What the Future Holds by Pagi

What the Future Holds

I’m singing, dancing, waving to you.
I’m singing, dancing, waving to you.
first because that is how it is,
how it must be. But, will I
be here for when you sing, dance,
and wave for me
sing, dance, and wave for me?
Because that is how it is
how it should be
how it must be.

Will you be here for the grand
finale? When a musician plays a
sad melody behind the velvet curtain
as a comedy dancer
first exits right stage
then exits left stage and then
it’s a grand finale when a
writer stands center stage
and reads from some
Unknown manuscripts
that  they say is theirs
and then remains afterwards
for the signing and reception.

Yu rah ah rayk kum ken
ong ah eh van kum ken
Yu rah ah rayk kum ken
ong ah eh van kum ken.

– Pagi

A Short History of Rock and Roll by Miriam Sagan

I’m 14 years old, dancing in my dark bedroom in my undies to The Doors. If I hear my parents in the corridor outside I turn the music down. And if Jim Morrison is singing “Whiskey Bar” I turn it all the way down. The song just sounds…so dirty. I don’t want my parents to hear it.
54 years later, the scene in my bedroom is pretty much the same, except my parents are long dead and I moved away after high school. How old was I before I realized that “Whiskey Bar (Alabama Song)” was the only thing by the Doors my parents would have instantly recognized. After all, it was written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. And the original lyrics are more transgressive. Morrison, at least in the album version, changed “show us the way to the next little boy” to “little girl.”
It turns out that my ignorance about primary sources will plague me for years. No, the Rolling Stones did not write “All My Love In Vain.” Robert Johnson did. After he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads and before he was stabbed by a jealous lover. But that is another story.

Stuff.3: Books by Devon Miller-Duggan

Stuff.3: Books

The antique Limoges and Madame Alexander dolls are one sort of thing-you-don’t-know-what-to-do-with. The books are another matter entirely. No matter how resonant a thing is, how much of your history it carries, no necklace or bowl or rug has the layers and layers of the battered copy of the novel you fell in love with in 6th grade and read 12 times (Ivanhoe) or your original copies of TLOR, the book that taught you what wild things you could do with a crochet hook, the collection of frightening poems about the last days in Hitler’s bunker that you wrote your dissertation on. This is why I have 3 different Complete Shakespeares. Then there’s the historical novel sextet in which I found my second daughter’s name, which I did without remembering that my own name had found its way into my mother’s vocabulary late in her pregnancy when she was loaned a steamy romance. And the poetry—every print journal in which mine has ever appeared and all the books I have loved or valued enough to keep. The books, more than anything else, feel like a very detailed map of who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve loved, though not who I’ve loved. I guess that last bit makes them the 2nd Most Important Map. As map, though, it makes them hard to part with: Georgette Heyer and Terry Pratchett, James Wright and Lucille Clifton, poetry anthologies for teaching and histories of couture or ballet for pleasure, books and books on Holocaust Lit.

Then there are my husband’s books: naval and war histories, encyclopedias of Theology and Classics, volumes and volumes of Medieval and Church History, much of what’s been written about Machievelli and Thomas More, the Crusades and Plagues. There are almost as many in his office at the University, and they will have to be dealt with when he retires next year, but those are next year’s problem. He is busy trying to find homes for many of them—many are the standard books in various fields and might find homes in some of the less well-funded smaller college libraries around us. Many relate to long-since-completed projects. Many are standard volumes passed on to him by his retiring professors. They themselves have histories. Together they also comprise a map of who he is. We will pass over in silence the entire wall of books on more or less permanent loan from the University Library (it’s a professor thing). Those I am being a hard-ass about him returning.

We aren’t Book People in the same sense as the community at the end of Farhenheit 451, though I desperately wish I had that gift for memorization (at one point in my college years, I could recite the opening passage of The Sound and the Fury and the closing paragraphs of The Once and Future King, but I don’t tend to retain what I memorize, even if I work at it). We are certainly People of the Book in religious terms, but that’s not at all the same thing. We are, though, Book People in a more general sense—people who love them, are very nearly helpless in bookstores, people who were saved by them in our youths, people who keep and treasure them for a great cloud of reasons, and people who write them. Still, some books need to fill up someone else’s soul, someone else’s curiosity, someone else’s space. It’s not a thought I’d have ever admitted to a few years ago. I think we’ll still have more than enough books here to qualify as Book People, even Advanced Book People, but maybe we’ll lose our credentials as Book Hoarders. Which is a little sad, but not sad enough for me to keep all zillion of them on our over-laden shelves, no matter how much I love photos of writers or artists taken against the backdrop of their gloriously-over-laden shelves.

Devon Miller-Duggan

Small Painting #2

The wall sconce was here when I bought the house almost 35 years ago–my favorite detail.
Santiago Cadena has painted a vast scene on a small canvas. When I look at it, it seems huge. I got this at Magpie in Taos–my favorite gallery in New Mexico.
How fortunate I am to be living a life that includes these things.

Small Painting #1

I have a small house, full of small paintings. I’m going to highlight some of the new ones.

This was bought at Folk Art Market with my friend Ana, from the booth that shows a group of painters from Cuba. Ana said: that would make a good book cover. And since I’ve been talking about being old, this seems appropriate as an image to sit on my desk.

It also reminds me of the Daughter of Cups in the Motherpeace Tarot–although the Daughter is a younger version.

The painter is Luis Arias, from El Grupe Bayate.