Wednesday 4 pm

Work on poems and translations and a book review for PNR--a book about Apollinaire. I have written mostly about Apollinaire. I have another review waiting to be finished, waiting for the final copy of the book itself, so I can, if necessary, correction the quotations I've used from the advance copy.

My own poems--better not thought about too much. It's a pleasure to work on them, and feel I can still change, which is probably an illusion, but it still feels like a worthwhile way to spend my time--and it is the important time of the day. What I read the rest of the day feeds into that. My life feeds into it. 'You must change your life,' says Rilke in someone's translation, and though I'm not a big fan of Rilke, however much I admire his craft and intensity, he is right. You don't change the poetry without changing the life--minutely.

Warm and overcast. Muggy, sort of. Is it the fires up north and down south? I see people smoking in dry grass along our (dry) creek and want to scold them, but don't. Yesterday both the sun coming up and the sun going down had a ominous red tinge through clouds...fog...smoke?

We have a new gardner in our apartment building. The old one got fired, I think, after he suggested we should water more. He was, apparently, sinking into dementia and used to shout quite horribly at his assistant, a minority person. Hearing him, horrified, I'd go out on the balcony and tell him to pipe down, and then he was utterly, disarmingly apologetic. Perhaps the assistant just put it to dementia of some kind, the way the assistants in nursing homes must live with the horrors of scolding old age.

The new gardener has a battered red pickup, and he seemed to be spending his morning tinkering with the watering system.

And now off to Redwood City for a lecture on facts and fiction about sleep... . And maybe on the way home, I'll swing by Portola Valley and pick up some Graventstein apples they had yesterday in a bin out front of the market, when I was on my bike and couldn't take any.