Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Louisiana dreaming...

My time at the NCCAT blog is done--or nearly so--and I'm back from the Carolinas after 34 days away. Cullowhee and Aiken and Pawley's Island might be on a distant star, they seem so far off. Only now and then they come close for an instant in an image--the blue ranges behind the cardinal flowers, a child kneeling in the sand to draw a face on top of a newly covered grave, a tiny purple crab emerging from an equally purple soft coral floating at water's edge.

Post-Katrina, I've been thinking a lot about my years in Gramercy and Baton Rouge: lizard earrings with Maxine; giant spiders in the holes behind the house; the tomatoes that grew up into the trees; my moonflowers and cucumber vines; the parakeets that always flew away; False River Lake; eating plums under the bamboo; "my" alligator turtle; tree frogs slipping from leaves and pattering onto the ground; shrimp going off like springs; clanking pails of claws. They say that I was fluent with the Cajun children next door, but I don't remember those words, only that I loved Louisiana so much that it took me many years to find another place to be content.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.