Tag Archives: reading

The Best Cigarette


Once, I went to AP camp. AP camp is where teachers go to learn to teach AP courses. It is terribly nerdy – but there is free beer after five – and so – it’s also kind of perfect. In class on the second day, we were talking about teaching poetry – and reading a Collins’ poem, and this guy to the right of me said, “God, I hate Collins” – and in my head I thought,

“right, so we’ll never be friends.”  

As former smoker – this poem talks about everything I miss about smoking — you know, that nasty,  horrible, absolutely perfect, wonderful habit.



12 weeks till I find myself as a working mom. Yah yah, I know, a working out of the house mom. Lord knows, I’m thinking September will feel a bit like a vacation. But between now and then I have just two things I want to make as much of a habit, as I have made blogging –

One – reading- I used to read books like no one’s business – and now, I read web pages, and status updates. I have a coffee table full of books to read – the stuff I though I would have been reading all along this year – but not so much.  So this summer is it.

Two – Yoga – starting Tuesday, I’m hitting up a yoga a class every weekday that I’m in town and not in surgery. This is an entirely arbitrary goal – not even something I care all that much about, but I’ve decided that I could use some practice at being present and using my breath – so there it is – Yoga on weekdays.

And if by the end of the week I haven’t started either of these tasks, I’ll just come back here and edit this piece, as if it was never here.

Because he was the first author. . .


. . I couldn’t stop reading.

I was sixteen or seventeen the first time somebody told me to read him (thanks Mrs. Walsh or Mrs. Dimock — I’m not sure now) — It was summer reading. . . and I read it twice before the first September bell rang. I loved it so much that the cover came off eventually. Cat’s Cradle made me horrified that we could destroy the world, and made me believe that people can really die of a broken heart.

I ate every Vonnegut book in the library that year, and couldn’t believe that the griminess of life could be so beautiful, “I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool”.

Lately he would show up on late night talk shows, and say something outrageous about our government, about our president, about the horror that is this war, and I would just love him all over again.

Rest in peace you funny, brilliant man —

“Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why?

Tiger got to sleep,
Bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand