Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Whenever I confuse train rides with romanticism, I happen to sit behind the tobacco-chewing fraternity brothers--hand-over-crotch, looking for ass to tap, comparing spring break rendezvouses (which are "the shit")/tropical beaches ("the shit")/blunt binges (pot is "the shit")/Jamaican godfathers, spitting into empty Cherry Coke bottles. One says, I'd fuck Katie. The other says, I know tons of fucking girls way fucking hotter than fucking Katie. Wow, I struck a chord, the one says, when really he means, Wow, I struck a nerve, and I can see how the two could be confused, chords and nerves being as similar as trains and romanticism, and I can see how we are all, at some time or another, careless or lazy or, rather, overeager, but now he has me imagining all our little nerves--especially the ones connected to women named "Katie," maybe covering her, shroud-like, or maybe more like a web--are ill-tuned guitar strings and to strike them is something of a rustic serenade, something like Will Oldham, maybe, or the queen of discordance, Josephine Foster, veiled in a tangle of her own hair, singing "Crackerjack Fool": shrill, tremulous and intoxicating.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
I refuse to believe your forgetfulness, as if you didn’t have an epiphany
when I had an epiphany. We hadn't spoken for some time, your brother had
just won a competition welding bicycles onto the shells of refurbished Impalas, and
Foster Wallace had just hanged himself, though we hadn’t yet heard
and this wasn’t the epiphany. I watched a man in rags on the opposite bank sway in tides,
hunching, unhunching, and you wore such a sensible scarf
for September, paisleys like pond scum rippling out across your neck.
You say you don’t remember the geese’s noisy irreverence or the birch dropping
their gold under our feet, mocking us. I took just enough
steps to keep up, all the while stealing
your private clichés: your self-sacrificing ‘life lessons,’ your 'care deeply’
which you always claimed meant something
other than I meant. But this wasn’t it. I watched you look for his eyes
across the water, because when you see strangers seeing you, you want to wave.
You want to hold him there with you, but while finding his eyes you missed how his arms
arched toward each other, over his head, a wobbling circle,
as if embracing himself or the air. This wasn’t it either.
It was the moment of imbalance: you continuing ahead
in silence while I paused, and saw our man emerge
from the shade: two Canadian geese arching their obsidian
necks away from each other, fighting over something
solid floating out with the tide.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
To avoid processing, I've let others process for me: Alice Munro and Toni Morrison and, most recently, Laurie Sheck. Unfortunately, Munro writes a world in which everything explodes in subtlety. Morrison divides everything in two. Sheck writes words all poets love/hate: "sometimes," "always," "enough."
The point being, I'm in a rut of avoidance. More coming soon!
No Summer As Yet
And no summer as yet, but it will come with its bright peices of whatever,
Sorted by the eye yet still uncaptured,
Greenly branched and various with promise. I'd like to watch it long enough,
Held fast by the laws of its sequencings and shappings, and be so carried, the way the mind goes in
Search of an after that will temper what has come before,
Or sometimes not—: Did I tell you of the man I visited last week, who hasn't lost the ability
To move his tongue, his lips, to laugh or cry or sing or use his voice, yet is unable
To utter any words, just a few unintelligible syllables,
And recognizing this, stares into the face of it
As at the eggs in an opened anthill? I don't know how to think of him. We are so rawly made,
So carried into the harsh and almost-dark.
As if stung in the throat. As if seared by a narrow wire-like blaze
Sharply upon the air and always.