Writing from my secret internet connection at the Blue Mtn. Center -- which I have because I'm teaching the last weeks of an online course. It is a fantastically quiet & beautiful place. I've been sleeping well -- did I mention it was quiet? -- and have begun getting my work organized: an essay and a book-length poem. I've taken these first two days to ease into a quiet frame of mind, but tomorrow is the first day of the work-week & I intend to start spending long stretches at my desk. The food is wonderful at BMC & my fellow campers are lovely, an amazingly diverse & friendly & talented group. Sunday is the cooks' day off, so we are responsible for getting our own meals together. Everyone improvises for breakfast & lunch, but dinner is a group effort. Tonight we grilled burgers -- I volunteered to be the burger maker. Others made salads, cut condiments, toted trays of food down to the lean-to. Q. was the grill master & the whole thing came together without a hitch. Clean-up was just as easy: the food was put away & the kitchen spotless in twenty minutes. Just a remarkably sweet, cooperative attitude from everyone. Helping with dinner made me realize how much I love kitchens. Deeply human spaces. Maybe I can get a job cooking here when I retire from teaching.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.