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Posts Tagged ‘Amherst MA’

I like the pun in roundabout, because while this is an update of yesterday’s post, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it is straightforward or not.

I asked a question yesterday on Facebook about Amherst’s new double rotary, aka Atkins’ Corner, and my pal, Baer, aka sweetmojo, sent me this link. It is a safe link to download and open (at least it was for me), but lotsa luck reading the damn thing. This is just how my friends are: thorough, leaving no stone unturned. Now I have to be responsible and read why I can’t have a bike lane in the roundabout. You know I’d rather rant than admit there’s a good reason Amherst does anything at all with my tax money. Okay, some of it was state money. I pay that, too.

I know we’re a little town, not a state capital or anything. I remember the bike lanes in Madison. I remember.

It’s not that I think it’s safe to make a bike lane in a roundabout necessarily. I just wonder why time and again when I see street improvements in Amherst, they do not include proper bike lanes. And everything else I said yesterday, too. But God forbid I should get involved in local politics. Remember how busy I am?

Maybe by spring they’ll complete the shared sidewalk/bike lane with some sort of entrance/exits for cyclists and I can see if it meets with my approval.

Props to you, Baer. You didn’t think I was gonna let facts stand in the way of my bitching, did you? That said, the divine biker in me bows to the divine biker in you.

This guy has a bike lane and he looks like he needs to chill the fuck out. They even painted it green for extra specialness. Lesson learned: happiness comes from the bike lane within.

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what, me bitter?

You already know about Amherst’s new, 6 million dollar double roundabout, right?

Guess what? NO BIKE LANE. At least not one that I can see. Maybe I am simply short on oxygen due to my recent bout with anemia. But I don’t think so.

6 million dollars, 2 years’ construction, and NO BIKE LANE. It appears that there’s a new wide sidewalk still being completed. Are bikes expected to share the sidewalk? WHO’S RUNNING THE ASYLUM people?

Also, it seems to me that as you get within an eighth-of-a-mile of the new roundabout, the breakdown lane that used to exist has almost completely disappeared. Instead of a 3″ white line and about a foot and a half of shoulder before the berm and sidewalk (this is actually only if you are lucky because in some spots on 116 the “breakdown lane” disappears almost completely), now there is a white line and about 12″ of “breakdown” lane. Next to that? About a 4″ high curb. NO ROOM FOR ERROR. Where is a cyclist supposed to go?

Oh, Amherst, you vex me. You vex me terribly.

When push comes to shove on your politically correct ass, you fall short, so short.

I’m not too into machismo, but I feel a wee bit of schadenfreude when I watch this:

I didn’t even mention all the trees that came down in the construction, some of which, according to the Shade Tree Commission, could have been saved.

 

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One of the definitions of submit is to yield or surrender to the will or authority of another

Yesterday, I got a rejection letter. The good thing about it is that they responded in less than a month. The bad news is that I feel crappy about it. We all know the stories, we all know we have to keep at it. We all know that within the next several months, I’ll be submitting and submitting and submitting and that I’ll get rejected until I can’t take it any more. But I ran into a poet acquaintance Thursday night and he just got his manuscript accepted. It will be published in January 2013. And it took him 10 years. And his poems are good, really good, just the way I like them.

I happen to know that submitting is one of the four responses to being attacked. It is also, obviously, the last: fight, flight, freeze, submit. It’s a funny word to use for sending poems along for consideration, especially when poets have to deal with all the levels of meaning of words: puns, double-entendres, shadings, gradations, and so on and so forth.

In a similar vein, there was an Amherst Block Party on Thursday night—a town first. One of my favorite “living statues” was there. She dons a long, old-fashioned dress, buttoned to the top, and wears a sort of bonnet on her head. She sits at a writing desk with an open book, fountain pen, and a small box in front of her. When you put money in her basket (on the ground), she opens the box and gives you a little Emily Dickinson verse scrolled up and tied with a ribbon. I mean, teeny-tiny. She is all spray-painted in a copper-ish paint. I simply love her. Failed, however, to have my camera on hand, so you’ll have to wait for another time for a photo.

#71

It makes no difference abroad,
The seasons fit the same,
The mornings blossom into noons,
And split their pods of flame.

First of all, this verse is GORGEOUS. Breathlessly gorgeous and sensuous.

