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October 28, 2008

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Jim: It's so good to hear your voice again. A beautiful post!

Thanks, Jenny!

I love this post and the invisibility post. Thanks so much for them.

I prefer to be invisible, too. (I don't know what it would be like to feel visible.) And I have always been an eavesdropper.

And as an Ohioan too, I find the state strange, to be sure. All the focus is all on sports in the schools. Everyone sees it as the only way out--an athletic scholarship is the ticket. My children, both grown now, despise Youngstown, but my daughter credits it for having made her a good athlete.

As an environmentalist and somewhat of a political activist I have learned that Cinci is not seen as the most enlightened part of the state. I made the mistake of mentioning the race between Driehaus and Chabot as a matter of concern (since it was pretty close last I checked) to one of the bigger fund raisers for the D party when I was in Cleveland. She said basically--if it's Cinci, you know their policies are bad. R or D. They are both social conservatives. Don't even think about them. But Driehaus is endorsed by the green groups--so I am hoping he will win. Similarly, it's the part of the state where the evangelical nuts have infiltrated the school systems, no?

Lawrence Krauss, the physicist that used to teach at Case Western, fought pretty hard to keep Adam and Eve out of science education. Jeepers. And isn't there some museum there with some kind of diorama with Adam and Eve running around with the dinosaurs? Or is that another city in Ohio?

Ah well. It's Ohio. I just hope it not OH no again on November 4.

Nin, your voice is one I've listened to invisibly over the years, and been grateful for. I actually grew up (until fifth grade) in Youngstown and Cleveland, so consider myself from northern Ohio; in Youngstown, we lived at 2047 1/2 Market Street, behind Crago's Dog Hospital. I can still see and hear it! Of course it's all changed, except in memory. I remember my father taking me to a Cheney-South football game; Cheney's uniforms were red and gold. I've always loved that you were up there, writing that wonderful work. No, Cincinnati is not exactly enlightened; the poet Michael Harper said, You know this is a little southern town, don't you? I tell people it's a reverse-Brigadoon: every hundred years someone gets out. But there are good people here, as everywhere, and some of them even vote for Chabot (aarrghh!). The evangelicals, I have to say, are frightening. You're right about Adam and Eve and the dinosaurs; they have a little "creationism" museum about twenty miles south of here. Hey, they were looking for a congenial environment! My favorite "Cincinnati" comment was in a Columbo episode. Valerie Harper played a high-priced hooker; when she greeted rumpled abashed Columbo at the door, she left it open for him and walked back toward the bed, saying, "Oh, don't be so Cincinnati!"

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Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
                   

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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THE RULE OF THUMB
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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
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that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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