In Bloom

The Desert Willow:

This fragrant, spunky little tree is busting out its powdery pink crenulated flowers all over Albuquerque. I declare it as resplendent a willow tree as any that ever graced our arid clime, don’t you agree? Don’t you find it a sheer delight as far as willow trees go? Do you? Don’t you? Do you?

Psyche! The desert willow is not a willow at all! It merely sports willow-like leaves. No, the desert willow is Team Bignonia all the way. What I really love about the desert willow is it belongs here: a native to Mexico and the American Southwest that somehow manages to squeeze pretty, blush colored blossoms out of very little water. The more it’s pruned the more it flowers. So yes it lends itself beautifully to metaphors of economy, suffering, and the indomitable human spirit –the likes of which I will spare you from here.

Next up: Beach House–Their new album Bloom is out. If you are familiar with this Baltimore band, you know they are not cranking out tanning oil and daiquiri music. Their house is built on a rainy beach of sawgrass and dreary, gray seas, the sort where dead skippers’ dead daughters wash ashore.

This album is for people who are fed up (like me) with the juvenile notion that summer is fun. Summer is a sweltering, scorching, glaringly bright time for human people everywhere who parboil in their skins and must relieve their agony by throwing themselves into the nearest body of water, no matter how contaminated it is with urinating children. Know what else happens in summer? We get chased by bees for stealing their honeycomb, fall into patches of poison ivy, and grow fat on shish-kabobs. We dive for pennies in public pools, which is demeaning. We sink our faces into buttery corn ears and dripping water melons which is disgusting. Our road trips, in which we unwittingly traverse the Great Plains, too often end in debasement and shame.

So, if your idea of the perfect summer day is sitting in a lawn chair in a rain storm while children scream because their ice cream cones are being washing away and the wind is turning everyone’s parasols inside out, might I introduce you to Beach House? Clicky click on the picture for instant transport to said lawn chair.


Troisieme:The transit of Venus. Another once-in-a-century astronomical event on which to burn out our eyes and perchance fall off our roofs.

Botticelli’s Transit of Venus: This won’t burn out your eyes. Unless you are afraid of naked women.

Happy June, everyone.


2 thoughts on “In Bloom

  1. One of the things I miss most about the southwest is Spanish Broom. There are few plants with such potent fragrance here, and it leaves the senses ambivalent.

    It strikes me now that this post is much about the senses: sight, smell, and sound (perhaps even touch, with the sensuality of the classic piece o’ art.) You must be incredibly smart to weave such a tangled web.

    1. Yeah, Spanish Broom is the bees knees. I call it the Honeysuckle of the West, though sometimes you see honeysuckle out here so that doesn’t really work. You ride your bike by Spanish Broom and it’s like a li’l spritz of perfume.

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