Little White Spots
A reader asked me to tell a story about Theodore Roethke, the poet, who taught at the University of Washington during the sixties where I attended his introductory poetry class, except I was one of the dim bulbs who were shuttled into his overflow class taught by a graduate student. I was not the graduate student's best student. I did drop by Roethke's office and talked with him briefly, mentioning I was bumbling along next door in the annex. I wasn't particularly worried about passing or my grade or whatever, but I realized this guy was the real goods and I was curious what the real goods looked like. I would like to say we talked through the afternoon and then went over to the Red Robin tavern and got drunk and sloppy slipping into incoherence (and iambic pentameter) but we didn't. I belonged in the annex. I still belong in the annex.
The only story I recall was about Roethke and a famous poet from the east coast who came to visit at the school. They went out and got roaring drunk, ending up late that night in the Pioneer Square fountain, singing at the top of their lungs, back in the days when Seattle's Pioneer Square (where the term "skid road" was coined) was a hangout for drunks, college students and poets. Real poets. That's my Roethke story, I don't even remember the name of the famous visiting poet, but I recall he was the real goods too. I'm afraid I've told this story before. The police busted the both of them, of course, singing as they were in the Pioneer Square fountain, but the cops understood these were "Poets" with the capital "P" and the mayor wouldn't like it if they threw them into the tank with regular drunks and college students, so they drove them home.
Wednesday. Ferocious week, this week. This Windows 2000 business has its little
complexities, none of which lend themselves to the land of the 90 day deadline. Still, interesting. I've begun walking to work every day in the clear weather and I'm realizing I should keep it up. Thank God it's the return trip that ends with walking up a hill and not the walk in. Just get myself to take that first step out the door in the morning and I'm gone. Sitting in the office tired in the afternoon realizing I have a half hour's walk in the almost dark with a hill at the end can be depressing, but there's little to do other than to set out. The walk itself is easy, the half hour goes by quickly and I feel a lot better about myself, but Sloth, Sloth, Sloth: I love thee Sloth, I love your upholstered seats and your high powered engine, your soft voice and whispering lips, just sit back and relax, let the world flow past as I dip my fingers into the warm waters below.
I picked up the photographs I used on this page early this afternoon. Slides. Kodak Ektachrome 100s. The first twenty frames on the roll were taken at the end of the going away party for MSP when I ran out of color negative (print) film, which gave me a chance to make a comparison. There is no comparison. The slides look wonderful, the color balanced and sharp with none of the crappy weird assed grain I see in the print negatives, none of the crappy little white spots.