Today is Frank Sinatra’s birthday. That’s it. There’s nothing more important that I’m going to write for December 12, 2012. Whatever follows this simple, clipped sentence is just simply going to fall flat and pale onto the floor. A puddle of oatmeal. Nobody can compete with Frank. Sorry, kiddos.
I’m not sure why Frank Sinatra’s birthday should be so important to me. It has absolutely nothing to do with this article. Not a thing, I mean – not even one darkly-sparkling iota. This article is about the writers Rodney Wittwer and Margaret McMullan and their respective appearances at the final InKY Reading Series at The Bard’s Town this Friday, December 14th, at 6:30pm. That’s the goal of what I am preparing to do here. That’s where I’m going to take you, kittens, when we walk hand-in-hand through the minty valley of Literary Journalism.
When I feel like it. When I’m done handling the smoldering gold of Frank Sinatra. You can wait.
I know why Frank is important to me. That has never been called into question – she says with sunlight just raging all kinds of yellow into her apartment, Old-Blue-Eyes bellowing “The Coffee Song” into a molton Wednesday morning. Her hair might be wet.
Frank Sinatra: He drips honey all over my turntable. Wine makes a fountain of vocal blood out of the speakers. He crackles like a sweet snap of whisky in the throat. We can use other things here, too: dark chocolate, perhaps certain kinds of cream sauce. Velvet works as well, but that’s a fabric.
More here: But why should his birthday – the 97th one that he cannot, in fact, celebrate what with being dead and all – matter to me so much? It is important from the sheer practicality of him needing to have been birthed first in order to flood smoky-rich food imagery all over my sound system. On a human and linear timeline, that needed to be something that happened. Cause and effect. That stuff.
But outside of the necessary function of being born in order to live, my exaltation of December 12th is not a joyous mountain that needs to be scaled for my love of Frank to continue. He has already planted his flag in my soul.
So what am I talking about? I’m actually not entirely clear, either (I wrote an epistle last night; I’m a little drained) but this sounds about right: days are arbitrary. They happen with us or without us. They happen beyond our control, without our permission. They do not invite us to be anything with them. They step all over us; they break our bones and fail to even notice the snapping twig sounds – we are so insignificant, we do not even make a cockroach crunch.
So – like any decent lover who is both ignored and terrified – we pour significance onto them like lava. We make a pumice stone sculpture out of the calendar with anything we can. The monogrammed monument to the arbitrary march of Time built of paper squares.
So I celebrate Frank’s birthday.
And I ascribe unnecessary amounts of significance to this, the final gathering of the InKY Reading Series at The Bard’s Town for 2012. Featuring the writers Rodney Wittwer and Margaret McMullan for this month, the reading will also showcase a performance from the Squallis Puppeteers and, as always, allow room for amateur talent at the open mic.
Wittwer, with poems appearing in Barrow Street, The Literary Review and Ploughshare, and his co-star and author of the novels In My Mother’s House and How I Found the Strong, McMullans will surely be in top form – honey dripping – and will hopefully both excuse me for my obsessive and dysfunctional article-writing.
Here’s to Frank Sinatra. Here’s to the final show of words at The Bard’s Town. Here’s to the end of the world.
The Bard’s Town is located at 1801 Bardstown Road.
Photo: Courtesy of Louisville Literary Arts website www.louisvilleliteraryarts.org