Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rebecca Loudon mentioned in a recent post that she had learned a new word.  She and I were born in the same month of the same year, scant days apart, and I sometimes feel like our lives rhyme.  But I digress...  Just before reading Rebecca's post I had, myself, learned a new word: "chirality."  It's the title of the first poem in Rae Armantrout's latest collection, Itself.

Here's the Wikipedia definition of chirality:

Chirality /kˈrælɪt/ is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greekχειρ(kheir), "hand", a familiar chiral object.
An object or a system is chiral if it is distinguishable from its mirror image; that is, it cannot be superposed onto it. Conversely, a mirror image of an achiral object, such as a sphere, cannot be distinguished from the object. A chiral object and its mirror image are calledenantiomorphs (Greek opposite forms) or, when referring to molecules, enantiomers. A non-chiral object is called achiral (sometimes alsoamphichiral) and can be superposed on its mirror image.
The term was first used by Lord Kelvin in 1893 in the second Robert Boyle Lecture at the Oxford University Junior Scientific Club which was published in 1894:
I call any geometrical figure, or group of points, 'chiral', and say that it has chirality if its image in a plane mirror, ideally realized, cannot be brought to coincide with itself.[1]
Human hands are perhaps the most universally recognized example of chirality: The left hand is a non-superimposable mirror image of the right hand; no matter how the two hands are oriented, it is impossible for all the major features of both hands to coincide.[2] This difference in symmetry becomes obvious if someone attempts to shake the right hand of a person using his left hand, or if a left-handed glove is placed on a right hand. In mathematics chirality is the property of a figure that is not identical to its mirror image.

Interestingly enough, while I did not know this word, the concept of "nonsuperimposable mirror images" is something that figures importantly in Appearances, that beast of a book I've been working on for the last few years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I recently found this entry in a notebook:

"__Appearances: A
    Novel In
  ?365? Fragments__

Begun 8/7/11"

Today I wrote fragments 363-365.

So...the first draft is complete.  I'm happy to have achieved this milestone but am not happy with the manuscript as it stands.  I need to find fresh eyes and begin to  carve the thing into its final form.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pops Staples: Don't Lose This 

What a fantastic CD.  Minimalist guitar with a deft tremolo.  Emotionally acute singing.  A masterpiece, really.  I've been listening to it over and over again today as I hammer away at Appearances.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The subzero weather of recent days is getting old.  It was minus six this morning.


I'm slow stepping toward finishing the draft of Appearances.  I wrote fragments 356 and 357 over the weekend.  Eight fragments to go.  Unsure how it's all going to end.  I keep thinking possibilities and rejecting them.  Important not to force a conclusion.


This afternoon watched Ian Hugo's Bells of Atlantis, here.  Hugo was Anais Nin's husband.  Apparently she was also married to someone else at the same time. Nin does the voicing in the film and acts in it as well.  It's a short film and flawed in some ways, but worth watching nonetheless.


In the course of trying to figure out what is happening as Appearances lurches toward its end, I have experimented with some story boarding.  So, in addition to staring at the computer screen until my eyes bleed, I also stare at small drawings of stick figures arrayed in different constellations.


Listening to the late great JJ Cale's music and admiring its elegance.


Friday, February 13, 2015

A favorite guitar
 thing of mine
 is that pivot
 from one finger
 to another that
 allows a glissando
to happen on
 the way to
playing the box.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thank you, Alex

This morning there was a large package on our front porch which apparently had been delivered unnoticed yesterevening via UPS.  It was from Alex Gildzen.  Alex has been downsizing lately and surprising friends with things he has acquired over the years.

Alex gifted me with a lovely  Romertopf clay baking vessel, a copy of Jumping Over the Moon ( a new chapbook of erotic poems by Alex from Green Panda Press), and a matchbook cover from "The Stinking Rose," a restaurant with locations in San Francisco and Beverly Hills.

"The Stinking Rose."  I really like that name.

I'm looking forward to cooking something in the Romertopf which Alex wrote in a handwritten note was originally a gift from Paul and Nancy Metcalf.  A nice association there, for sure.

And I'm enjoying Alex's chapbook of short, vivid, sexy poems.  Find a copy if you can, it's a lovely read.

Thank you, Alex.

Monday, February 2, 2015