Dolly Madison Bvld., Poison Duck, The Rolling Hills of Cincinnati, etc.

Circling down on Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, I was startled to see how the land rolled. The portions of Ohio I’d traveled before — the north parts — were flat as a floor, but the land around Cincinnati was all rilled. Dana, the venerable designer and all-’round Moneypenney at Miami U Press collected me in Kentucky and brought me through five minutes of Indiana and into Oxford where I had a great dinner with some of the folks at the school and woke up in an antique guest house with a sunny porch and unseasonably springlike weather.

The visit followed on like this, one good encounter after another. David Schloss, my editor and benefactor, turned out to be as fun to spend a day with as he was to edit a book with. Ken Tuma, head of the press, was entertainingly salty. Cathy Wagner and her young friend Ambrose delighted. And Margaret Luongo, who I didn’t talk with enough at dinner, turns out to be one of the best short story writers I’ve read in years. I’ll be bugging her.

Out in Washington DC a few days later Open Letters‘ Editor-at-large, J. Eaton took me for a ride in his Harley Sportster down Dolly Madison Blvd. . Coming back to DC he said, “watch how the tops of DC appear to our left — they suddenly come into view, like you’re coming into a European city.” They did. Later, I nearly stumbled into/destroyed Henry VIII’s Christmas-list-under-glass at the Folger Shakespeare Library. I toured surrealist cinima with forthcoming book writer Maureen Thorson. I read outloud in Adams Morgan for Barrellhouse and the gracious Dan Brady. I puffed cigars & ruminated weightily on Paradise Lost on a wrought-iron porch with our Editor-at-large and Adam Golaski.

Home and hungry, I swung by my local Indian place and tried the special, Duck Masala. Nine hours later I woke up sweating, throwing up and, eventually, losing consciousness on the floor. It was the time that I threw up after losing consciousness when both Elisa and I decided a visit to the Emergency Room was in order. They filled me with four (4) bags of fluid to get my heart rate down.

On my birthday, two nights ago, Elisa and I saw a marvelous play: Ted Hughes’ Tales from Ovid by the Whistler in the Dark theater company. The actors depended from aerial silks and assumed perfect godlike and falling-human-like poses as they chorused some of Ovid’s richest stuff (Procne and Tereus, Myrrha and Cinyras). The silks were sails and threads and beds and air currents and seas and sheets. Unique for Theater in Boston there wasn’t a hint of the amateur. This was a stirring, rolling full-throated and full-bodied production, and I’ll be following Whistler in the Dark.

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