Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Each Bought an Hour with the Grief Puppet

The traditional aarghy Egoslavian song cocktail, posted last night in response to a conversation I had with the obamaphile friend telling me of the existential importance of this Fall's midterm election, re-posted this morning with context and content. Sterling Bundy, don't you know. But, Democrats, I said. Fleabus on drums and guitars, Stanley singing on the above.


Sandra Beasley

In the nearby plaza, musicians would often gather.
The eternal flame was fueled by propane tank.
An old man sold chive dumplings from a rolling cart,
while another grilled skewers of paprika beef.
Male turtledoves would puff their breasts, woo-ing,
and for a few coins, we each bought an hour with
the grief puppet. It had two eyes, enough teeth,
a black tangle of something like hair or fur,
a flexible spine that ran the length of your arm.
Flick your wrist, and at the end of long rods
it raised its hands as if conducting the weather.
Tilt the other wrist, and it nodded. No effort
was ever lost on its waiting face. It never
needed a nap or was too hungry to think straight.
You could have your conversation over and over,
past dusk when old men doused their charcoal,
into rising day when they warmed their skillets.
The puppet only asked what we could answer.
Some towns had their wall, others their well;
we never gave the stupid thing a name, nor
asked the name of the woman who took our coins.
But later, we could all remember that dank felt,
and how the last of grief’s flock lifted from our chests.


  1. i never heard neil young sing a gordon lightfoot song before - thanks for calling my attention to it

    the line "just like a paperback novel - the kind the drugstores sell" reminded me of a time from my younger days, standing in a drugstore reading some pages from a paperback novel - i was shocked and shaken by the events described (a particular combination of sex and murder that i prefer not to describe further)

    i began reading kunstler's comments about piketty and krugman, but soon stopped - my confidence in kunstler's economic analyses was irrevocably destroyed years ago when i read his assertion that more expensive fuel would mean that double-trailer trucks would no longer carry goods on highways - they would be replaced by smaller trucks - he's very good at heaping scorn, admittedly, but less good at understanding what's going on in a macro perspective, and predicting what is likely to happen next

    1. It's from a new Neil Young album of covers. WFMU been playing it all past week. I liked the song when it came out when I was eleven or twelve.

      I agree with you re: Kunstler - it was posted more to reflect the continuing Piketty noise than for Kunstler himself. It's probably the first time I've linked to him in five or more years.