Sunday, December 22, 2019

I Am Not Asleep, But I See a Limb

  • I stayed the night last night in my parents' house in Gaithersburg for the first time in decades for reasons a very few of you know, the rest can guess, I'm typing this in my parents' house Sunday morning, this is the most I will publish about it here or there until and unless I do
  • My house ten miles from here in Kensington is a mile from the main B&O rail line west out of DC, same line as my parents' house in Gaithersburg though the house I grew up in only 200 yards away from the same railroad line, the fastest walk home from Gaithersburg to Kensington or Kensington to Gaithersburg if necessary (and daylight) not 355 but B&O
  • I hear trains when I sleep at home, yes, but not like I heard trains last night in Gaithersburg, all through the night, two, three freight trains an hour
  • Rick Nielsen is 73 today


Frank Stanford

I am not asleep, but I see
a limb, the fingers of death, the ghost
of an anonymous painter
leaving the prints of death
on the wall; the bright feathers
of soft birds blowing
away in the forest;
the bones of fish and
the white backs of strange women;
your breathing
like the slow thunder
on the other side of some river
as you sleep beside me; old
dancing teachers weeping in their offices;
toads with bellies as quiet
as girls asleep in mansions, dreaming
of saddles and pulling the sheets
between their legs; fireflies
going to sleep on moonseed flowers
around a plantation gazebo at dawn;
a girl sweating in bed; hawks drifting
through the moon; a woman’s hair,
the flavor of death, floating
in the fog like a flag
on a ship full of ghosts,
the ghosts of soldiers
searching for the graves of their mothers; june bugs
listening to Leoncavallo;
christ weeping on Coney Island,
inevitable, like a fissure
in a faggot’s ass; a widower
with no sons, a lonesome janitor,
a worm in the sun, the dusty sockets
of poets, who have lost their eyes, their


  1. I hope your parents are okay. I've always liked the sound of freight trains in the night. From a distance. I hear them, even just now. The whistle is like all the blues songs ever written distilled into one note. But from 200 feet, that's another thing altogether.

    You're right about Trump of course. It's rather odd that liberals are now looking back (Obama would not approve of looking back) at Shrub with love and fondness. The man destroyed the Middle East and murdered millions of people, and people are still dying today as a direct result, the tally goes up and up long after the deed. Hello! Trump has yet to achieve anything close to what Shrub wrought. But it's not over until the fat lady sings. Give the poor fellow some time. Someday Liberals will look back with fondness.

    1. Jess *is* dying, but *she* was the fine metaphor abounding

  2. a)i read the wikipedia article on frank stanford and was intrigued by

    truly a remarkable story

    b)i wanted to counterpose something more life-affirming - for example

  3. I'm sorry to hear that, it's tough to go through I know. I turned 68 last month, kind of scary. I've sometimes thought the hardest part of getting old (besides your body falling apart) was losing those you loved along the way.