Just signed a petition.  I think the last time I signed a petition I was waiting to register at UT one summer—long before on-line registration.  Signed petitions all the time then.  Not sure whose enemies list that might have put me on, probably no one’s.  This petition was addressed to Governor Abbot requesting that the state eliminate the Star Test and use the money instead to rebuild the Texas schools. That standardized test are basically another money grab should be obvious to anyone who bothers with the matter.

I stole that last phrase from Orwell—“Politics and the English Language.”  It’s a good phrase.  I use it often, but in Orwell’s essay in goes like this:  Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit…

To bother with the matter at all, while casual in its tone, suggest that one dips into the subject past the customary slogans.  To bother with—to examine critically, the ponder over, to think something through.  But to think at all invites all kinds of trouble, the poet says while listening to his Mozart playlist.

Another hurricane is moving through the Atlantic, picking up strength.  Models have it possibly moving up Florida, though there are other possibilities.  Late morning, Barbara and I have pedicures. The two Vietnamese women working on our feet have fun with me, suggesting I have my toenails painted like my wife’s.  No extra charge the woman clipping my nails tells me. She also tells my I need to soak in vinegar and water to help with the spots on my feet and legs.  It’s a forty year old rash, and I’ve tried almost everything, but I tell her I will give is a try.  A woman having her toes done in the chair next to us is hiding out in Belton.  Her house is in Houston, and she can’t move back, not because her house was flooded by Harvey, but because sewage and other toxins are in the water all around us, she says.

A friend posts the question about the wisdom in rebuilding in the flood plains along the coast—anywhere along the coast.  That begs the question as to what is and is not now a flood plain.  The same question can be asked about refineries and other industrial sites, but thinking it through leads to cognitive overloads.  Easier to call man made climate change a hoax.  But even if it weren’t man made, the poets asks—though it’s been awhile since he’s written a poem. 

The muse seems out of reach, he explains.

Tomorrow they drive to Granbury for a literary festival.  Three days of poetry and beer in the company of good and congenial people. 



P.S.  The barbeque and poetry is scheduled for Saturday, October 7th at Brady’s house.  You’re invited.