Sunday, October 12, 2014

That Was the Day We First Realized We Didn't Fully Know Our Names, Yours or Mine, or: Fifty-Nine Today

The traditional Jane Siberry birthday paragraph:

High Egoslavian Holy Day! Jane Siberry is fifty-nine today, her music is inextricably woven into my memories of my first years with Earthgirl, the concerts, especially ones at Goucher College in Towson and in Gaston Hall (Hamster was there) one hundred yards from my cubicle at Georgetown (when she sang an ethereal Calling All Angels even though she'd shifted by then into her one album incarnation as a jazz chanteuse at that stage, before the one album incarnation into a kid's song writer, before she decided she didn't want to be Jane Siberry anymore and reinvented herself as Issa, whose music and art I respect but don't love). When we visit the marina in Deale, the first place we shared, my brain's radio plays Jane Siberry, when I drive by the house in Glen Echo we lived in next my brain's radio plays Jane Siberry.




John Ashbery

That night the wind stirred in the forsythia bushes,
but it was a wrong one, blowing in the wrong direction.
“That’s silly. How can there be a wrong direction?
‘It bloweth where it listeth,’ as you know, just as we do
when we make love or do something else there are no rules for.”

I tell you, something went wrong there a while back.
Just don’t ask me what it was. Pretend I’ve dropped the subject.
No, now you’ve got me interested, I want to know
exactly what seems wrong to you, how something could

seem wrong to you. In what way do things get to be wrong?
I’m sitting here dialing my cellphone
with one hand, digging at some obscure pebbles with my shovel
with the other. And then something like braids will stand out,

on horsehair cushions. That armchair is really too lugubrious.
We’ve got to change all the furniture, fumigate the house,
talk our relationship back to its beginnings. Say, you know
that’s probably what’s wrong—the beginnings concept, I mean.
I aver there are no beginnings, though there were perhaps some
sometime. We’d stopped, to look at the poster the movie theater

had placed freestanding on the sidewalk. The lobby cards
drew us in. It was afternoon, we found ourselves
sitting at the end of a row in the balcony; the theater was unexpectedly
crowded. That was the day we first realized we didn’t fully
know our names, yours or mine, and we left quietly
amid the gray snow falling. Twilight had already set in.