It’s Earth Day.
But I am listening to the Tom Waits I picked up yesterday for Record Store Day. And throwing stuff away. And other “stuff,” which should include grading research papers. But isn’t; or hasn’t yet.
Last night, I talked to my friend Gerri on the phone, and she said, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman is on PBS in fifteen minutes,” and I thought, Well, there is my evening suddenly decided.
On the way home from breakfast this morning, I passed a dead bird on the sidewalk. It reminded me of that scene from another movie Meryl Streep was in, though she wasn’t present for the Bird Funeral:
What falls below was written for Kathy’s class, and was meant to be a prose poem, though you can judge: another something about Western Pennsylvania. (I’m still thinking about it all from yesterday; and wondering how it will all come together.)
And The Stillers Are Playin
Mum sez of brudder Joey’s new girlfriend, “Lord, dat woman makes my arse tard.” I ast mum wah she means but she juss goes back ter churnin butter. “J’ew mean she’s abeast?” I axst, but mum sez not to be so nebby all the time, Ethel May. She tells me ter gowan aht an pick beans fer supper. Ridge Road ahn a’summer mornin and dere’s not ah sahnd; yunz wouldn’t even know we’re less than twenny minutes drive ta tahn. We havin’t been dahntahn since Chrissmas, yinz know. They gotta cathedral a’learnin at the cawidge dere. Susan sez she wants werk et Kaufmann’s after skewl. Et Kaufmann’s or et TWA as a sterrdess. The raht to the airport is juss up ere so the planes pass overus all day an I getter thinkin about what it must be like ter ride in wanna dem and if I’ll ever n’at. Susan sez she will, course; course Susan will. Susan’s priddy like an actress wichiz the same as a sterrdess, innit? Susan lays in the house all day sayin she fells sickn’ tard. Well Ize sickn’ tard. My udder sitter Margy’s married now an livin juss up da h’l; I can see her puttin out der worsh. She waves dahn. I make like ter wave. I see mum gowin aht ter da coop; juss fetched the eggs earlier fer breffis. Dad et his eggs an bacon, black coffee; then tookiz lunch pail an wen off ter da mine. Or the beer garten. I getter conjagatin agin bout Joey’s new girl; wonderin if she already rillizes he’s a drunken jaggoff. Mum comes out with wanna the chickens now. She tells me to fetch some melk fer lunch. If I’d a’ad my druthers, I’d a’axst fer galumkis fer later, which I’ve’ad a hankerin for, but I don’t trouble mum now that she’s setter mind ahn dat chicken. Mum’s gotternough ta wurry bout.
I wutch her twist the chicken’s neck like a pop bawdle cap.
That’s when: I start to member.
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Isn’t Tom Waits the best on a record??