IS IN.

  200. Yes Kittery, Haven’s right. But it is the bathroom. And sleeping in the tub is sometimes wonderful. You just bring an airmatress and some nice fluffy pillows and warm blankets. It is better than camping in many ways. And you are welcome in my house anytime. I may put a murphy bed in there. I loved that story by your mom Haven. And does your voice have to be beautiful also? Not fair. I sound nasal. Oh well at least I can read outloud when I am alone and sing in the shower and the car. Maybe I will get the chance to finish Zippy if my husband leaves the house today to go to a funeral for the fifteen year old son of a close friend killed in some drug related thing in Daley City. I can not go. I feel too weak. And I don’t even have the thing she was going to take from him in Home Remedy.

  201. Haven, Kimmel-kateers,

    I am about to set out on what might be a pretty dismal afternoon, knocking on doors for O’bama.

    I live in the reddest of states. The base has been about as energized as it can be here. We are going into Red territory.

    Frankly I would rather do housework. Gawd knows this place needs it.

    I don’t know about you, but this country has been under a Fecal-ocracy – governed by its SHITTIEST CITIZENS for too damn long!

  202. Sorry, this computer is made of plywood and aluminum foil. It bumped me out.

    Wish me luck!

    Even better, call your friends on your phone list. ESP if you live in a battleground state, make sure they are going to vote. If they need somebody to watch their kids or need a ride, see if you can help.

    Should this country be turned into a banana republic
    I will at least be able to say I tried!

    JUst remember, the republicans ALWAYS show up. That’s why they ruled so long. Imagine taking a busload of republicans thru a fast-food drive thru:

    The driver says: I’ll take 100 hamburgers, 100 medium fries and 100 cokes.

    And not a goddamn one of them will so much as make a peep.

    Busload of democrats in the same situation? Shit, they’re still there! Relaying questions to the driver if they can get their diet coke with no ice and half water or their fries cooked in yak butter or insistig that their burger be hand-spanked!

    Wish me luck. Here goes.

    Long Live The United States of America!

  203. George I am frantically looking for the sausage post when I should be filling out my sample ballot. I did not sleep again last night. My poor husband couldn’t sleep either because he is in grief over the loss of one of his best friends 21 year old son. Right now he is at the viewing. I couldn’t go because I really am unstable. I am keeping vampire hours and I need to go to work on Tuesday. Someone around here needs to make a living. I will gladly sacrifice the moth that ate that hole in my cashmere sweater. And a flea and all the ants that came in last night to hover around my lemoncello glass. It is a digestive you know. And I had a stomach ache.”Keep pace behind her, never betray her:

    you are your own future, after all. Pay attention;

    honor the way she will not falter,

    how she holds her chin high, because

    just ahead, just there, is the county line, four

    directions that meet in a neutral square.

    North and south are numbered by the age

    at which you die. So are east and west.

    You are almost there. Most people choose

    the simplest phrase, to ease the way: At

    least I did my best.” Haven why are you always trying to make me cry?

  204. Matt I love you.

  205. Okay now that red shoulder hawk is perched on my neighbor’s balcony staring down at my birdfeeders. I do not think I will be filling them for a while.

  206. “LINDA: Have you tried Joni’s latest, Shine? Last year, I heard Tom Rush sing Circle Game. It’s better with each passing year.

    JODI: Yes, but sometimes the pleasure of the sausage doesn’t come from what’s crammed inside the casing. What I love best about music without lyrics is the discovery of the narrative in the notes.” Alright already. I can not find it. And George, find me that original taxidermy post because I really want to read it and see why I did not get kicked to the curb. I guess some nice people took pity on me and offered me a hand held up and out. And I had the grace to clutch it.

  207. i say make the other guy sleep in the tub.

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