Name:
Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

17 November 2006

Fresh goes better with life.

Still here.

I've been keeping a list. I keep a lot of lists, actually, and many of them have been works in progress for many years. This is one of them. It will always be a work in progress. You can buy bathroom-reading-rack books that are versions of this list, and of course they're all over this lovely Internet. I've yet to find one that doesn't leave me cold, which I suppose has something to do with the fact that individual taste is highly variable. Which begs the question of why I'm posting it at all. That, dear reader, I leave as an exercise to you.

There is another, dirtier version of this list that I'd like to have read at my wake, but I've chosen to go with the family-friendly rendition for now. If at all possible, please enjoy.

What Makes Me Glad To Be Alive

love
rain
fresh mango
Lili Taylor
mellow cats
Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread
graveyards
thunderstorms
Richard Brautigan
The Beatles
strawberry shortcake
my guitar Juliette
Minnie Driver
brie
Easter egg dyeing and hunting
making an outdoor fire
wickedly dark chocolate
lizards
not having the hiccups
Tom Waits
American Road Theater
used bookstores
drinking grapefruit juice on an airplane
the smell of chimney smoke
piñatas
treeforts
creative graffiti
glass elevators
throwing candy in a parade
tetherball
tamales from the Guerneville taco truck
chili pepper lights
jazz bass
Pippi Longstocking
firing rubber bands one-handed
accents
Ben Folds Five
making lists
walking & conversing late at night
potato pellet guns
letters from friends
cherry popsicles
kids who are smart but not arrogant
muted trumpets
speaking the truth and being heard
dreams with intricate plots
hot tea on a rainy afternoon
blue glass
breathing on a cold window and writing in the fog
splashing about in a river
The Exploratorium
finding earthworms in the soil
the smell of roasting garlic
the way Kurt Cobain sings “soaked in bleach”
Earl Grey tea
“The Girl From Ipanema”
Lloyd Dobler
handpainted cars
Australian/New Zealand films
a bulging Christmas stocking
chocolate macaroons
unfiltered apple cider
my guitar Charlie
Tom’s marinated mushrooms
olive oil
Kim Deal
Green by R.E.M.
drive-ins
Harold & Maude
red seedless grapes
whistling through my hands
traveling alone
lox
happy dogs
Molly Ivins
fresh basil
walking alone in a forest
a ripe Gravenstein apple right off the tree
names of racehorses
kids with no front teeth
the open road
a lemon-melon shake in Banglamphu
the crescent moon
lying in the tall grass
hammocks
Tao Te Ching
a rope swing over water
the shape of a Pablo Neruda ode
my dog Hank
glitter
Hallowe’en/Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve
Maxfield Parrish’s light
wandering
boiled new potatoes with herbs and butter
irony
sweetness
Emma Thompson
the smell of campfire smoke on my clothes
The Andrews Sisters
clouds shot through with shafts of sunlight
my car Miles
going out to eat
thrift stores
Nepal
discovering how to play a new song
chopsticks
mah jongg
the magic 8-ball
finger puppet beasties
sweet white corn with lime and salt
the smell of mown grass
watermelon on a hot day
black-and-white photographs of people
the coexistence of coffee and chocolate
being barefoot
the chord that breaks your heart
Tom Robbins
fortune cookies
drive-by art
smudging
running through sprinklers
sunomono and miso soup
Steve Buscemi
outdoor hot tubs
Georgia O’Keeffe
unexpected money
the funnies
3
Peter Pan
an apt metaphor
creating rituals
Emo Philips
avgolemono soup
calla lilies
vocal harmony
avocado
found poetry
Tolkien
sunflowers
irises (eye or flower)
Edward Gorey
flailing to music, then falling exhausted on a couch
driving on a blue highway in the sunshine
jumping from a hot tub into a swimming pool and back again
running through sprinklers
the silence of snowfall
conversing on the Internet
a big plate of potatoes and eggs and cheese the morning after a party
the solstices
inspiration
Sam Cooke
street theater
The Simpsons
smokehouse almonds
Mama Cass
rainbows
flying
“Cannonball” by The Breeders
Celtic harp
chocolate Kahlúa mousse
Charades
black fine-line pens
starting a new journal
apple-scented soap
glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling
a broken-open pomegranate
sushi belly
a room of one’s own
fries with mustard, not ketchup
getting paid for poetry
wormwood
moon jellyfish
picking up pennies
sleeping in
Billy Collins
Bit-O-Honey candies
whitewater rafting
dark blue and purple clothing ensembles
roasted cashews
skipping stones
the first kiss
e-mail
fresh lavender
my birthday
rereading my poems
carillons
hummingbirds
dipping my fingertips in melted wax
caroling
lentil soup with buttered sourdough toast
autumn in New England
beautiful handwriting
smart vests
sleeping with a cat
plumeria (puti tai nobio)
beaded curtains
rice paper
amber
green tea
mulberries
goldenback ferns
miner’s lettuce
bongo-drumming until my fingers ache
steep Japanese bridges
tiger’s eye
collage
Jonathan Lethem
raspberries from the vine
listening to The Sundays when I have a cold
trenchcoats
coincidence
confidence
pens that write in silver or gold
successfully installing a mechanical/electronic device
the voice of Michael Franks
my mother’s art
a quiet, dark, soft place to sleep
zines
witches
kayaking
hot and sour soup
the vision quest
making a slambang dinner
Mentos: The Freshmaker
grace
euphoria
squid
mist in the redwoods
Sonoma County, California
pumpkin cheesecake ice cream
the elasticity of the English language
redwing blackbirds
hiding places
rapier wit
