Saturday, June 27, 2009


A pink cloud lent dignity by purple shadows
rises serenely behind the red maple, turned black,
that I can see from this window, and that maple
I now realize has a brother: two fine wine-
colored trees that dignify the facade
of the crumpled white firetrap of a house
they stand in front of. Spent the morning
with Sadie, trundling down the hill after breakfast
to get me a coffee and her some time
in the park, getting the cuffs and butt
of her pants wet with yesterday’s rain:
then to visit my old employer, Buffalo
Street Books née Bookery II, where Sadie
was hoping to see Gary’s old white Lab Harry
but Harry, it seems, though ever docile
and sleepy to my remembrance has
a record of snapping at smaller dogs
and so he’s been banned from the store and needs
a new home: anyone in the area who can love
a generous old dog with some quirks
can call the store and ask about it
during business hours. Sadie had herself a poop
so I changed her diaper and then we looked in
at Pastimes the antique store/junk shop
where she was properly ravished by a box of seashells
and an even bigger box of buttons of all descriptions:
blue plastic, brass, pewter, black with rhinestones:
the physical world is more than enough for her
and me too while I’m with her, all that appears
seems to withhold nothing of being
worth grasping, and yet there are basic things
available only to reason, like the sun
as source of all light, not just the light in the sky
but the light from fossil fuels and from wood burning
and of course the eye itself as Ronald Johnson
so beautifully puts it in BEAM 4 of ARK “may
be said to be the sun in other form”:
Sadie just looks, standing in DeWitt Park
as the tree shadows appear and disappear
as the sun makes itself felt and fades again
behind slowly dispersing cloud cover
and she says simply Sun, Sun. So the sun
I see insists on present tense, but it was later
that we got a truly beautiful day going
with high fleets of clouds parading without interrupting
the strong light that warmed everything
and made a kind of invisible steam come up
that made me want to change into shorts, which I did.
Home for lunch and a good bit of tickling
(not too soon after eating) before it was time
for a nap for both of us: funny how kids show they’re tired
by manifesting more energy than ever, like the sun
will at the moment it exhausts its hydrogen fuel
and expand into a red giant that obliterates
everything we’ve thought possible up to now
except for a few science fiction writers, hack
conservators of ultimate hope beyond theology:
Sadie doesn’t explode but she does become uncontainable
by anything except sleep, which comes swiftly
after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar
and being laid down in the crib with the sound machine going:
me by contrast being what’s called a grown-up
moving slower and more heavily as I run out of gas
and yet when I’m horizontal with eyes closed
that’s when my own giant comes to visit
and thoughts big or just persistent
fend sleep off for a while: but I got a few Zs
and some time in the afternoon to read
a book I’m reviewing that I like quite a bit,
Donna Stonecipher’s The Cosmopolitan:
won’t do that here but I’d love to review her name
which seems made up practically and I’ve even
appropriated it for my D&D character: practically
synonymous with lithograph, but with a secret
grafted, and the all-American Donna in front
is just too much: plus her bio says she grew up
“in Seattle and Teheran,” so talk about
cosmopolitan: does she have friends in Teheran
where today there was an enforced calm
that’s likely to bust wide open later in the week:
they’re carrying photos of murdered Neda
where they can and dodging Basiji (sounds
just like the English besieger)
but the regular cops are hesitant and even the
Revolutionary Guard seems split in spite of threats:
I’ll keep watching and hoping from my helpless
distance. Just got an e-mail from Roger
telling me Susan Stewart’s scheduled to speak
tomorrow: I’ll check that out: as a poet-scholar
she interests me though her verse
is a bit too laboriously beautifu:
the lecture’s called “The Freedom of the Poet”
which is the title of a book of John Berryman’s
essays: I certainly like the idea of my freedom
like my freedom to write or to not write
which is the freedom to not be a poet and
the freedom to be confusingly intermixed:
maybe she can clarify that for me
and it will be interesting too to be a student again
however briefly in good old Goldwin Smith.
Also having lunch with Jonathan
Monroe tomorrow, the most rigorous
of my old poetry profs and a prose poet to boot:
we have a long chat maybe once a year
and it always gives me something to think about
that subtly or even drastically
realigns the place I give to poetry and its opposites.
What those are I’ll leave for you
to imagine: it’s getting dark and there’s still a novel
to tap at and my wife I’d like to talk to
before the red sun grows
and sleep arrests us at last.

No comments:

Popular Posts