Monday, September 22, 2014

Old Cave of Calcium Icicles, Old Echoer

Mocomofos, how many times in your life have you driven over the bridge over Northwest Branch on the Beltway between New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard exits, looked into the gorge and wondered what was down there? Not as many times as I wondered what was down there, probably, so how many times have you driven over that bridge in your lifetime without giving it a second's thought? I always thought it was a paved bike path, but no, it's a very cool hiking trail, especially just south of 29 at Burnt Mills, it's a rock-scramble past the falls of Northwest Branch. Yes, Northwest Branch has rapids. Anyway, now you know what the Beltway bridge looks like from below, at least yesterday.

  • Nick Cave is fifty-seven today, and if his music doesn't work for me like it once did and his birthday is no longer an Egoslavian Holy Day that doesn't mean his music never worked for me and his birthday was never an Egoslavian Holy Day, so his birthday needs noticed.
  • So, the daydreams about bleggal hiatuses. Like I told the DC United executive re: my fall out of love with United, it's not you, it's me. The daydreams have always been inextricably bound to my reading slumps and I'm in one now, and now the daydreams occur whenever the dark moods prevail and the dark moods prevail more and more often. It's not you, it's not the ups and downs of pings, it's not reciprocity or its lack, it's not the self-censorship on what I would write here if I were stupider/more reckless/less respectful of others' privacy/braver. It's really not you, it's me.
  • Hikes help.
  • Bleggalghazi.
  • Arthur Silbur checks in. Hey, throw the coins in your pocket at him.
  • Blogfriend Corrente asked me to ask you to throw some coins at this blogfriend of Corrente.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • New Inquiry's Sunday reads.
  • Theodore Roethke, for those of you who do.
  • Beckett, for those of you who do.
  • Morton Feldman, for those of you who do. So yes, there is a Feldman cascade in this blog's near future.


Sylvia Plath

I am a miner. The light burns blue.   
Waxy stalactites
Drip and thicken, tears

The earthen womb
Exudes from its dead boredom.   
Black bat airs

Wrap me, raggy shawls,   
Cold homicides.
They weld to me like plums.

Old cave of calcium   
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,

Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish—
Christ! they are panes of ice,

A vice of knives,   
A piranha   
Religion, drinking

Its first communion out of my live toes.   
The candle
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,

Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?   
O embryo

Remembering, even in sleep,   
Your crossed position.   
The blood blooms clean

In you, ruby.   
The pain
You wake to is not yours.

Love, love,
I have hung our cave with roses,   
With soft rugs—

The last of Victoriana.   
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,

Let the mercuric   
Atoms that cripple drip   
Into the terrible well,

You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.   
You are the baby in the barn.


  1. cave

    Never Again The Same

    Speaking of sunsets,
    last night's was shocking.
    I mean, sunsets aren't supposed to frighten you, are they?
    Well, this one was terrifying.
    People were screaming in the streets.
    Sure, it was beautiful, but far too beautiful.
    It wasn't natural.
    One climax followed another and then another
    until your knees went weak
    and you couldn't breathe.
    The colors were definitely not of this world,
    peaches dripping opium,
    pandemonium of tangerines,
    inferno of irises,
    Plutonian emeralds,
    all swirling and churning, swabbing,
    like it was playing with us,
    like we were nothing,
    as if our whole lives were a preparation for this,
    this for which nothing could have prepared us
    and for which we could not have been less prepared.
    The mockery of it all stung us bitterly.
    And when it was finally over
    we whimpered and cried and howled.
    And then the streetlights came on as always
    and we looked into one another's eyes --
    ancient caves with still pools
    and those little transparent fish
    who have never seen even one ray of light.
    And the calm that returned to us
    was not even our own.

    James Tate

  2. See, now I'd have been way more impressed if they had asked you about whether they should give Saint Benny a long-term contract.