a shrimp, avocado, sprouts & cheese omelette, two cups of coffee and the paper
the Asian eye
monkey puzzle trees
staying in bed on a rainy morning, dreaming
a fire, a feast, and friends
Laurie Anderson
being a calming influence
the Weetzie Bat books
surprise parties
get-up-in-the-morning jazz
wind chimes
applause
dunking my head under a faucet to cool off
serendipity
karaoke
twist endings
chocolate chip cookies with walnuts
grandly dilapidated houses
Ferris wheels
leaping like a mountain goat from rock to rock
getting flowers delivered to me
pathos
dispensing Pez
haiku
being in a group of really creative people
a pile of quilts on top of me
Daniel Manus Pinkwater
talking late into the night
Pustefix bubbles
magic
sunrise, sunset
remembering that the stars we see are visions of the past
bliss
road trips
black boots
Manhattan clam chowder
Tarot
lanterns
lemon cucumbers
a newborn baby's hands
upper bunks
synchronicity
this
beeswax candles
Nonesuch
a harvest moon
finding letters in the mailbox
slight, unaffected lisps
really snarly hair
impulsive generosity
rolling down sand dunes
the sound of a conch shell
Swedish fish
Eugene V. Debs
accomplishing everything on a “to do” list
intuition
fruit salad in bed on a warm sunny morning
rediscovering favorite books from childhood
surprises
Mexican jumping beans
chocolate-covered halvah
Sarah McLachlan
rosewater
having a waitperson grind black pepper onto my food
Michael Moore
the mountains around Ukiah
rain oil
my car Alice
stormclouds that look like watercolors above a field of vivid green grass
pencil sketches
blackberrying
pennyroyal
salmon-colored sunset clouds
wildflowers
the Paramount Theater in Oakland
shimmering light reflected from riverwater onto overhead leaves
mahi mahi with soy-ginger marinade
playing the whirling leash game with Isabella
kitchen experiments
the branching blue veins that run up the inside of the arm
buckeyes
autumnal twilight
the visible dark of the moon
seeing my name in print
Gene Kelly singin’ and dancin’ in the rain
Marla
the thump of a large dictionary being closed
sliced apple and dry jack; sliced pear and brie
a redtail hawk sitting on a telephone wire
the Sierra Nevada along the eastern horizon
rubbing fresh herbs on my hands
white clay
abalone shell
subversive elements
The Sandman
liking what I see in the mirror
a clean workspace
celebration
bedtime stories
soaking in lavender-scented bathwater
Maureen O'Hara's forehead
squash flowers
ping-pong
community
white cheddar Cheez-Its
hibiscus tea with mint and honey
fougasse
hobbits
Michael Chabon
lying down on my back on a hardwood floor when I'm tired
rural Sebastopol
showing off
left poetry
Chez Peyo
orchids
my father's kindness
fireflies
very lean bacon
Toshiro Mifune
generosity
pounding nails
pinball machines
great blue herons
lightning
paperbacks
Jennie & Isabella
dissidence
devotion
"Blueshift" by Splashdown
being awake
finding money on the ground
Orson Welles
Cerignola olives
cottage cheese with tomato, salt, pepper and crumbled potato chips
metacognition
skylights
lucid dreams
free time
Queen Anne cherries
wisteria in bloom
copper wire
gazebo: the word and the thing
Marvin Gaye
memory
eclipses
sparklers
toasted pine nuts in a green salad
leaving things unlocked
twist endings
custard-filled chocolate eclairs
etymology
Upwords
puppy breath
overcast skies
idiosyncratic one-lane country roads
the red hourglass on a black widow spider
hot-air balloons
pre-gentrification Graton
writing with a rock on a sidewalk
chewing wintergreen Lifesavers in the dark
Humboldt Fog goat cheese
civil disobedience
humility
Cynthia McCabe's laughter
boat sushi
Molten Chocolate Plotz
new music
the rainbow tunnel just north of the Golden Gate Bridge
the twitching of a dreaming dog
building a fire in the fireplace
living within walking distance of downtown
Lynda Barry
ladybugs
Ursula K. LeGuin
thanksgiving
open mikes
good juju
nonviolence as a way of life
Apples to Apples
listening to a new CD for the first time
singing harmony
acacia trees in bloom
a warm day in winter
gratitude
Six Feet Under
Paul Simon
Eleanor Jane Ragsdale
expectancy
snacking on dried vegetables
violets
koi
spring break
Jeanette Rankin
the opening riff to “I Feel Fine” by the Beatles
deep conversations into the wee hours
suspension of disbelief
Caesar salad
survival
a universe of infinite possibilities
Genevieve

4 Comments:

Anonymous Frederika said...

The difference between your list and other internet lists is that I actually care about your list.

One edit: It should be, "waking & conversing late at night," not, "walking & conversing late at night."

Like,

"Are you awake?"
"No. Are you?"
"No. Just checking. But I'm having the nicest dream about you."

What right have I to edit your list, say you? Call it civil disobedience. Looking over the wrong shoulder. I had a contradiction burning a hole in my pocket, and I chose to use it.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Felix Helix said...

I'll go you one better:

Sleepwalking & conversing late at night.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Beth W. said...

If I were to make one of these lists, a story of yours would be on it. I was thinking about that story recently, primarily because I just finished reading Jean Hegland's amazing book "Into the Forest." Have you read it? If not, you should.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Felix Helix said...

I love "Into the Forest". I just reread that story of mine you mention, for the first time in years, and I see what you mean.

Man, that was some beautiful hurt.

2:25 PM  

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