Tuesday, March 30, 2021
During the Blitz, the Murphy family lived underground most of the time. They were cramped in that burrow for the duration, listening to bombs and rockets crunch above. Then of all times, their daughter decided to learn the tuba. There was no school anymore, they were cooped up below London with nothing else to do. They tried to delicately explain how she really didn’t need to play tuba, there were other things to master like Spanish guitar. But her mind was made up and every day the tin ration cans on the shelf would rattle. Her family found ways of being discreet with scarves wrapped over their ears until they just had to ask her to give them a little peace. It was a war and they couldn’t even hear the bombs! They led her upstairs, out the latched door into what used to be a backyard full of flowers. Her mother placed a chair in the rubble and said, “You can play your tuba here for all the world to hear.” Then her family crept back underground. She sat down and the chair creaked. The tuba was the brightest thing on the landscape, a brass dandelion. One that sounded like the 2 o’clock train bound for Brixton before it was blown off the tracks. The music she played clawed at the air and held on for dear life like all the balloons of prayers that float in a cathedral.
Posted by allen frost at 10:30 AM
Monday, March 29, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
The wind blows the bare clarinet trees, the field is a frozen stage where all the weeds lay flat. My dog stops and points, paw held up. We both stare…We hear the bells on the children marching in a row from the daycare, only no, they’re not…Only a blackberry hedge and a hundred yards separates us from the wobbly line of bundled up penguins coming our way.
Posted by allen frost at 11:41 AM
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
On our dog walk this morning, heard what sounded like a gorilla putting on roller skates. Searching the trees above, I spotted a huge barred owl watching us. Our noble hound wanted out of there pronto. Of course this scene made it into the Yuri Gagarin novel. (Save this anecdote for the Cliffs Notes).
Posted by allen frost at 10:08 AM
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Hello there. I got the idea for a new novel earlier this winter and have been writing it since March--and today I found out that next month is the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin traveling into outer space. It must be kizmet because he is the star of my new book. I'm tuned into the frequency.
Posted by allen frost at 11:05 AM
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
That’s his title. It’s the only part we know. He never told anyone the rest. He works just off the Mount Baker Highway. On the other side of the fence are relics. Old words are stacked in rows like a grocery store. It takes a farmer to know where everything grows. If you need a part for a poem or a story, this is the place to go. Nothing is forgotten, nothing is without repair, the words you’re looking for are here.
Posted by allen frost at 9:58 AM
Monday, March 22, 2021
Friday, March 19, 2021
There were a lot of flowers in those days. It meant something to have them next to the TV, on the kitchen tablecloth, stuck in milk bottles, or dried on windowsills. There were games with buttercups and dandelions. A girl with flowers in her hair walking by was a song you already knew the lyrics to.
Posted by allen frost at 7:39 PM
One winter morning a few years back we were driving along the waterfront not far from the alphabet factory when we had to swerve the car. Letters were scattered in the road, fallen off some truck. It must have just happened. People were still reacting. I saw a man running down the hill with a big red J hooked over his shoulder.
Posted by allen frost at 10:57 AM
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Once upon a time there was an orange horse in a field in Scotland. I remember its name was Fred. That’s what the American called it. He wore cowboy boots. He came from Texas to work on the oil rigs. Whenever he wasn’t at sea, he would go to the fence and hang his arms out and the horse would run to him from wherever it happened to be.
Posted by allen frost at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
First of all, she was late. The night wind and rain shook the black windows. An empty wooden podium, some plastic chairs in a room curtained off from the cafeteria. Most people had already left. I waited. Then the glass door flung open and Margot Kidder blew through. She fought off the weather in a heavy wool coat, and her makeup had run. She apologized, she just flew in. Her speech for Jesse Jackson was rushed and then she was off to the airport again. I held the door for her.
Monday, March 15, 2021
Sunday, March 14, 2021
In her apartment she has a goat, a chicken, and a talking crow. Oh, and a beehive by the window. Corn grows in flowerpots. At night, she can hear the barn owl behind the wall, hunting in the vast dark distance between the standing lamp and the kitchenette.
Posted by allen frost at 12:43 PM
Saturday, March 13, 2021
I would dare myself to pull myself up and look over the edge at the still water and that’s how I spotted all the money. Why did people go to the zoo and throw money at the alligator? Quarters and dimes shined like fish and tempted it to sink and crawl. Then what do you do with an alligator that’s had its fill of coins? Shake it upside down? Turn its tail? They’re not meant for that. Eventually the zoo put up a mesh wall, but there was a time you could lean over and like a bad penny fall right in.
Posted by allen frost at 4:50 PM
Friday, March 12, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
I only knew him as an old man, after his circus days were long gone. When I visited him at his little acre by the pond, he would tell me stories and show me pictures and on sunny days we would go out to the field. He kept the cannon under tarps and ever so gingerly he would crawl inside. When he gave the word, I would light the fuse and I would hold my ears and watch for a glimpse of him going by in the sky.
Posted by allen frost at 7:43 PM
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
He would arrive in the summer in a big white station wagon that had rolled 1000 miles. We’d be on the sidewalk, ready to start all over. For me it was always imaginary, for Bert it was talk. Even at 10, he was already talking like a salesman, telling us how things were done in Montana and how Seattle had a lot to learn. He took over whenever he got out of that Chevrolet and all I could do was play along.
Posted by allen frost at 9:59 AM
Monday, March 8, 2021
The pond stood up out of a hole and left behind the mud and cattails. It stumbled and sloshed with every step. A puddle stuck to each footprint it placed. There were some fish in the moonlight circling inside of the pond. It was careful though not to be seen. It wanted to be quiet. It walked on tip toes, as gracefully as it could. Some more water spilled. It was like two people carrying a heavy aquarium.
Posted by allen frost at 4:00 PM
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Night and the lights of Cambridge were candlewax splashes. Massachusetts is covered with water, slush on the street and the sidewalk leading to it. In those days there were rusty pipes laid underground. A skilled plumber could tap into one, Bergman, Fellini, or Ozu. Movies would gush out in a bright flame that had to be captured and tamed into a river of light. They had to be handled carefully, I once saw Jean Renoir catch on fire, melt to the screen like a pressed flower.
Posted by allen frost at 9:26 AM
Friday, March 5, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
A large moth knocked on the door today. I could see his antennas and fedora through the little window, but I opened the door anyway. What the hell. Let me tell you, there’s no way to prepare yourself for the sight of a 6-foot moth in brown suit trying to hand you a brochure about a better, more peaceful world.
Posted by allen frost at 3:11 PM