Wednesday, June 10, 2015

things have dried out and heated up in texas, but that's what it's usually like, and people are a lot more comfortable with this dry excessive heat than with the rains that pounded us in may. they are in the habit of going home and ducking out at about three; it's pretty tolerable the rest of the time, but the late afternoons are the worst in terms of pure heat, so what's the point? go home and take a nap.

but, with my wife gone visiting a sick mother, the question for me is how to get through the afternoon with kids who, basically, have plenty of energy all day long. they can watch a movie or two, even watch it again, or play sports on the wii as other kids do. sometimes they want to go out, but this can be either good or bad; once they wanted out in the heat of the day, and they wanted to dress up as well (for some reason, going to the park meant dressing up - long dresses, high heels, etc.) so we either fight about it, or i let them do as they wish. i'm tired. i'm inclined toward the latter. there is no point fighting stuff forever.

so there's a certain amount of chaos around here. they get into stuff, they move furniture. they rip open packages that mom sends, pop the poppies, spread the cardboard around. they create laundry. they have trouble keeping track of stuff.

i write poetry furiously in my free moments. lately i've been in connecticut, nevada, and pennsylvania. one of the joys of it is that, in my head, i can be wherever i want. i can pick up the computer and do research on some place, and then mull around about that place as if i'd been there, and make some comment about it, all compressed in a single haiku. to be able to make seven or eight in a day is not unusual now, but it is my month off, this is all i'm doing, and it's mostly because it goes so well with the hardships of child-rearing. i can't seem to get the discipline to write the autobiography or the novel, both of which are on my plate. but the poetry keeps coming.

lots of pictures coming - dollies, flowers, whatever crosses my mind. the girlies play with their barbies, and pose them everywhere, so that gets me to do the same stuff, but only when i have the time, and it's kind of interesting, to have this culture of barbies come through the house. elsa barbie, cinderella barbie, i feel like lining them up in different places and see what i can get. the girlies stuck them in a tree. one day they buried them in sand. i have these pictures somewhere, but i haven't gotten organized yet. the thing about barbies is, they carry a pretty good wallop, symbolically and culturally, and as a haiku artist you come to appreciate that after a while. if a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture of a barbie can give you a bonus, because they mean so much to so many people.

my parents are having a 65th anniversary today; they are having people to a celebration, and hopefully there are flowers and treats there for them while they enjoy this incredibly long marriage. my sister is watching over it. i am here, babysitting, unable to join them, but i will call as soon as possible, and congratulate them. it's really quite amazing.

in texas, on the ground, i am reaching out for help. having gotten the lice out of their hair, hopefully, and being frustrated enough to yell at them occasionally, i find that if i can pack any of them off anywhere, ever, that is useful. they respond to barbies, to books, new plastic, new things to do. they have imaginations. they stay out of the heat when they have to. our job is to get through the summer, after which point school can have at them again, and i'll get a break. at that point all i have to do is esl, teach, do my job, and it will be a relief. in fact that will start july 15. i can hardly wait.


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