DEAR FRIENDS, 2/27/2012

Another blown week. I still haven’t started on SAMOVAR AND ZEEMAHOOLA. It’s so easy to get nothing done–especially for writers. Writers are famous for avoiding their work. When Hayden Carruth was alive, and my friend and neighbor, we used to write letters to each other every day. We only lived 20 miles apart and we often talked on the phone, but neither of those are real ways to avoid your work. The evidence of our obsessive avoidance is now in special collections at Bailey Howe Library at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Hemingway sharpened pencils, dozens of pencils, every morning, as a way to avoid his work. Everybody’s got a way.

You can also get a haircut, buy a new chain for your chainsaw, buy dog food, have tea, go to the coop, get gas, go to the bank and hardware, have more tea–all of which I did in the first three days of last week.

On Thursday my wife, Lois, a painter, and I traveled three and a half hours south of here to SUNY Adirondack for the opening of her show, IMPROVISED!, at the art gallery there. Thursday evening, the evening of Lois’ opening, I gave a reading from HAPPY LIFE in the gallery surrounded by Lois’ paintings. Although Lois and I have both been doing what we do for more than 40 years, this is the very first time we’ve ever done a gig together. We’ve always made a point of trying to keep our lives separate from and independent of each other. We’ve been so successful at it that often people exclaim, “I didn’t know you two were married!”

For a little introduction to Lois’ work go to: http://vermontartguide.com/exhibitions/?p=1348. To see a very interesting video of Lois at work and talking about her work, with music by William Parker and Hamid Drake, go to: http://www.loiseby.com/RETN_Video_Interview.html Scroll down, then click on the arrow on THE ARTIST.

There is also a blog put up by John Greenwood about the reading itself at: http://rainingiguanas.blogspot.com/2012/02/artist-evening.html

I’m going to deliver BROKEN WING to my agent today, and I’ll do it electronically; it’s the modern world.

On Thursday, March 1st, Garrison Keillor will read another one of my poems on The Writer’s Almanac. This time it’s “March” from JUDEVINE. If you can’t tune in and you want to read the poem, email me and I’ll send it to you.

More next week.

Sincerely, David Budbill