I was satisfied with haiku until I met you, jar of octopus, cuckoo’s cry, 5-7-5, but now I want a Russian novel, a 50-page description of you sleeping, another 75 of what you think staring out a window. I don’t care about the plot although I suppose there will have to be one, the usual separation of the lovers, turbulent seas, danger of decommission in spite of constant war, time in gulps and glitches passing, squibs of threnody, a fallen nest, speckled eggs somehow uncrushed, the sled outracing the wolves on the steppes, the huge glittering ball where all that matters is a kiss at the end of a dark hall. At dawn the officers ride back to the garrison, one without a glove, the entire last chapter about a necklace that couldn’t be worn inherited by a great-niece along with the love letters bound in silk.
You were so small, and the blue of your eyes, and the sun, and the minnows that leaped in the water as though they, too, wished to hear the story, and the laughter we laughed together. Just that, just those, again and again, those memories, and the others gradually fade …
Tell me, are you purposely robbing me of solace?
And then I think, Perhaps this is how you slowly habituate me to the ebbing of pain? Perhaps, with remarkable tenderness, with your persistent wisdom, you are preparing me slowly for it - I mean, for the separation?
"The curtain white in folds,
She walks two steps and turns,
The curtain still, the light
Staggers in her eyes.
The lamps are golden.
Afternoon leans, silently.
She dances in my life.
The white day burns."
— Harold Pinter’s “Paris,” a poem for Antonia Fraser.
May Lost be all you hoped for with answers swift and sound; May the hours ripen quickly and joyfulness abound. May Juliet not have died in vain with the pounding of her rock Let Sawyer live free of pain and survive the coming shock. May Jack and Kate deal with the things that frustrate us so much And Sun and Jin share a time that allows them love’s fine touch. Provide us with more moments that shine on Daniel’s mind Oftentimes these are the clues the viewers need to find. May Hurley break the ”curse” that follows him around, Let his spirit salve the cuts our Losties may have found. Give Sayid a solid peace he so desperately desires Shield him from the evil plans that Ben tried to inspire. Let us know where Claire has gone and how she stayed alive And lead her back to Aaron’s life so motherhood survives. Help us to remember Charlie’s sacrifice Let it have more meaning than simply tumbling dice. Give us a bright future for Desmond and his Penn If a reboot is in store, let them find their way again. Protect our dearest friends, the lovely Bernard and Rose, Explain the young Walt’s powers before the end of shows. Know we have a special place for Vincent in our hearts Keep in mind our knees are weak from all the stops and starts. Tie up the big loose ends like what happened to John Locke Let us know what happens to the shepherd’s misled flock. Inform us on the feud that has stained the beach’s soil, Is Jacob the white light or just the loophole’s foil? Does the Man-in-Black represent all that is so evil Or does he just protect the island from upheaval? But all these questions pale to one from our Lost designers Are the eyes of Richard A. really natural or guy-liner?
When the world ends, I will be in a red dress. When the world ends, I will be in a smoky bar …..on Friday night. When the world ends, I will be a thought-cloud. When the world ends, I will be steam in a tea kettle. When the world ends, I will be a sunbeam through …..a lead window, And I will shake like the …..semis on the interstate, And I will shake like the tree …..kissed by lightning, And I will move; the earth will move …..too, And I will move; the cities will move …..too, And I will move, with the remains of …..my last paycheck in my pocket. It will be Friday night And I will be in a red dress, My feet relieved of duty, My body in free-fall, Loose as a ballerina …..in zero gravity, Equal at last with feathers …..and dust, As the world faints and tumbles …..down the stairs, The jukebox is overtaken at last, And the cicadas, under the eaves, …..warm up their legs.
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old, Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love, A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother, Chair’d in the adamant of Time.
"O to have life henceforth a poem of new joys! To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on, float on! To be a sailor of the world bound for all ports, A ship itself, (see indeed these sails I spread to the sun and air,) A swift and swelling ship full of rich words, full of joys.”
"It is thus, if there is any rule, that we ought to die— neither as victim nor as fanatic, but as the seafarer who can greet with an equal eye the deep that he is entering, and the shore that he must leave." - E. M. Forster
A favorite poem:
Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.
- Crossing the Bar, Alfred Lord Tennyson
A new favorite song:
"Death is just a door, Blake said it first. It’s just another room we enter, it’s a threshold that hurts. Birth is just a chorus, death is just a verse In the great song of spring that the mockingbirds sing. We come and we go, a-weeping and a-wailing, Our heads in the hands of the nurse. Well, put your head on my shoulder, baby, tell me where it hurts. You say you lost your one and only, could it get any worse? I said, death is just a door, you’ll be reunited on the other side.”
- Blake’s View, M. Ward
It seems that we need metaphors to bravely face death, either our own or another’s.
The backstory is great. Dybek met an Asian tourist couple on Michigan Avenue on the windiest, coldest winter night. The wind was blowing so hard they couldn’t even manage to take pictures of each other. So the author offered to take a picture of the couple by bracing himself against a no-parking sign. After he took the picture, the male tourist, whose English was no good, just held up his guide book to Chicago (that proclaimed us the Windy City, of course) and said over and over as thanks— Windy City! Windy City!— as if the city had not let him down at all.
Windy City by Stuart Dybek
The garments worn in flying dreams were fashioned there— overcoats that swooped like kites, scarves streaming like vapor trails, gowns ballooning into spinnakers.
In a city like that one might sail through life led by a runaway hat. The young scattered in whatever directions Their wild hair pointed, and gusting into one another, they fell in love.
At night, wind rippled saxophones that hung like wind chimes in pawnshop windows, hooting through each horn so that the streets seemed haunted, not by nighthawks, but by doves.
Pinwheels whirred from steeples in place of crosses. At the pinnacles of public buildings, snagged underclothes—- the only flag—-flapped majestically. And when it came time to disappear
one simply chose a thoroughfare devoid of memories, raised a collar, and turned one’s back on the wind. I remember closing my eyes into a swirl of scuttling leaves.
I have almost nailed my left thumb to the 2 x 4 brace that holds the deck together. This Saturday morning in June, I have sawed 2 x 6s, T-squared and leveled everything with three bubbles sealed in green glass, and now the sweat on my tongue tastes like what I am. I know I’m alone, using leverage to swing the long boards into place, but at times it seems as if there are two of us working side by side like old lovers guessing each other’s moves.
This hammer is the only thing I own of yours, and it makes me feel I have carpentered for years. Even the crooked nails are going in straight. The handsaw glides through grease. The toenailed stubs hold. The deck has risen up around me, and now it’s strong enough to support my weight, to not sway with this old, silly, wrong-footed dance I’m about to throw my whole body into.
Plumbed from sky to ground, this morning’s work can take nearly any- thing! With so much uproar and punishment, footwork and euphoria, I’m almost happy this Saturday.
I walk back inside and here you are. Plain and simple as the sunlight on the tools outside. Daddy, if you’d come back a week ago, or day before yester- day, I would have been ready to sit down and have a long talk with you. There were things I wanted to say. So many questions I wanted to ask, but now they’ve been answered with as much salt and truth as we can expect from the living.
I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body’s weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity, — let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.