Month: February 2009

Syrupy Substance and A Trace of Garbage

Syrupy Substance A spot of sweet glue ready for osmosis touched the back cover of my book as it was placed on the table. My finger wiped off the offending matter, enrolling the help of others to dissolve the sweetness (note to self: must wash hands), ordering the diffusion of an all-out warning about a rogue sweet spot, innocent-looking like a drop of water that won’t dry, waiting, perhaps forever, for the coming of an ant. A Trace of Garbage The garbage bag had a hole in it, and the ants followed the path it made from the dumpster back to the building, into the elevator, through the corridor, into the apartment and the kitchen where it all started, or ended. It was an epic story of antesque proportions, telling of unhealthy snacks, empty calories, nutshells, and plain old dust. A forensic ant-analyst concluded a trace of a vacuum cleaner bag had led to a fruitless day of cleaning and dusting, the myth of Sisyphus repeating itself as intended.

R.I.P. Ardavan Davaran

One of my favorite teachers, Ardavan Davaran, died this week. I had seen him one day this year on my way to the grocery store, and I remember thinking I’d wave at him had he not been deeply engaged in conversation at the restaurant where he sat. Had I been him, I would have simply walked through the low bushes separating me from the restaurant window, and knocked with a big grin. He was my first teacher in the M.A. program at NDNU, where I showed up completely unsure of my abilities. After all, I spoke English with an accent, the excuse I proffered when he asked me to read a poem in class. “I’m an English professor with an accent,” he told me. I read, and he congratulated me. Later, I wrote and he congratulated me. When I wrote for the magazine, The Bohemian, he said my story was fantastic.  One night after class, I joined him at Ausiello’s, the local tavern across the train station, and made it a personal tradition to wait …