Sunday, April 24, 2005

I had bought a slim volume of poems by Billy Collins a week or so back. Then she was not impressed, being thirteen and easily grossed out by the thought of a grown man writing poems in the buff. I don't think the word penis in print would throw her, but possibly the imagery of discarding his body parts one by one was a bit dark for her tastes. I liked the thought of it myself, and bought the book on the basis of that one poem, "Purity"
I am concentration itself: I exist in a universe
where there is nothing but sex, death, and typewriting.

I realized that my children have never heard the sound of a typewriter. But that is a tangent.

It was clear at the end of the day yesterday that I was more in need of tucking in than she - the coughing and the sinus pain had made their inroads over the course of the day, and so I was in pajamas before she was. Putting on her motherly tone, she put me to bed, fluffing pillows and bringing a thermometer to have my temperature taken. Then she picked up the Collins book off my bedside table to which I protested "but you didn't like his poems." She answered "this is YOUR bedtime reading" and opened to "Walking Across the Atlantic" (which you can hear Collins read at that link) so I lay back, eyes closed, listening and waiting to see if the lead would rise. She seemed to warm to her task after that one, and read the next four aloud also, until it was determined I was without fever and the lights could go out without further doctoring.

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