Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Blue [Ink] Day of Cancer

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

JUST ANOTHER DAY ... (not really)

Sheri Swaner to Joanne 10/10/2009

HI and greetings.
I am forwarding an email I received from Dr. David McCann, Scott's mentor, professor and dear friend.
David and Scott remained close long after Scott's graduation from Cornell and Harvard; both experts in their ability
to translate the Korean language and their shared gift of the poetic and written word.

David was also a frequent blogger on Scott's blog; supporting, caring, sharing and loving him through his nine months
of fighting against Pancreatic Cancer.

Dr. McCann was recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, as he states in his kind and eloquent email.
I am so sick of cancer--and the many people I love and care for having to fight against this insipid
and senseless disease; all diseases and illnesses, (far too frequently)
that threaten the lives of those I (we) love.

David also attached a poem he wrote about Scott. It is beautiful and telling of the friendship they shared;
also, their fondness for fountain pens, ink and fine, wanting to be written on, high quality paper.
Paper that makes one drool and elicits, inspires one to be moved, inspired to write.

Scott gifted many of us with ink, pens, journals and great books --
the tools that symbolize, personify some of what he did; the passion
of an expressive and gifted writer and the words that touch, move and impassion us.

I want to share and pass this on to those who know David, either personally,
or through his association of knowing our brother and friend-
This and his beautiful posts and writings on Scott's blog. Whew!

I will remain in contact with David, supporting and caring for him, as he did Scott.
He is such a good, talented man. Both of them are.

Loves and best wishes to all of you.


The poem is attached, titled: BLUE INK. It is also part of one of David's recently published book of poetry,
entitled: _Sijo_.
Yes, it is published and this particular poem, dedicated to Scott.
(yes, to those that are plagiarists- It, is copywrited. ; ) Ya, goofballs.

Reminding me once again, though I don’t need to be, just how much:

Cancer Sucks!


From: David
Date: October 7, 2009, 10:35:52 AM MDT
To: Sheri Swaner
Subject: Re: sijo, Kudos and Scott Swaner

Dear Sheri,

Thanks for your message. I apologize for the delay in replying, but I've been
in sort of a rough patch. It turns out I have prostate cancer, and will be
having an operation on Friday next week. Trying to figure out the treatment
options and such has been a challenge. It does make me think of Scott, of
course; and I've written some other poems about him. I'll attach one sequence
of sijo...

I will hope to be sort of back in stride in a month or so. They say 4-6 weeks
to get going again, and then some interval even after that for the full
recovery. Let's keep in touch.

With all best wishes,


Blue Ink

This ink is blue, though you can’t know
that if you read this in a book,
nor that this ink in a bottle
was given me by a colleague
formerly at U Dub, Seattle,
up the hills from the waters

of the Sound, where one can see
on any day boats as they pass
bound in, away, a metaphor
for the traffic, our commerce, life.
His life stopped near three years ago,
the in and out of his breath.

Yesterday I found an old pen
and cleaned it, soaking, wiping,
twisting the screw control, ink
drifting away from the nib
overnight. Then I made it drink
a barrel full, my friend’s ink.

And I sit here on the couch
writing in this deep blue ink
across the white notebook pages,
anticipant of my own course
of treatment, hoping, ill or well,
to write the end with his gift.

--- David R. McCann

One Reply: Joanne Lee (Scott’s Birth mother)
A very fine writer, herself, and someone I am forever grateful to
for “the gift,” the blessing of Scott.

Joanne Lee to me


Hi Sheri,

Thanks for the poem. Yes, Scott - pens, ink, paper. Of course I didn’t know that about him in the beginning.
Well, not the beginning beginning but the middle beginning. Our beginning. I sent him moleskin notebooks while he was in Korea.
He wanted to know how I knew. He seemed slightly embarrassed by his notebook fetish. I have it, too.
Nothing to be embarrassed about, I said. I shopped pens for him but never bought one.
The ones I wanted for him (for me)? were hundreds of dollars.
Carved. Fine metals. Sleeping smugly in their padded beds.
For years I have had beautiful small potent bottles of colored inks.
They sit, waiting in my art studio. Waiting. For what?
They are so full of that potent beauty that I have never wanted to ask more of them.
Never wanted to stretch their beauty out across a page.
To dilute it. Isn’t it enough to be beautiful in that small potent way?
And paper. I still lust for paper. Collect it. Stack it. Fondle it.
And sometimes, even use it. Splash paint across it.
Frame it under glass – though by then it plays second fiddle.
Melting behind the narcissistic image. Holding space.
Letting its beauty be usurped.

How is it that the very mention of Scott, the memory of Scott brings poetry out of us?
That he lives on in the pens and ink left behind.
Maybe I will buy one of those outrageous pens.
And invite Scott’s spirit to dwell there. In its padded bed.

Sweet Sheri. Thanks for being you.




For: Tiffny , who brought me back to Life.
My Thanks, gratitude and love, always.

Bright Petaled-roses
Scattered on frozen concrete,
Your name
Etched and scrolled
Lay frozen on the ground.

Were you there?
Sitting, waiting for a glance?
Perhaps a chance
To meet
To greet
She is the one I talk with you about?
The “she”
that makes the corners of my mouth
Turn Up-wards
Closer to where you are;
Closer, always closer
To where I look for you-
The space, place of you;
The one that feels at home

Yes, (with her)
I feel like I am home.

I came to visit you
No, Not in the usual way.
(Alone, but not lonely)
I brought her (My “she”)
to introduce-
For you to meet and greet.

Concrete softens,
Falling like rain;
Gentle and wet,
Puddles and memories
Of life
Of death
All mix into One...

Splash, splash
Pitter pitter
pat, pat pat
My HEART now beats
21 Love poems
per minute
For 21 (effulgent) days.