‘They know—and can show—love’

I didn’t see Springsteen on Broadway — not the right year or two for dropping that kind of money on a show (after all the money I’ve spent on Bruce shows in the past) — but I’m looking forward to watching it on Netflix this month. I’m also hoping to finish his autobiography sometime in the months ahead, or at least the audiobook. A couple years overdue on that one. But they’ve been busy years!

With the Netflix taping for a hook, Esquire‘s new conversation with Springsteen is a good one, particularly in his thoughts on raising his two sons. How to raise a son in the current world is a discussion Lori and I have around the house pretty often these days. In the interview, Bruce gives a nice answer and hits on qualities we were both pretty fortunate to have our parents encourage. Keeping on…

“… I would say their qualities are, they’re sensitive. They’re respectful of others. They are not locked into a 1950s sensibility of manhood, which I had to contend with. Consequently, their attitudes toward women and the world are free of those archetypes, and that frees them to be who they are and have deeper and more meaningful relationships. They know themselves pretty well, which is something I can’t say for myself when I was that age. They know—and can show—love. And they know how to receive love. They know what to do with their problems. I think they have a sense of process as to how to work on themselves, which is something that I certainly didn’t have at twenty-five. These are the things that I’m proud of my boys for.”

Poems for all seasons, catching up

From a NYT article on Chinese poet Yu Xiuhua:

“What is poetry?” she wrote in an epilogue to “Moonlight.” “I don’t know and can’t tell. It’s when my heart roars, it emerges like a newborn. It’s like a crutch when one walks unsteadily in this unsteady world. Only when I write poetry do I feel complete, at peace and content.”

I’ve been saving these up for far too long! Favorites as they’ve passed across my email and feeds. All worth reading for some kind of fire or peace.

After the Wedding” by John Daniel, via Lori. “…how good it is / to find you now beyond all / the loud joy, driving north in rain / and the lovely ease of our silence.”

Enemies,” Wendell Berry. “If you are not to become a monster, / you must care what they think. / If you care what they think, / how will you not hate them, / and so become a monster / of the opposite kind?”

Antique” by Robert Pinsky. “I drowned in the fire of having you, I burned / In the river of not having you, we lived / Together for hours in a house of a thousand rooms / And we were parted for a thousand years.”

Early October Snow” by Robert Haight. “The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets / shrouded by clouds. / The Weber wears a dunce cap / and sits in the corner by the garage….”

Enough Music” by Dorianne Laux. “…we fall into this rhythm of silence. / It swings back and forth between us / like a rope over a lake.”

Peace” by C.K. Williams, via Lori. “We fight for hours, through dinner, through the endless evening, who / even knows now what about, / what could be so dire to have to suffer so for, stuck in one another’s craws / like fishbones….”

Thanksgiving for Two”  by Marjorie Saiser. “The adults we call our children will not be arriving / with their children in tow for Thanksgiving. / We must make our feast ourselves….”

Ennui” by Elizabeth Murawski. “lightning bolts of sorrow / knowing he’s neither here / nor there my new life / making my way through drifts….”

Dust of Snow” by Robert Frost. “The way a crow / Shook down on me / The dust of snow / From a hemlock tree….”

Bread” by Richard Levine. “Each night, in a space he’d make / between waking and purpose, / my grandfather donned his one / suit, in our still dark house, and drove….”

A Perfect Mess” by Mary Karr. “I read somewhere / that if pedestrians didn’t break traffic laws to cross / Times Square whenever and by whatever means possible, / 
the whole city / would stop, it would stop.”

Frederick Douglass” by Robert Hayden. “…beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world / where none is lonely, none hunted, alien, / this man, superb in love and logic, this man / shall be remembered.”

Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall. “Mother dear, may I go downtown / Instead of out to play, / And march the streets of Birmingham / In a Freedom March today?”

I, Too” by Langston Hughes. “Tomorrow, / I’ll be at the table / When company comes. / Nobody’ll dare / Say to me, / ‘Eat in the kitchen,’ / Then.”

May You Always be the Darling of Fortune” by Jane Miller. “March 10th and the snow flees like eloping brides / into rain. The imperceptible change begins / out of an old rage and glistens, chaste, with its new / craving, spring.”

St. Patrick’s Day” by Derek Mahon. “Not even the love of friends can quite appease / the vertigo, sore ears and inner voices; / deep-draughted rain clouds, a rock lost in space, / yahoos triumphant in the marketplace, / the isle is full of intolerable noises.”

Don’t Bother the Earth Spirit” by Joy Harjo. “Don’t bother the earth spirit who lives here. She is working on a story. It is the oldest story in the world and it is delicate, changing. If she sees you watching she will invite you in for coffee, give you warm bread, and you will be obligated to stay and listen. But this is no ordinary story.”

In a Word, a World” by C. D. Wright. “I love the particular lexicons of particular occupations. The substrate of those activities. The nomenclatures within nomenclatures.”

Walking on Tiptoe” by Ted Kooser. “Long ago we quit lifting our heels / like the others—horse, dog, and tiger— / though we thrill to their speed / as they flee.”

The Late Wisconsin Spring” by John Koethe. “The sky shakes itself out. And the invisible birds / Winter put away somewhere return, the air relaxes, / People start to circulate again in twos and threes.”

Voyage” by Carmen Tafolla. “I was the fourth ship. / Behind Niña, Pinta, Santa María, / Lost at sea while watching a seagull, / Following the wind and sunset skies, / While the others set their charts.”

Prayer” by Francisco X. Alarcon. “a god / who spits / blood from / tuberculosis and / doesn’t even have / enough for bus fare.”

More Than Enough” by Marge Piercy. “Season of / joy for the bee. The green will never / again be so green, so purely and lushly / new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads / into the wind.”

How to behave after leaving a job

The news and digital industries could use more of this respect. But probably more industries as well. You don’t kick your colleagues’ reality to spite management. From Dusty Baker, whom I miss:

Is it vindicating to see the team struggle?

My dad used to always tell me, “If you feel vindication, then you’re feeling it against the same guys you were in the foxhole with.” You’re not pulling for the front office. But it’s hard to pull against them without pulling against the players. You try to be neutral in the situation and not give a s—, but you do.

Parmigiano… gelato

Just a quick note.

Parmigiano “gelato” exists. What a world!

I don’t know how I ran across this article about such a savory spread (and others), but here we are, so much better for the knowledge. Says the recipe, “Good-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano gives it a nutty, satisfyingly salty flavor that makes it a conversation starter at any gathering.” And who could disagree? I personally plan to mention Parmigiano ‘Gelato’ to everyone I meet.

Parmigiano ‘Gelato.’ A little party trick for you: Warm a cup of heavy cream in a saucepan, stir in some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and nutmeg, then transfer that mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until it magically firms up (it’ll take a few hours, but you could also let it sit overnight). Once it’s scooped and spread over toast, the consistency is similar to — you guessed it — gelato! Drizzle it with thick balsamic vinegar (or another sticky, tart thing like pomegranate molasses).

Missing certain sandwiches

The Daily writes and has a video about Al’s Deli, the most wonderful sandwich shop in all of Chicagoland. Once just around the corner, the closest I get to Al’s deliciousness these days is following the deli on Facebook. But it’s still easy to taste the bread and cheese and meat and miss the capital-e Experience.

And the cookies. Can’t forget the cookies.

I ran into a good long-read this winter: “Everything I know about life I learned at Al’s Deli.” Mentioned early in the piece is this deal, which any Al’s customer can testify is great one: “The job paid minimum wage, no tips, but I was promised a sandwich at the start of my shift and a sandwich to take home after work.”