Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


You know, it fell out of a mass of work papers being clopped together for neatness

then disposal.  It tumbled out in an avalanche of rag, in an envelope of greeting, a picture of her tucked

or lost or -- with deliberation -- buried in the catacomb of meaningless words one's paid to write, but whose endless assemblage practices for the Real words finally to convince her, reach her.

The goddesses the fathers disallow rise, they say, to curse the chaste male mortal for his ogling, freezing him to stone, hunting him down like a stag, enswining him.  Just for staring at mystery.

No doubt the pure coincidence we joke off, wave away with the hand -- the missive just fell out, it's old, just utter chance.

Sure, a reason, therapeutic word or two, lights up the hearth, domesticates, makes easy our anxiety in a world of snow.  It just fell out.

Nevertheless, it's true, we did it, years ago -- brushed hands, nudged into one another, laughed, 

and slid at a distance weaving around and about on the trail, then strayed, just catching the sound of the avalanche, that kind of cold divorce.



  1. Existential, deep, love won
    then lost with a woman
    who has become another,
    someone not first glimpsed
    or held, and the affection seems
    to have turned to ice water,
    where the Sonja Henjie snow
    princess has morphed into
    something darker, not quite
    harpy, but frightening just the
    same. Nostalgia can overtake
    us like a virus, one glance at
    a keepsake, a snapshot, a lock
    of hair, a torn valentine, and
    the winter of bliss becomes
    soured into discontent.
    Where is the responsibility,
    the blame, the pointing finger,
    when two people take separate

  2. The synchronicitous sliding, the crashing avalanche...chance? Yeah maybe. Your slices of life are delicious.

    Btw, I watched The Homecoming tonight. Wow, what a treat. My favorite line? "We'll just call her something else, Dolores, or something."

  3. Glenn,

    Some things that come out I have to re-read even after I'm satisfied I understand what I wrote. This one does morph and counter-morph (can that happen?). One actual woman becomes a fictional version, a possibility, another actual woman? Whatever there is here that my sub- and semi-conscious has loaded on I would refrain from trying to spell out in literalist ways.

    At some point, likely being morphed myself by the Magpie exigency, I felt the challenge of getting myself 'to the powder' where the conjunctions and disjunctions of sled moves and the thrill of mountain risk might 'share space with' notions of relationships found and lost.

    I always appreciate your readings!


  4. Tess,

    Without giving away anything, such slidings, such avalanches do occur. (I think your savvy understood the irony of 'coincidence').

    Speaking of coincidence, the Antonia Fraser memoir of her life with Pinter arrived at the house, and I was reminded that Vivian Merchant was Pinter's earlier wife.

    His affair and (after a sour divorce) marriage to A.F. helped spiral V.M. further into her alcoholism. And it lost Pinter his relationship with his son -- a regret Pinter had, deeply, until the end of his life.

    Dolores? Great line. Great pain.


  5. Strummed Words,

    The felt past rushes back!


  6. Gautami,

    Just went to your link and connected to your blog. Commented there, too.

    Slices. Of life and of image. When they can be made to match or approximate or weirdly coincide or surprisingly bump into one another.

    Thank you for your comment, sister!


  7. The texture and layering of this piece is stellar - its rise and fall is rhythmic and astounding.

  8. Tumblewords,

    As a colorist, can you tell I'm blushing?

    The first stanza came out as the ones I like come out. The rest spat out with some difficulty, building itself in squiblets some of which were able to manage breakthroughs.

    And, as I say above to Glenn, there was the blatant obligation and opportunism of connecting up to Tess's Magpie prompt.

    Thanks for reading here!


  9. Brillant write...stunned with its form and prose....so happy to have found your writing...blessings...bkm

  10. signed...bkm,

    Thank you! The form is something I'm treating myself to -- I've loosened into it.

    I'm checking out your work as well. Will leave my mark there, I'm sure.


  11. these kinds of things happen to me quite a bit...a picture, a receipt even a scent

    and for a brief moment I am transported

  12. Rene,

    Let me suggest that these moments make the other moments real?