I took this photo at the Mutter Museum's adjoining Medicinal Garden. I enjoyed the garden because it was quiet, shady, had benches, and because I could sit there and relax without having to purchase a $3 latte. The weather in Philly was gorgeous--a tad hot on Thursday, but would a Seattle-ite complain? No way. Friday night a breeze came in from--where, the Jersey Shore? How far away could it be?--and my editor (Henry Israeli) and another Saturnalia Poet (Sebastian Agueldo) strolled the South Street neighborhood after dining at the lovely Pumpkin.
All weekend I was whisked from one delicious meal to the next, from one cozy and inviting home or hotel to another, always attended to by my hosts, the aforementioned Henry, and Harriet Levin, a wonderful poet who teaches at Drexel, where I was honored to visit one of her poetry writing classes.
When I wasn't doing the poet business I was sneaking in some sight-seeing. The Mutter Museum, which I'd been so looking forward to finally visiting, made me kinda nauseous (I think it was the conjoined twin exhibit that brought on a case of the queasies), but this lovely garden revived me in no time.
The day before I wedged a quick trip to the Philadelphia Museum of art between my 11:00 and 6:00 pm readings, spending some quality time with a room full of Pissarros, Manets, Monets, and Cezannes. I also ventured into the contemporary art galleries, and further back to the three Duchamp rooms, a wonderfully unexpected find. [No photography allowed.] I took the above photo while trying to hail a cab back to the Drexel campus. I'd forgotten all going to see the Rocky statue, but then there he was kind of unexpectedly as I walked to the other side of the museum. I snapped a few photos, and then one of this water/ice stand right next to it.
Looking back on my recent East coast odyssey, it seems fitting I was drawn to the medicinal garden, a place where many healing herbs are lovingly presented for all to enjoy. Fitting because all weekend I was taken care of by poets whom I admire and respect--treated as if I were important, as if poetry mattered, as if my poetry mattered.
It was good medicine.