Thursday, October 19, 2017

They Sniffed Us Out of Holes with the Animals They Had Programmed


Daniel Borzutzky

They sniffed us out of the holes with the animals
they had programmed and there are blows in life so
powerful we just don’t know and there were trenches
and there was water and it poured in through our mouths
and out of our ears and there were things we saw in the
sand at that moment of sinking: mountains and daisies
and tulips and rivers and the bodies of the people we
had been and the bodies of the people we had loved
and we felt hooks coming through the trenches and we
felt hooks coming through the sand and I saw hooks coming
through my child’s clothes and I wanted him to know that they
would never be able to scoop us out of the sand but of course
it wasn’t true they had scooped us out of the sand and our
mouths were so full of dirt it is what they do when you’re
dead and they made us spit and they beat us until our mouths
were empty and they paid us for constructing the mountain and
it was me and L and we looked for S and we looked for J and J
and we looked for O and we looked for R and we looked for J
and S in the holes in which the bodies of those we loved were
hiding or dying or sinking or stealing some shelter some little
worm’s worth of cover to keep their bodies from dissolving
into the maniac murmurs of this impossible carcass economy

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Asking Forgiveness of His Tongueless Head


Richard Wilbur

My dog lay dead five days without a grave 
In the thick of summer, hid in a clump of pine 
And a jungle of grass and honey-suckle vine. 
I who had loved him while he kept alive
Went only close enough to where he was 
To sniff the heavy honeysuckle-smell 
Twined with another odor heavier still 
And hear the flies' intolerable buzz.
Well, I was ten and very much afraid. 
In my kind world the dead were out of range 
And I could not forgive the sad or strange 
In beast or man. My father took the spade
And buried him. Last night I saw the grass 
Slowly divide (it was the same scene 
But now it glowed a fierce and mortal green) 
And saw the dog emerging. I confess
I felt afraid again, but still he came 
In the carnal sun, clothed in a hymn of flies, 
And death was breeding in his lively eyes. 
I started in to cry and call his name,
Asking forgiveness of his tongueless head. 
... I dreamt the past was never past redeeming: 
But whether this was false or honest dreaming 
I beg death's pardon now. And mourn the dead.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Eyes Open to the Sound of Pulleys, or: Rest in Peace, Richard Wilbur


Richard Wilbur

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which
The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.
I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash
And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.


Rest in Peace, Richard Wilbur. I liked his poems before Hecht taught me to read him, loved them after.

The above - well, either you saw the posts to Planet late night when she was at college or you didn't. The video goes with it. Two more poems, including the one I stole this post's title from below the fold.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Will the Lighthouses of the Universe Light Up and Blaze?

The blazes on trails in George Washington National Forest are smartly and generously placed and wonderfully maintained, as good as any place I've hiked. If I have basic directions when I'm someplace new - like yesterday! - I never worry we'll get lost. Oddest blazes I've seen, though. Two blazes on a tree almost everywhere I've hiked means pay attention, a fork or turn ahead. Not here.

  • I understand the blue is Tuscarora Trail, the orange Massanutten Trail, the yellow Veach Gap Trail. 
  • Tuscarora's a thru-hike, Massanutten a long loop, not always concurrent w Tuscarora, Veach Gap a spur. 
  • Never saw a blue i.
  • Title of post from Delmore Schwartz's Narcissus.
  • Maybe it's marking which club is responsible for blaze/trail maintenance?
  • PATC is Tuscarora only?
  • I should do research, give that not PATC club some coins in my pocket.
  • Reminder to self: bring your fucking sticks and use them when needed.
  • Also: Colors better on gray days, yo.
  • All I want to do is hike with Earthgirl.
  • Too: The real color in Fall is at your feet. 


Discovered today that Catoctin Mountain Park - not the state, the fed - has reblazed it's trails and created both an orange and a pink circuit - same old circuit, pretty new blazes. Here, when the two are concurrent: