Thursday, February 27, 2020

Adios, San Miguel---PSD's Great Online Newsletters & Criticism: The Devil's Tongue? & 2 Poems

This morning we leave, perhaps our last visit ever to San Miguel.  I like this part of Mexico a lot, this being my third visit, and her fourth but clearly it is a big, wide world with many wonderful places to visit if one choses.  But just being anywhere not driving a cab is gift.  If I needed any reminders of that reality, last Thursday, the day I arrived, we took a local cab from La Gruta Hot Springs to our apartment in San Miguel's Saint Cecilia's neighborhood, the cabbie's old Nissan flying down the road, no speedometer, no mercy upon his errand, working hard for his 200 pesos. Yes, being away allowing me to think, rest, write 2 poems, and read Dickens "Tale of Two Cities;" in general giving me the time and space to be myself, not just another crazed cabbie like the gentleman previously mentioned. Tomorrow I will be back in the cab.  I don't want to be there. 

La Gruta & Spa, San Miguel-Dolores KM 10,, Telephone 415852162

Puget Sound Dispatch's Newsletters to the Drivers

After last week's unsparing comments concerning taxi in general and Seattle Yellow Cab's (PSD)  dispatch decisions, in particular, I consider it only fair that I spotlight something positive, because minus any contrary argument, PSD's newsletter is a smashing success. Why?  What is so startlingly special about this newest effort communicating with the often diffident taxi single owner group/community?  What stands out is PSD's honest attempt to communicate, this most recent issue making an important point about how our now most active account, MV/First Transit, want their customers contacted when a driver is potentially early, the newsletter  providing clear and understandable procedural steps aimed at eliminating confusion and poor service. That this approach is opposite of past behavior is an understatement, Yellow Cab's old "lump it or leave it" (or worse, none at all) directives something all of us are too well acquainted.  Therefore, congratulations to PSD's GM Amin, and Tina, PSD's dispatch manager for making the effort to communicate effectively with our usual wild crew.  Thank you.

The Devil's Tongue

"Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn---and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving." ----Dale Carnegie

"Once in a gold hour, I cast to earth a seed. Up there came a flower, The people said, a weed."---Alfred Tennyson

As I have alluded to, criticism often comes minus real solutions, the trashing of an idea or person the critic's sole objective.  I say this because some might rightfully say that many of my weekly columns are simply harangues and nothing else.  Yes, I continue to find taxi frustrating on too many levels but making unkind or unfair statements never is or should be my goal, objectivity a much better and more civil marker.  Hence forward, I will attempt to balance more effectively my "demon tongue" condemning all and everything to eternal perdition. I promise.

Two Poems

One of my prime writing mentors, the British writer, J.B. Priestley, dying 1984, was greatly influenced, perhaps too much, by Charles Dickens.  This little poem about one writer influencing another traces some writers I have found both enjoyable and helpful down the writing road.  Do, I implore you, check out Kenneth Rexroth's translations from the Chinese and Japanese.  And in terms of the great Tu Fu, he is now often referred to as Du Fu.


                                                    What Dickens Taught J.B. Priestley 

                                           Charles Dickens taught Bradford's JB Priestley
                                           long sentences and how invaluable a narrative device
                                           coincidence is, connecting plot and characters
                                           into plausible, functional wholes.   

                                           Mister Priestley, in fine tradition, imparting to me from
                                           the19th Century carrying into the 20th Century to the                     
                                            now 21st, extended, flowing sentences minus excessive
                                           semicolons while remembering conviction and merit.

                                            T'ang Dynasty's Tu Fu, translated by Rexroth and others,
                                            composed classical written pictures, be they poetry or prose,
                                            saying paint the image where you find it: government
                                            office or floating down a river ignoring civil war.

                                            While Basho, hiking up and down steep northern
                                            mountains, exclaiming brevity never a weakness,
                                             ---a frog leaping,---an ill duck falling,--- a crow upon
                                             a frozen branch.

                                            And Yazoo City Wille Morris stating beyond all
                                            doubt fluidity in word and line beautiful even
                                            if few care or notice, the childhood dog
                                            wagging the writer's tale.

                                                                            8 Pesos 

                                                    He passed me, walking faster, another
                                                    San Miguel worker on his early morning
                                                    way, quickly pulling ahead in a motived
                                                    hurry to his destination.

                                                    Going to La Gruta and its hot water,
                                                    I catch a bus, and one mile later, wait
                                                    for another.

                                                    Suddenly there he is, passing again,
                                                    surprised to see me, my eight peso bus
                                                    fare the 8 pesos he doesn't have, taking
                                                    me where I need, without walking.

There are many real and good reasons why many brave the attempt crossing over America's southern border, not having bus fare when heading to your job, one of them, 8 pesos roughly, at today's exchange rate, 45 cents.  That correct, 45 cents.  Instead of wearing himself out, 45 cents.



No comments:

Post a Comment