Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Happy Birthday, Phil (79th)

Phil's favorite short story was "The Machine Stops"
by E.M. Forster. He used in many of his classes over the years. 
Happy Birthday.!!

George Kelley 

Kevin Tipple

Jerry House 


Todd Mason

My Alone House

This is my alone house

Where objects placed by

Moving men a year ago

Still turn up in odd places

Where wedding china

Teeters on shelves

Too high for my reach

 I still haven't found our yearbooks

Or the tartan tea cozy, the Delft tile

But I brought the books you loved

Who could abandon Freud and Thoreau

Though the marginalia is impossible to read

There’s the Slipware pottery you collected

And that’s your favorite chair by the window

Look how it’s never faded

This is my alone house

But since you won’t go 

We’ll have to live together 

In my alone house


*Regard this poem as cathartic rather than depressive.


Brian Busby said...

The lunches we shared in Stratford were the very best. It wasn't so much the food as the company and conversation.

Happy Birthday, Phil.

TracyK said...

It does not seem at all depressive, Patti, but it still makes me sad.

Todd Mason said...

Catharsis is certainly a way to reshape any possibly depressing reality into tribute, and I hope this poem helps you as much as witnessing/reading it helps me...thanks for sharing it. Until yesterday afternoon I had been sleeping all but around the clock for several days, taking just enough time to cook and other necessary tasks (feeding and cleaning litter for cats, as well as playing with and stroking/scratching them, considering the current crises with Alice and a few others, and shifting things around to make new spaces when I can...and over the last several days, between dream sleep and seeing the film version of THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES and starting to read or reread the stories and essays for today's SSW and the delayed one, and being inspired to write stories in conversation with what I'm taking in, if I do...glad you wrote this, to celebrate what has been and remains with you...?oddly. the "easier" or at least slightly narrower texts I'm Doing today (while kicking the ?larger similar project down the future a bit more) are often about time and loss and lack of loss and at least partial revival/sustenance.

...the way things go, and stay. All sympathy.

Jerry House said...

Birthdays, anniversaries, the smiles, the laughter, the touch of a hand...all stay with us. That's a good thing.

Happy birthday to Phil, who was a very lucky guy.

Margot Kinberg said...

That poem will stay with me, Patti... Thinking of you.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Wow, nice. Happy Birthday. Phil was such a nice person. I still remember going for long walks and we'd be a block ahead with Phil going slow to match Jackie's pace.


I finished the Joe Lansdale collection, THINGS GET UGLY. What a mind the man has. Some of the stories are very, very dark, notably "Drive-In Date." (SPOILERS FOLLOW) Two friends go to a movie at the drive-in, and though they act like teenagers, you come to realize they are about 40. When the movie is about to start, they pull their "date" from the trunk. It's a dead woman they strangled, and both of them proceed to have sex with her while arguing about the virtues of a dead vs. a live woman. In the end they dump her body with previous "dates" by the river. Wow. (END SPOILERS)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't know that I could get through that. I downloaded the book but I will skip that one.
Phil enjoyed our times together, especially the one at the Shaw Festival.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Days like today are hard. Happy Birthday, Phil, and gentle hugs, Patti.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Jackie wants you to know that she said it was "beautifully written."

Todd Mason said...

Of course, one thing that Lansdale never does, that some of the more obnoxious splatterpunks do (even if ironically), is Side with the monsters in his stories. Which, if anything, doesn't defang them.

I have a fragment up, now, with some need to go fill some prescriptions and make sure Alice can get home from an appointment she just made with her ophthalmologist...never rains but it pours.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Kevin! Lots of hard anniversaries but we take something good away from remembering them.
Thanks, Jackie!

Gerard Saylor said...

Catharsis is good. I think my mother's grief group has helped her quite a bit over the past couple years.
All my best to you and your family.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks. Gerard. I have a friend in DC who has gotten a lot of support through hers. I never did find one but I do have a therapist.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Brian-Stratford hasn't been the same since you left St. Mary's.
Margot-Hope to see you in La Jolla next March.