Monday, October 03, 2011

From the Archives: 7 Random or Weird Facts about Huck

(1) I swoon for Commander's Palace Bread Pudding Souffle With Whiskey Sauce. (Recipe here.) I think it's the best dessert in the entire universe.

(2) I was strip-searched by Swiss immigration authorities in Geneva after an overnight train ride from Barcelona during my undergraduate Junior Semester Abroad program travels. Given how I looked at the time, I can't say that I blame them. But, truth be told, I was very nicely treated during the whole process. Seriously.

(3) I gave up a full-ride academic merit scholarship for undergraduate studies at Tulane University to pay to go to Georgetown University. I almost gave my working-class father an aneurysm. (You must remember that I am the oldest child of six kids, with the youngest only 7 years my junior. My parents were looking at a steady stream of college tuitions for six kids spread out over 11 years. To his credit, my father now looks back on that decision and recognizes that it was the best thing I could have done.)

(4) I wrote a Sestina in honor of American writer Bernard Malamud. If you want to read the thing, I've posted it in the comments.

(5) When I was about 12-yrs-old, while playing a street version of cricket that we used to call "Cool Can" in my hood, I ran teeth first into a basketball goal post, suffering nothing more than a cracked front tooth. (Don't ask me how that was even possible without a busted lip and stitches, but I assure you it happened.)

(6) I think this is the greatest breakfast cereal of all time.

(7) Many, many years ago I studied ballet. Really and truly. Still thinking I had the ballet chops many years and many fried shrimp po-boys later, in a fit of Mardi Gras (2005) madness, after having disembarked from my float [I ride in the Thoth parade] on Magazine Street (around State Street), so that a flat tire on our float could be repaired, I gave a brief performance, which some of my graduate students captured on video and, to my horror, posted on YouTube. (Be duly advised: I neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of this clip. Also, you click and watch at your own risk).


Huck said...

Dubin's Dilemma
(With appreciation and gratitude for the life and work of Bernard Malamud)

Plunged deep in a poetic effort on this young
Day, not quite dark, but getting colder as my own winter
Inches forward, I struggle for the right words,
Like the biographer contemplating complex lives.
Today I face the same dilemma as yesterday,
Only this time without the warmth of a love

That was my sole inspiration to compose love
In return. He is an old, broken man today - not the young,
Vibrant chronicler of life that he was yesterday,
This biographer of mine. It is a tragic pity that winter
Freezes his pauperized soul and ices out the well-seasoned lives
Around him. Is it because he is at a loss for words

To bring his own self to life that the words
For his famous subjects often elude him like the love
He desparately seeks from nubile female lives
Of his mid-life sexual fantasies - all as young
As his daughter, whom he sees as a summer in winter?
It is the biographer's impulse to turn yesterday

Into tomorrow - as though the despair of a lost yesterday
Becomes the hope of a richer future through a few select words.
Nature concurs in this as the depression of winter
Melts into a fertile Spring, where seeds of love
Are planted deeply into the center of everything young
And vital. The aged biographer contemplates short lives,

Finding some solace in the fact that he still lives
And can lay claim to an accomplished yesterday,
Even though memories of his own days as a young
Man escape him quietly as do the necessary words
To tell his unhappy story of a stunted love
That never could recover from one long, harsh winter

After another. Am I, too, a lonely winter
Biographer stealing life from other lives?
A parasite that sucks out as much love
From the past as possible and leaves yesterday
Cold and barren? I know, nonetheless, that I need the words
Of the old life-writer, my muse, because I am young;

And my young, unfinished life begrudges me the words
To make my Spring prose of yesterday a Winter
Poem of remembered lives and forgotten love.

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