Aug 202015
 

Forest shade, lake shade, poplar shade, highway shade,
backyard shade,café shade, down-behind-the-high-school shade,
cow shade, carport shade, blowing shade, dappled
shade, shade darkened by rain above, shade under ships,
shade along banks of snow, shade beneath the one tree in a
bright place, shade by the ice cream truck, shade in the new-
car sales room, shade in halls of the palace as all the electric
lights turn on, shade in a stairwell, shade in tea barrels, shade
in books, shade of clouds running over a distant landscape,
shade on bales in the barn, shade in the pantry, shade in the
icehouse (the smell of shade), shade under runner blades,
shade along branches, shade at night (a difficult research),
shade on rungs of a ladder, shade on pats of butter sculpted
to look like scallop shells, shade to holler from, shade in the
chill of bamboo, shade at the core of an apple, confessional
shade, shade of hair salons, shade in a joke, shade in the town
hall, shade descending from legendary ancient hills, shade
under the jaws of a dog with a bird in its mouth trotting
along to the master’s voice, shade at the back of the choir,
shade in pleats, shade clinging to arrows in the quiver, shade
in scars.

 

 Comments Off on Anne Carson: Each Day Unexpected Salvation (John Cage)
Aug 112015
 
after Horace, Odes, I, 34.
Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now
He galloped his thunder cart and his horses

Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth
And the clogged underearth, the River Styx,
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest towers

Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one,
Setting it down bleeding on the next.

Ground gives. The heaven’s weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle-lid.
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.

© 2006, Seamus Heaney
From: District and Circle
Publisher: Faber & Faber, London, 2006
 Comments Off on Seamus Heaney: Anything Can Happen
Jun 122015
 

Come here, let me share a bit of wisdom with you.
Have you given much thought to our mortal condition?
Probably not. Why would you? Well, listen.
All mortals owe a debt to death.
There’s no one alive
who can say if he will be tomorrow.
Our fate moves invisibly! A mystery.
No one can teach it, no one can grasp it.
Accept this! Cheer up! Have a drink!
But don’t forget Aphrodite–that’s one sweet goddess.
You can let the rest go. Am I making sense?
I think so. How about a drink.
Put on a garland. I’m sure
the happy splash of wine will cure your mood.
We’re all mortal you know. Think mortal.
Because my theory is, there’s no such thing as life,
it’s just catastrophe.


– Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides

 Comments Off on Anne Carson: …it’s just catastrophe
Jun 012015
 

Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell,
My very young friend who is learning to spell:
“The A is for Ape. And B is for Bear.
The C is for Camel. The H is for Hare
The M is for Mouse. And the R is for Rat.”
“I know all the twenty-six letters like that…
… Through to Z is for Zebra. I know them all well.”
Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell.
“So now I know everything anyone knows.
From beginning to end. From the start to the close.
Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.”

Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor
When I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more!
A letter he never had dreamed of before!
And I said, “You can stop, if you want, with the Z.
Because most people stop with the Z.
But not me!!!
In the places I go, there are things that I see
That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.
I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!”
“My alphabet starts with this letter called YUZZ.
It’s the letter I use to spell YUZZ-a-ma-TUZZ.
You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found
Once you go beyond Z and start poking around!
So, on beyond Zebra!
Explore!
Like Columbus!
Discover new letters!
Like WUM is for Wumbus,
My high-spouting whale who lives high on a hill
And who never comes down ‘till it’s time to refill.
So, on beyond Z! It’s high time you were shown
That you really don’t know all there is to be known.”

“Then just step a step further past Wum is for Wumbus
And there you’ll find UM. And the Um is for Umbus
A sort of Cow, with one head and one tail,
But to milk this great cow you need more than one pail!
She has ninety-eight teats that give milk quite nicely.
Perhaps ninety-nine. I forget just precisely.
And, boy! She is something most people don’t see.
Because most people stop at the Z
But not me!”

“If you stay home with Zebra,
You’re stuck in a rut.
But on beyond Zebra,
You’re anything but!
When you go beyond Zebra,
Who knows…?
There’s no telling
What wonderful things
You might find yourself spelling!”

“Like QUAN is for Quandary, who lives on a shelf
In a hole in the ocean alone by himself
And he worries, each day, from the dawn’s early light
And he worries, just worries, far into the night.
He just stands there and worries. He simply can’t stop…
Is his top-side his bottom? Or bottom-side his top?”

So you see!
There’s no end
To the things you might know,
Depending how far beyond Zebra you go!

The places I took him!
I tried hard to tell
Young Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell
A few brand-new wonderful words he might spell.
I led him around and I tried hard to show
There are things beyond Z that most people don’t know.
I took him past Zebra. As far as I could.
And I think, perhaps, maybe I did him some good…

Because, finally, he said:
“This is really great stuff!
And I guess the old alphabet
ISN”T enough!”
NOW the letters he uses are something to see!
Most people stop at the Z…
But not HE!

 Comments Off on Dr. Seuss: On Beyond Zebra!
May 172015
 

What would it be like
to live in a library
of melted books.

With sentences streaming over the floor
and all the punctuation
settled to the bottom as a residue.

It would be confusing.
Unforgivable.
A great adventure.

 Comments Off on Anne Carson: What would it be like