Monday, December 05, 2011

Two weeks left in the semester. This year, when it's over (all over), mi familia is aborting Christmas. My brother and his wife are going to be in Paris, my sister and her family (brother-in-law, neice, nephew) are too complicated to travel to Wisconsin this year, and my Mom is going to Africa two days after Christmas to ride horses. Which is all very exciting but doesn't make for much of a family gathering, so I'm traveling to Sconny (Wisconsin) for four days, and leaving before Santa notices that we have no tree. The last time I missed Christmas was in Japan, and Aric (who was visiting) and I went out into the cold night to observe the romantic holiday that Christmas is in Japan. It's a shopping season for couples and close friends to buy each other gifts and is not so much the firmly realized family tradition it is here. New Year's fits that bill. But to be perfectly honest, I didn't miss it much asides from the being with family part.

So I will be here but won't be alone, am excited to do things a little differently. There's a lot of writing and other projects that I'm really looking forward to having time to spend on during the later days of December and the first half of January. The second half January is for a meditation course and then the semester begins again. In the mean time, two weeks left and asides from the the stack of tests next to me, grading the final essays, and calculating the final grades, the bulk of the work is done. It's been a pretty good semester but it's winding down and we don't mind. In other news, a week from now, today, Monday, the Occupy Movement is coordinating a strike to shut down all the ports along the West Coast. This will require an enormous effort from a lot of people to get the word out, and to get bodies into the streets. I will be there.

Last, this coming Saturday is the George Oppen memorial lecture, hosted by the Poetry Center (in SF). Here is one George Oppen poem:

Boy's Room

A friend saw the rooms
Of Keats and Shelly
At the lake and saw 'they were just
Boys' rooms' and was moved

By that. And indeed a poet's room
Is a boy's room
And I suppose that women know it.

Perhaps the unbeautiful banker
Is exciting to a woman, a man
Not a boy gasping
For breath over a girl's body.