Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Forty-Eight Keys of the Typewriter, Each an Eyeball That Is Never Shut

  • Saturday's field-recording by Luca Forcucci. Field-recording requests for artists and pieces earnestly solicited. This is new to me. I've learned I really want to learn more.
  • Thanks to everyone who sent Kind words via various methods re: Earthgirl and Planet's art. I've passed it on. Will post more occasionally, every few months or so. They both have blogs over in Me and Mine though both blogs have been dormant. Both say that's going to change. We'll see.
  • Anthony's given his blog an excellent makeover. The content is why you should visit daily. This normally would lead to me whining about fucking blooger and my dead template button, but fuck it.
  • We, the public (existing in your own word).
  • After Sebalds' Austerlitz: Karen Stuke's photography.
  • Sebald poem.
  • Earthgirl lets me play Daniel Menche on trips to and from Ohio! I know I've played him here within the past few months. I like.
  • The Book of Elements.
  • Anne Sexton was born 85 years ago today. There's a story about a woman and Anne Sexton's poetry and my initiation into women and poetry which I've just told you all I'm ever going to tell you whether you're a digital or analog friend. There's a story Tony Hecht told me about Tony Hecht and Anne Sexton (and Hecht praised Sexton's poetry) which I won't tell here but if you ask me when you see me I'll tell you.


Anne Sexton

in the room of my life
the objects keep changing.
Ashtrays to cry into,
the suffering brother of the wood walls,
the forty-eight keys of the typewriter
each an eyeball that is never shut,
the books, each a contestant in a beauty contest,   
the black chair, a dog coffin made of Naugahyde,   
the sockets on the wall
waiting like a cave of bees,
the gold rug
a conversation of heels and toes,
the fireplace
a knife waiting for someone to pick it up,
the sofa, exhausted with the exertion of a whore,   
the phone
two flowers taking root in its crotch,
the doors
opening and closing like sea clams,
the lights
poking at me,
lighting up both the soil and the laugh.
The windows,
the starving windows
that drive the trees like nails into my heart.   
Each day I feed the world out there
although birds explode
right and left.
I feed the world in here too,
offering the desk puppy biscuits.
However, nothing is just what it seems to be.   
My objects dream and wear new costumes,
compelled to, it seems, by all the words in my hands   
and the sea that bangs in my throat.


Anne Sexton

Father, this year’s jinx rides us apart
where you followed our mother to her cold slumber;
a second shock boiling its stone to your heart,   
leaving me here to shuffle and disencumber   
you from the residence you could not afford:   
a gold key, your half of a woolen mill,
twenty suits from Dunne’s, an English Ford,   
the love and legal verbiage of another will,   
boxes of pictures of people I do not know.
I touch their cardboard faces. They must go.

But the eyes, as thick as wood in this album,   
hold me. I stop here, where a small boy
waits in a ruffled dress for someone to come ...   
for this soldier who holds his bugle like a toy   
or for this velvet lady who cannot smile.   
Is this your father’s father, this commodore
in a mailman suit? My father, time meanwhile   
has made it unimportant who you are looking for.   
I’ll never know what these faces are all about.   
I lock them into their book and throw them out.

This is the yellow scrapbook that you began
the year I was born; as crackling now and wrinkly   
as tobacco leaves: clippings where Hoover outran   
the Democrats, wiggling his dry finger at me
and Prohibition; news where the Hindenburg went   
down and recent years where you went flush   
on war. This year, solvent but sick, you meant   
to marry that pretty widow in a one-month rush.   
But before you had that second chance, I cried   
on your fat shoulder. Three days later you died.

These are the snapshots of marriage, stopped in places.   
Side by side at the rail toward Nassau now;
here, with the winner’s cup at the speedboat races,   
here, in tails at the Cotillion, you take a bow,
here, by our kennel of dogs with their pink eyes,   
running like show-bred pigs in their chain-link pen;   
here, at the horseshow where my sister wins a prize;   
and here, standing like a duke among groups of men.   
Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator,   
my first lost keeper, to love or look at later.

I hold a five-year diary that my mother kept   
for three years, telling all she does not say   
of your alcoholic tendency. You overslept,
she writes. My God, father, each Christmas Day   
with your blood, will I drink down your glass   
of wine? The diary of your hurly-burly years   
goes to my shelf to wait for my age to pass.   
Only in this hoarded span will love persevere.   
Whether you are pretty or not, I outlive you,
bend down my strange face to yours and forgive you.