30 November 2010

After coffee

Looking for that which is skybound: ballerinas, constellations, magic carpets, hot air balloons, flying saucers, Esther Williams.

29 November 2010

All these years and you never knew

Pavlova and her pet swan, Jack

When he was smaller, my 12 year old brother declared he was going to be a geneticist. "Why?" asked our father. "So my grandparents never die," replied my brother.

Soon after she died he wrote a story, 'Travelling Companions', in which William, travelling in Italy from Germany, met her by chance in Milan Cathedral, having first seen her in front of Leonardo's The Last Supper. He loved describing her white umbrella with a violet lining and the sense of intelligent pleasure in her movements, her glance and her voice. He could control her destiny now that she was dead, offer her the experiences she would have wanted, and provide drama for a life which had been so cruelly shortened. He wondered if this had happened to other writers who came before him, if Hawthorne or George Eliot had written to make the dead come back to life, had worked all day and all night, like a magician or an alchemist, defying fate and time and all the implacable elements to re-create a sacred life. -The Master, Colm Tóibín

How to stay immortal, when telephone calls are no longer.

24 November 2010

The Economy of Loss.

That secret stress? The most pedestrian of all: money. I am not yet ready to say goodbye to it all.

It came down to money, the sweetness it added to the soul. Money was a kind of grace. Everywhere he had been, the having of it and the holding of it had set people apart. It gave men a beautiful distant control over the world, and it gave women a poised sense of themselves, an inner light which even old age could not obliterate. -The Master, Colm Toibin

Forgive me my failures.

23 November 2010

My castle, my books.

The secret life has been dull without my pages. Eschewing all with The Master by Colm Toibin, and all I want (untrue) is a day with him and endless coffee.

22 November 2010

Forego the popular for the truly important and always change

I went to Carla's memorial service at Politics & Prose yesterday. I've been having wretched reader's block lately, but I went wild in the remainder room and came home with The Master, Mariette in Ecstasy, The Magus, and The Bad Girl. Thanks for all of it, Carla. I wouldn't have known where Oaxaca was without you.

19 November 2010


Winter's approaching and all I want is alternating layers of lace and cashmere, the cashmere in the form of slouchy, nipped sweatpants. Proper hydration (terrible at it!), fur collar, perfume cloud, and black eyeliner complete a winter uniform, punctuated once weekly by a very short dress with 2 pairs of tights, thick black knit thigh-highs, and heels. Are you thrilled yet?

18 November 2010

T.A.T.: We do laugh.

Going to see old school chum Nick Kroll tonight. We (Amal and me) are really hoping for some Oh, Hello. I know the kids love Fabrice Fabrice, Bobby Bottleservice, and The Ed Hardy Boyz, but I'm partial to Gil Faizon and George St Geegland's white wine and cocaine soaked Upper East Side antics.

G.S.G: Why did you cheat on her?
G.F.: Well, I was on tour.
G.S.G: You were on a museum tour.
G.F.: Yeah, it was an M.C. Escher exhibit. I didn't know which way was up.


17 November 2010

Some rules you don't break

Eugène Atget

Goddess, nymph, concierge of a hôtel particulier- I've done it! I bought a wedding dress.

16 November 2010

Yawn, sigh, stretch, satisfied smile

Dusting off some old moves, my kitten. I revisited some forgotten deeds on Sunday night, and turns out, I've done a thing or two. How quickly we lose all the people that we were.

15 November 2010

Lie about

Dear Kids,

I did a lot of visualizing this weekend. Things like, where we'll live with Teepee's baby, Baby, the rings to mark our band of love and what I want to be when I grow up (a writer, want to hire me?). I did not visualize whirled peas.

Thanks, Mom, for yelling at me. I tried. I will keep trying. I think I might have been too myself this go around, so I don't expect to be chosen, but I will keep trying.

Circle talker

12 November 2010


I missed you yesterday. I was in the shadow of the Jazz Loft with my oldest friend in the world (he gave me a basket of primroses on our tenth friendship anniversary, which was fifteen years ago).

10 November 2010

The clock only ticks when I think of the sharing

A Sea of Queen Anne's Lace, Charles Burchfield

Before winter begins, a gathering of my every-winter tales: Auntie Mame, Vespertine (I listen, a love story), a dip into Proust, the Newberry & the Caldecott lists, fairy tales (H.C. Andersen's "The Snow Queen" in particular). We'll explore more as Demeter waits.

09 November 2010

The Moderns

Henri Matisse

The state of my dress, or undress as is currently stands, remains questionable. All the sAlons are booked, booked, booked. "What will you wear to a certain considerably important Sunday brunch in late March?" bellows the sphinx. "Isabel Archer's 21st century cousin is loaning me something- mauve, I think-" I shout back, good-naturedly, and we both have a good laugh.

08 November 2010


Eyes close, curtain up, in the gloaming there you are, just you and your mother's voice in its best timbre, and here it is: our first lesson in the rhythm of words as sentient beings.

In the great green room
there was a telephone
and a red balloon
and a picture of...

The cow jumping over the moon
And there were three little bears sitting on chairs

Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Goodnight cow jumping over the moon
Goodnight light and the red balloon
Goodnight bears, goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
and goodnight mittens
Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush
And goodnight to the old lady whispering "hush"
Goodnight stars
goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere.

Margaret Wise Brown, 1947

earlier reconsiderations

04 November 2010


We sleep, we rise, we work, we work, we watch, we listen. Most of our hours are spent away. Keep your secret self always strong.

May G-d watch between us when we are apart.

03 November 2010


I had a rather ginny drink last night with R who's in the throes of a wonderfully Bloomsbury moment, apparel-wise, and was accompanied home by the whooshing of my near floor length black leather skirt and a Balthazar baguette (the kindness of strangers, namely when I am with R). He had rejected the skirt, I wore it anyhow. This morning, I said, "you know, R says my skirt is very on-trend." "She's right," he says, distractedly. "It is very un-trend."

02 November 2010

Best to protect yourself

I just had these evil eye rings made in India. They are oxidized sterling silver, set with 18 1.3 mm rosecut diamonds surrounding a single 2.5 mm rosecut diamond center stone. Want one? Want three? Oh, I do love you! They're $288 and are available at Catbird or you can email me directly at leighbatnick@gmail.com. Detail shots will be available shortly - I'm too impatient & excited not to share with you cabbages.

01 November 2010

Consistency lies in longing

Good morning, it's Monday. Let us begin our week with a flight of fancy, involving the M. Building and shoes for Mnemosyne, had she enjoyed champagne, and its 54 million bubbles per glass.