Animals vs. Normandy Sherwood, Steve Zultanski Is a Metamodernist, Ron Silliman Reveals All, & MORE at Huffington Post - OK! We HEART these picks from Seth Abramson’s recent Huffington Post review roundup–especially the much-deserved nod to playwright/performer/costumer Norma...
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
What we did and would and could
What we should
What we did not and why
Which we couldn't
What she said What I said
What we did
How some words flick open, slip sharpened steel beneath the breastbone
How others encyst themselves and grow tumorous, stopping up the lungs
How what was fluid became solid
How the sea was covered in ice and the rain needled down, encasing the cars in brittleness
How a gesture incompleted never--
How stillness shattered
How the leg of a chair flung down
bounces but does not break
Images are of the West River in Sheet Harbour today as it roars between freeze and melt; the poem, a rough sort of sonnet, inspired by one of several exercises my students did several weeks ago, to "write out an argument." Here I was reaching for something that might, as a horoscope said a few weeks ago, "bless the messiness and largeness of desire." Love is never without its hard edges; what matters is that we survive (literally) our madness.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Full clear light, sunshine, sharply
etched colour, and I am
mired in fatigue.
Is this how sorrow feels,
slipping along your spine?
And whose sorrow?
I should open my eyes, should
look upon grey sea and implacable
isles (they break
the waves and are not
when he won't rise
or see another
day. By what
reason comes such
loop of heart or life?
In memory of Steve Rowe.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
I wake from a dream in which small birds are fluttering into my hands. They are the size of finches, but coloured in blues and rusts and creams, as if they were swallows. I place each bird on a scarred round wooden table beneath a tall window and they gather in a huddle. It is cold. We seem to be at one end of a large library: musty volumes line the walls and the space is hushed and dark. Outside, it is winter, and bare branches scratch at the window. One detail stays with me as I wake--just before setting down each bird, I pluck a few feathers from its wings. This seems to frighten them, and hurt them; I do not know why I do it. Waking more fully, I realize that the cat is asleep on my chest. This has happened to me before--am I having her dreams again? She lifts her head and blinks at me.
No, let me own my own cruelty. I should not blame it on the cat.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
When at first you set out, your feet do not know where the road will go, or how.
The head thinks it knows, but it may not.
(After all, in the thick of winter, the leaves were supposed to have loosened, to have fallen. What then of such insubstantial strength, such golden light?)
Who can explain our brittlest survivals? Or the beauty of ice, in a broken space?
It befalls us: inessential, necessary, ordinary--as uncomfortable as prayer.
What is the meaning of life?
Why are only some days full of light?
For those of us already living, what matters in a new year is to perdure, to endure--there is no experience without an undergoing, without perseverance, without suffering.
Lightening struck, we stagger, try to be like that tree that groaning, still stands.
Noble beyond reckoning. Beautiful in every cracked and shattered limb.
All hope is here: not in what is absolutely new, but in what there is to learn from those who carry on, blind as we all are, but abiding, open-hearted.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
After the freeze, a thaw. Rain. Fog. Gusts of wind rattle the frost-bitten branches, toss chunks of ice to the ground. We crush them underfoot. And now another freeze, a breath-stopping chill that icicles your eyelashes. This is the way we will face the new year: swaddled in layers, our cheeks stinging with cold, breath turning to frost as soon as it strikes our scarves.
Last night I dream that everything in my office is burning; there is nothing we can do but get out before the roof collapses. All of my papers, my notebooks, the photos and the books are consumed by flames. In my dream, my only regret concerns the notebooks from last summer, from the trip to Alaska; I've not managed to make anything from them yet. I reach for them, and they whirl apart into cinders. We race from the building, dodge falling beams, and finally stand outside looking up into the night sky. Flames shoot through the roof; we are deafened by the blazing fire.
Suppose indeed, nothing were to be left?
Nothing? What of your memory?
Okay, nothing but my memory.
And the possibilities of imagination.
Yes, that too.
We'd start over again then, I guess.
Or tell new stories.
And what if you were to begin anyway now?
Even without a conflagration?
Yes, even without a conflagration.
I don't know if I could.
You mean you don't know if you could want to.
What is old is new again.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Two nights after Christmas. We are somnolent and turkey-stuffed. The booming draws us to the windows, the flashing lights keep us there. Fireworks! With each explosion, the snow covering Lac Brome lights up. The colours are something out of Breughel, bonfires beyond the trees. The frozen world glitters in the sudden light.