Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sixty-Six Today

The traditional Egoslavian Gabriel Birthday post.
Gabriel is 66 today. I still love - I had fallen out of smitten a couple of years ago, but smitten returned - the great first four and parts of the fifth Gabriel solo albums, forgive me. Here is where I always write some version of the following sentence: I say this every February 13, the November 14, 1982 Peter Gabriel concert at the Warner Theater, the Security tour, holyfuck, one of the best nights of my life. I passed him forward on his way back to the stage during Lay Your Hands on Me. Not one of dozens of five best nights of my life, one of the best nights of my life.


Anne Sexton

In my dream,
drilling into the marrow
of my entire bone,
my real dream,
I'm walking up and down Beacon Hill
searching for a street sign - -
Not there.

I try the Back Bay.
Not there.
Not there.
And yet I know the number.
45 Mercy Street.
I know the stained-glass window
of the foyer
the three flights of the house
with its parquet floors.
I know the furniture
and mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,
the servants.
I know the cupboard of Spode
the boat of ice, solid silver,
where the butter sits in neat squares
like strange giant's teeth
on the big mahogany table.
I know it well.
Not there.

Where did you go?
45 Mercy Street
with great-grandmother
kneeling in her whale-bone corset
and praying gently but fiercely
to the wash basin,
at five AM
at noon
dozing in her wiggy rocker,
grandfather taking a nap in the pantry,
grandmother pushing the bell for the downstairs maid,
and Nana rocking Mother with an oversized flower
on her forehead to cover the curl
of when she was good and when she was....
And where she was begat
and in a generation
the third she will begat,
with the stranger's seed blooming
into the flower called Horrid.

I walk in a yellow dress
and a white pocketbook stuffed with cigarettes,
enough pills, my wallet, my keys,
and being twenty-eight, or is it forty-five?
I walk. I walk.
I hold matches at street signs
for it is dark,
as dark as the leathery dead
and I have lost my green Ford,
my house in the suburbs,
two little kids
sucked up like pollen by the bee in me
and a husband
who has wiped his eyes
in order not to see my inside out
and I am walking and looking
and this is no dream
just my oily like
where people are alibis
and the street is unfindable for an
entire lifetime.

Pull the shades down - -
I don't care?
Bolt the door, mercy,
erase the number,
rip down the street sign,
what can it matter,
what can it matter to this cheapskate
who wants to own the past
that went out on a dead ship
and left me only with paper?

Not there.

I open my pocketbook,
as women do,
and fish swim back and forth
between the dollars and the lipstick.
I pick them out,
one by one
and throw them at the street signs,
and shoot my pocketbooks
into the Charles River.
Next I pull the dream off
and slam into the cement wall
of the clumsy calendar
I live in,
my life
and its hauled up