Archive for August, 2014

Daughter’s Song & Dance–A sample page

August 29, 2014 Leave a comment




RT is feeling good about his progress on publishing his mom’s memoirs, A Daughter’s Song and Dance. Not that the process isn’t a bit humbling. This is a 270-page book we’re talking about, and even discovering how to convert a MS Word file into a JPG can take some time, not to mention learning the basics of book design. Still, book production for ADS&D is going fairly smoothly, and RT is posting a sample page to give folks a feeling for what the finished product will look like. RT is proud of this particular page, and notes that the photo is a Dorothy Lange public domain image available on Wikipedia. Anyway, he hopes the effort satisfies. He’s currently setting chapters 17 and 18 (out of 24 total chapters).



 Book Page Image © 2014, The Rag Tree


A Poem, of all Things

August 14, 2014 2 comments


poems, it seems, need to be summoned, often by late-night vigils that don’t have anything at all to do with writing–until an insistent knocking sounds at the door. RT will dispense with his reflections on the particular inspirations here; they also prefer to operate on a free-agent basis, without revealing themselves except at the pertinent moment. no, the muse doesn’t report to RT; she doesn’t ask his permission, either…in any case, here is the latest.



they fall to pieces,

gently, or not


bogart was my

husband  i saw tahoe


it was dangerous to go

i sang at woodstock.

the mind burning, then



bikes my—bekann mwen yo; once it was

my bikes, bekann mwen yo was it once

but in the Haitian order:  symbiont   (Simbi).


***********that memory, the film

reels rotting, burning to dust


the universal exile from youth, complicit

with fact: we proceed to nothing. 

we are learning

desire***not in the moment****but in

************************************our memory

these ghastly bodies no stronger

than words:****she’s dead.

******************her voice gone

li la mouri, the couple in front of the spinning driers

say, vwa li se ale as everyone stares out

******************the plate glass at leaves tumbling

******************through the parking lot… did you say****what?

the words not silent as speechless we watch

an antique car parked, the rainbow gathering

******************against the spent


not silent, the dead report their sense.


© 2014, The Rag Tree.

Illustration: Bowfin (Amia Calva). Duane Raver/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


Storm, Storm, Rainbow



Well, things have been rough at RT’s premises lately. The roughest event was the accident his mother has been living through the last 4 or 5 weeks: at the beginning of July, she fell and broke her leg above the ankle. Now, things have gone well for her and are going better in the last couple of weeks. She had surgery on the day of the fall to repair the leg and then was transferred down to a rehab facility, a good one, as it turns out, in Winchester. She caught pneumonia, but the medical center in Winchester pulled her through with a blood transfusion and the last week or so she’s been sounding sharp and is making respectable progress in the various therapies she is receiving. Her ultimate status is still unclear, but she does seem to be moving in the right direction.


In related news, mom’s memoir, A Daughter’s Song and Dance, has been making excellent progress. RT is looking for manuscript readers even as he begins to assemble print-ready pages for the first two of the story’s three parts. The book is 260 double-spaced pages, but will be longer when RT has finished adding such minor items as an introduction, and it will contain photos and various ornaments, drawings, and scrapbook material. It is turning out to be a bit of a pot-boiler, but of the classier sort, and certainly mom and I have learned a lot about her childhood, early adulthood, and the times she grew up in (not least of which, for RT, has been discovering that the classic Hollywood film, Grand Hotel (1932) has survived; RT wants to buy a copy & watch).

RT is waiting for reader feedback before he makes any decisions about probable publication dates. He does, though, plan both publication online and via a print run of 50-100 copies. How he will finance the print-run remains unclear; perhaps through a crowd-funding site.


RT’s other writing projects have not gone away. Working with a prose project like the memoirs and editing a narrative voice as distinctive as his mother’s has given him some perspective on Gilgamesh, and he thinks that when he returns to the poem (as he most likely will after DS&D is published), it will be with renewed enthusiasm. The Dragons of Grammar, a collection of RT’s posts on the informative and entertaining creatures,  may well be the other project that can completed in a reasonable short period of time.

RT’s blogs have also been on his mind now that things are better with mom, and doubtless he once again will be expostulating on his favorite topics and bloggers.

The DoGs send a fond smoke-ring or two in the direction of loyal readers, and RT adds a wink.        RT


Photo: John Barrymore and Greta Garbo in Grand Hotel. Publicity Still. WikiCmns; Public Domain.