It also reminds me of several Sacred Harp songs. Not so much the sentiment, because here Dickinson is not writing about death. But the words and the sounds of the vowels and the images and that time in which Emily lived. That time to which we will never return and yet to which we are bound by the same sun and moon and seasons.

These lyrics are from 1830. The song is in a major key which fills me with a strange cognitive dissonance when I sing it.

#436 Morning Sun 

Youth, like the spring, will soon be gone
By fleeting time or conquering death,
Your morning sun may set at noon,
And leave you ever in the dark.
Your sparkling eyes and blooming cheeks
Must wither like the blasted rose;
The coffin, earth, and winding sheet
Will soon your active limbs enclose.

I am not submitting yet. I’m still fighting.

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Riding past the same stretch of road on my bike just now, I saw, flung and crushed in the hayfield to the side of Moody Bridge Road, an empty Atkins’ Farms’ plastic cupcake holder (for SIX cupcakes).

Now if y’all stay tuned until tomorrow, I think I may start a series called write ‘n’ bitch. It’s got the same ring as bike ‘n’ bitch if you ask me, with the short i sound and all. But SPOILER ALERT bitching about writing poetry may not really be the thing I need, may in fact, strike the wrong note when it does come to submitting to literary journals. But, hey, it’s just li’l ol’ me, humble, homey, trying to twinkle in the face of rejection. I gotta do something to keep my sense of humor.

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I added one mile on my bike ride tonight since my last ride. And I added one mile per hour, too (mostly because I was doing more downhills). I went through one loop of Amherst’s new, 6 million dollar, double-roundabout, perhaps the most puzzling road construction I’ve ever lived through. WTF, Amherst, WTF?

photo from Daily Hampshire Gazette 8-1-12

not my car, but about the size of any car that should be expected to fit in the mini-lanes of our new roundabout

*

I keep singing this in my head. From my kids’ iPod, but a song which she got from her Dad.

How good is this song? So Good. So Blue.

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First, Hallelujah, we have wi-fi from an unprotected network. As long as I sit on the upper deck of our house rental (from which I can see the ocean of Cape Cod Bay, can see the sand peeking through the water at low tide—even without my glasses—can feel breeze on my bare skin), I get reception.

BUT WAIT! I have now adjourned to the bedroom, on the same side of the house as the deck, and I have connectivity! No mosquitoes, just the sound of the bullfrogs from the huge pond below! This Cape gets better every minute!

I made a mistake in my recent post, thinking that the puzzle-head sculpture was in front of PAAM; as I was walking in town later in the day, I realized it was in front of one of the many galleries on Commercial Street. You know how I like to be accurate if at all possible, so I thought I’d let you know.

Here are two more photos of sculptures of heads, both of these from the excellent sculpture park, deCordova in Concord, Mass:

I don’t really know why I am putting these here now except that they are extremely cool works of art….

I have much more to share. Provincetown; my poetry; my poetry workshop; the amazingly cool, inspiring, fun, beautiful, poetic, art installation at the Emily Dickinson Museum, “Dwell in Possibility,” which we managed to sneak in on Friday before we left town for the Cape. I’ll give you a peek:

You know, this exhibit has been up for weeks and weeks and although I’d driven by parts of it a number of times, the family waited to see it until the day before it was to be taken down. BUT, oh, how worthwhile. So much to tell, so many poems to post….where to begin?

Internet is sketchy unless I’m on the deck and tho the moon be full and lo I want to write and post, I will retire for now. I think the poems I have been working on in the last little while of my life are good. I am getting better at editing.

Just know that I can see the flat ocean in the distance; it is close, not even a quarter mile down the slope

July is the month of my birth


					

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(4 minutes to midnight, just getting in under the Thankful Thursday wire)

I am grateful for many things today, but I am feeling quiet.

I started teaching at The Alexander Technique School New England yesterday (assisting on the training course in an on-going internship) after about a 2-year hiatus. I will be teaching every-other Wednesday. (This is the school where I trained as an Alexander Technique teacher from 2000-2003).

It felt good to be back and putting hands on and giving good instruction. Really good.

In the world of the Alexander Technique, one thing we learn is how to recognize subconscious habits of tension and reactivity; hence it makes sense that I’ve been feeling quieter today.

I thought of a stupid pun:

undue tension

undo tension

Since I can’t seem to come up with much to write, maybe you’d like to take a gander at this (if you’ve got 10 minutes or so). Amazing and little slice of goofy film making:

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