Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch


Since the overhaul at Type Pad has made it impossible for me to share the artifact I had in mind tonight, I will instead tell you of the Bean. Kim and Sami were at the movies tonight -- they're just now arriving home -- so I got to do solo tuck-in duties for the first time in a while. That meant reading her two Angelina Ballerina books in the master bedroom while Smokey looked on. Every time I read the first volume in that series, I crave Mrs. Mousling's cheddar cheese pies. When we were done, Skylar pleaded with me for one more book. I told her it was late, but eventually consented to read her a few poems. I opted for Michael Palmer's Sun, explaining that he was a famous writer -- in our circles, anyway -- who had been her mom's teacher at UC Berkeley. I read one. Then another. "More, dad!" I read two more. "Is he dead?" I explained that he wasn't, that I had seen him read in Tucson last year, showed her his picture off the back of Sun. "Is that what he looks like now?" I told her that the picture was from the time when he was her mom's teacher, then tracked down his new book The Company of Moths so she could see a more recent one. "He hasn't changed much, has he? Would you read me a poem from that book too, dad?" I consented to read one more, then added another for good measure. "That's spooky," she concluded. But she would gladly have listened to ten more. And the thing is, I could feel her understanding the deeper workings of Palmer's poetry. She has such a refined instinct for abstraction that she can appreciate form and still sense the passion underneath. I can't wait to take her to some real art museums.

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