Morning Coffee with Dave & Vladimir (not Putin!)


. . . my gray-haired friend, my beloved old conjurer, put a pack of index cards into his hat–and shook out a poem.

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

What a sea-change in my reading! I have no prior experience reading Nabokov, and the librarian where I taught high school turned me on to this volume a couple of years ago. I made a couple of stabs at reading it when too busy as a teacher, but now, in these quieter days, am becoming absorbed into it.

This novel is cast in the form of a 999-line poem, composed in heroic couplets, and divided into four cantos, written during the final twenty days of a poet’s life, and now presented by his colleague, along with commentary on the four cantos. The fiction story emerging from this text was already gripping before I even finished reading the Foreword by the colleague, posing as narrator. These two fiction characters, an old and young professor, along with the intrigue surrounding the deceased’s murder, has me turning the pages back and forth, between poem and commentary, and I am absolutely loving the adventure.

I was particularly smitten by the quote posted above, because it reminded me of what was said about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, with his way of “shaking houses out of his sleeve.” I also recall stories of  the Rolling Stones waiting restlessly around their London studio while Keith Richards, the guitarist, was downstairs picking at his guitar waiting for inspiration to strike. I spend many mornings in my reading at the desk, hoping for some kind of Word from the muse as I pore over texts and explore ideas. I believe that I struck pay dirt this morning. I am so inspired by these ideas that I have resolved to finish the details of my college grading and class preparations as quickly as possible this day so I can return to the art studio this afternoon/evening and see what I can shake out of my hat or sleeve. Perhaps I can open pages from my sketchbook and shake out a painting.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.


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