Notes On ‘Blood From Stars’

Dear friends,

Greetings from Bay City, Michigan: The Land That Time Forgot. I spent yesterday, the release day of “Blood From Stars,” in the company of my wife’s 98-year-old grandmother, swatting flies and sipping gin martinis like it was 1967. The air is sweet and breezy, but there is shadow and a fine dust settled over this place that defies even my regular big city reality; though as long as Mrs. Willard A. Fortin and the Tanqueray hold out, I will stop here when I can.

A release day always feels something like a birthday: you walk around, buzzy, imagining that everyone who sees you —even the moody clerk at the post office— recognizes there is something special about you. No matter that it doesn’t last. Nothing does; but new songs in the air liberate one to be awake to the next wave of What Next.

What next? I wouldn’t dare speculate from this sleepy corner of N. Dean Street (beyond tomorrow’s flight on to New York City and a rendezvous with a certain oxtail ragu that —I’ve been assured— has my name upon it). Enough for now to say that “Blood From Stars” still feels very much a living thing to me: like a coffee pot still brewing; a bird lifting; a long line-drive still suspended above the grass —maybe or maybe not within the reach of someone’s outstretched arm; like one of those microbes that mutates because they’re being observed. And I hope it will strike some of you thusly as well.

And like Franklin Roosevelt, voice cracking over the airwaves during perilous times, I’ll tell you straight up and now that I know better times are ahead for all of us. And I am grateful to anyone out there in the dark who might be listening.

19 August, 2009