Stories and poems

"The metaphoric image of 'orphan lines' is a contrivance of the detached onlooker to whom the verbal art of continuous correspondences remains aesthetically alien. Orphan lines in poetry of pervasive parallels are a contradiction in terms, since whatever the status of a line, all its structure and functions are indissolubly interlaced with the near and distant verbal environment, and the task of linguistic analysis is to disclose the levels of this coaction. When seen from the inside of the parallelistic system, the supposed orphanhood, like any other componential status, turns into a network of multifarious compelling affinities.'
Roman JAKOBSON, "Grammatical Parallelism and its Russian Facet", Language, 42/2, 1966, pp. 399-429, p. 428-429

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Yesterday I changed the inner tube on one of the wheels of my bicycle for the first time. In French it is called a chambre à air, which literally means an "air room". I changed the air room on my bicycle. I changed my air, I changed the air in my room. I rode on new air, in a new inner room.

Bicycle is one of those words I never know how to spell, and I have think a moment before writing. I always want to put the y in front of the i. In French you can call your bicycle la petite reine.

I love learning how to do new things. It brings out the rawness of life, and reminds me of the joy of process, of old hands doing new things. I get excited and nervous. Luckily there are friends to teach us. Afterwards I felt independent and responsible. September is starting with a new élan, a forward motion or impetus, enthusiasm, pushing me where I want to go.

Crossing the Rhône on Bicycle

Let me go my way,
Put your feet in the water.

Don't come to me,
Let me come.

Let me ride,
calmly and sweetly
down the center
lane of traffic.

Would you like to walk?
I'm staying here, you say.

Your car was parked
in my street yetserday.

Though I feel like it belongs here, I am not sure what this poem has to do with learning new things, though I do see how it is about independence and responsibility. 

I learned to ride late, when I was twelve, and I did it on my own, resentful that no one took the time to guide me through it, to pick me up when I fell. But there must have been some invisible hands holding onto the back rail of my bike. It was purple and white. I would ride it around the safe streets of my neighborhood, curving small town residential roads. 

Now I cross bridges, and avoid the tram tracks. I change inner-tubes, I get my hands dirty. I love the sweetness of being with myself on my bike, just one human on this earth, going against the grain. 

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