Wednesday, October 31, 2007


from Susan Howe's
The Midnight

I am still moving one wave

twicewashed these are pas-

times voice of evening half

local gold half peregrine red

Where the escaped and their

frolic nobody knows aslant

Style in one stray sitting I

approach sometime in plain

handmade rag wove costume

awry what I long for array

Friday, October 19, 2007

This dank autumn day

It's oddly humid for October, more like July, except the leaves are turning and falling.
K's cat died, rather we "put him to sleep." A moving on. This is the season.

Jean Valentine's new book continues to haunt. Here's why.

I was lying there

I was lying there, half-alive
in a wooden room at a Russian country place.
You sat by me quietly. It's true you left
sometimes, but came back, sat by me
kindly quietly.
Woodsman, would you go back to the little-
light-wrapped trees
and turn them on again?
The hide of the deer shivered
The summer wind riffled through my hair.
You are on
a long, patient, summer visit from death.
I am forgiven. Forgiving. To your place
the next to be born.

To my soul (2)

Will I miss you
uncanny other
in the next life?

And you & I, my other, leave
the body, not leave the earth?

And you, a child in a field,
and I, a child on a train, go by, go by,

And what we had
give way like coffee grains
brushed across paper...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On my mind

By Barbara Guest

The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word
recovered itself, began to spread as grass, forced
as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where
patience looked at grief, where warfare ceased
eyes curled outside themes to search the paper
now gleaming and potent, wise and resilient, word
entered its continent eager to find another as
capable as a thorn. The nearest possession would
house them both, they being then two might glue
into this house and presently create a rather larger
mansion filled with spoons and condiments, gracious
as a newly laid table where related objects might gather
to enjoy the interplay of gravity upon facetious hints,
the chocolate dish presuming an endowment, the ladle
of galactic rhythm primed as a relish dish, curved
knives, finger bowls, morsel carriages words might
choose and savor before swallowing so much was the
sumptuousness and substance of a rented house where words
placed dressing gowns as rosemary entered their scent
percipient as elder branches in the night where words
gathered, warped, then straightened, marking new wands.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What I'm reading: Jean Valentine's new book

The door is fallen down

The door is fallen down
to the house
I used to try & pry open,
in & out,
stiff tears.

I sit underneath the cottonwoods--
what am I meant to be doing?
Nothing. The door is fallen down
inside my open body
where all the worlds touch.

La Chalupa, the Boat

I am twenty,
drifting in la chalupa,
the blue boat painted with roses,
white lilies--

No, not drifting, I am poling
my way into my life. It seems
like another life:

There were the walls of the mind,
There were the cliffs of the mind,
There were the seven deaths,
and the seven bread-offerings--

Still, there was still
the little boat, the chalupa
you built once, slowly, in the yard, after school--

Jean Valentine
from Little Boat