Friday, October 17, 2008


It's not even Hallowe'en yet but this is a
Christmas cookie and boy, is it good! I went back and
got another, they're sitting out
on a plate at the front desk, sheltered with plastic from
flies. Anise I guess is what
gives them the Christmas flavor, though anise when I taste it
by the road tastes nothing like Christmas, separated
from the rest of the cookie as it is. First
Christmas cookies and then
jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie and
turkey and then a whole month of nothing but
buy! Buy! Buy! and you know
Christmas is, yes indeed it is, on the way. Then I want to go back to
Detroit where not so very many years ago I watched
an electric train go round and round and a sort of fairy princess in a
tutu spin on a toe in a shop window in the cold where
nobody had any
money but
I could hear real Detroit jazz all weekend and hear my
daughter sing too. And ride there and back on the bus with
another daughter and be cited for contempt for trying to
defend one of them from dope charges. It was
lovely to hear but I think it was her father, not me, she
wanted to sing to, and he was daughter-deaf. Actually
he was wife-deaf too; why do women
want to sing to the deaf? Maybe we
just want to find out
about Detroit. That
jazz went 96 hours, the
saxophonist having traveled all the way from
Jackson just to play all weekend, and we
lucky ones got to hear. Years later the
long walks on icy cold sidewalks
came back to me when I heard
the poet Dumisani pronounce
"Detroit" in French. I can
even remember the
name of the club -
The Unstabled -
where we sat
numb but all ears
and were blessed.

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