not so much left

februarie 8, 2012

The Word

 Down near the bottom
 of the crossed-out list
 of things you have to do today,

 between „green thread”
 and „broccoli” you find
 that you have penciled „sunlight.”

 Resting on the page, the word
 is as beautiful, it touches you
 as if you had a friend

 and sunlight were a present
 he had sent you from some place distant
 as this morning – to cheer you up,

 and to remind you that,
 among your duties, pleasure
 is a thing,

 that also needs accomplishing
 Do you remember?
 that time and light are kinds

 of love, and love
 is no less practical
 than a coffee grinder

 or a safe spare tire?
 Tomorrow you may be utterly
 without a clue

 but today you get a telegram,
 from the heart in exile
 proclaiming that the kingdom

 still exists,
 the king and queen alive,
 still speaking to their children,

 – to any one among them
 who can find the time,
 to sit out in the sun and listen.

– Tony Hoagland<a


the year of living.

februarie 2, 2012

WHAT THE LIVING DO
by Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.


and song of the season/year:

decembrie 20, 2011

i found this song in a ’11 retrospective playlist (of course) less than one week ago, and am still playing it obsessively. i am so excited every time i actually start giggling nervously at the ringtone (see/hear below). i even had a discussion session w my roomie to try and figure out why this particular song has gotten to me so strong and quick – i am ashamed a bit when this happens: with people, with stuff…she just says, well, it’s a good song with a good video…there are lesbians in it…and masks – of course you like it.
then this morning i got it: this song is literally (i still don’t have a lyrics transcription but they’re easy to hear. especially if you are bilingual) about depression/procrastination. it speaks to me clearly every morning as i gather myself up to get out of bed and at the same time collapse under theguilt of finding everything/anything too hard or senseless to do. it takes good rhythm to get through to my apathy, it takes a breezy sound. i liked that the first direct message was that of lust. i liked the french insert, and the rapping. but in the end what i get out of it is me telling myself „gonna bust it out/ gonna work it out”. the voice of a different me trying to get back to me, blah. i could write a 10 page paper about it but i think i’ve made my point.
two days ago, drinking red wine in bed and twirling my dirty hair, i had the same hazy realization I KNOW i’ve had before: that subconsciously i am aware that things are fine, which is why i’m allowing myself to liminally wallow in this light pool of despair. except when i try to grasp it, it slips away, so in my day to day from a point on i sigh, put one foot after the other out of bed and start doing my minimum. here:


end-of-year days

decembrie 11, 2011

Antilamentation
(Dorianne Laux)

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

Postcard from the Party
(Wynn Cooper)

You have to be invited, and there’s nothing
you can do to be asked. Headlines and bloodlines
don’t help. It’s a long way from home but I’m
here, the view much better than I’m used to.
How did this happen? Dumb but good luck,
right place and time, the planets aligned.
No contract, no deadline, no risk. And what
did I do to deserve this? Slept with all
the wrong people, gambled too much on friends
of friends with light bulbs over their heads.
Wrote every day no matter what.

h/t captain awkward


the iceberg

mai 18, 2011

i went through a stage where i almost stopped reading. i was rereading „the brothers karamazov”, but that’s a totally different matter. i just find it so hard to be interested in anything  now…the escapism bit is tougher and tougher to achieve. well this was the book that did it this time…i don’t know what next…:

tove jansson – ‘a winter book’. a collection of short quasi-autobiographical bits, mostly from when she was a wee kid, lots of them from her holidays on an island. she is apparently more well-known for ‘the moomins’ cycle of kids’ lit, but i’d never heard of her before. this is ‘the iceberg’, a 4-page story:

„it was green and white and sparkling and it was coming in order to meet me. i had never seen an iceberg before.

now it all depended on whether anyone said anything. if they said a single word about the iceberg, it wouldn’t be mine any longer.

we got closer and closer. daddy rested on his oars but old charlie went on rowing and said: „it’s early this year.” and daddy answered, „yes. it’s not long since it broke up,” and went on rowing.

mummy didn’t say a thing.

anyway, you couldn’t count that as actually saying anything about an iceberg, and so this iceberg was mine.”

so at night she goes out of the house, armed with her dad’s torch, and gets back to see it:

„even before i got to the field by the shore, i could see the iceberg. it was waiting for me and was shining just as beautifully but very faintly. it was lying there bumping against the rocks at the end of the point where it was deep, and there was deep black water and just the wrong distance between us. if it had been shorter i should have jumped over; if it had been a little longer i could have thought: ‘what a pity, no one can manage to get over that.’

now i had to make up my mind. and that’s an awful thing to have to do.

the oval grotto with the grating of ice was facing the shore and the grotto was as big as me. it was made for a little girl who pulled up her legs and cuddled them to her. there was room for the torch too.

[…]my hands and my tummy began to feel icy-cold and i sat up. the grotto was the same size as me, but i didn’t dare to jump. and if one doesn’t dare to do something immediately, then one never does it.

i switched on the torch and threw it into the grotto. it fell on its side and lit up the whole grotto, making it just as beautiful as i had imagined it would be. it became an illuminated aquarium at night, the manger at bethlehem or the biggest emerald in the world! it was so unbearably beautiful that i had to get away from the whole thing as quickly as possible, send it away, do something! so i sat down firmly and placed both feet on the iceberg and pushed it as hard as i could. it didn’t move.

„go away!” i shouted. „clear off!”  ”

thank you, tove jansson, for miraculous writing. finding this book effectively made my week.


this spring

aprilie 2, 2011

via branch/alex l.: http://www.branchmagazine.com/

‘gardening’, by stephanie bolster:

 

„under the foxgloves, worms. a white/gleam writhes, cut, under the shovel.

what i doubled multiplies down there/below what i thought i made good.”


via sugar@the rumpus:

martie 21, 2011

http://therumpus.net/2011/02/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-64/#more-72607