Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Clearing the Sill of the World

I’d be one of the first killed in a nuclear exchange with Russia
I work two miles from the White House
live four miles outside DCwithin two miles of Walter Reed and NIH
For 58 years I’ve lived within fifteen miles of DC
grew up during the Cold War
never fretted nuclear annihilation once
Do I think the stub-fingered ickiest shitlord sociopath
(at *this* given moment in time in shitlord narrative)
would destroy the world rather than lose everything while getting Gaddafi-ed
Hillary laughing?

Whitewashing America's wars
Olive above, c'mere, c'mere, c'mere, go away
Russian TrumpPutin's Bannon
From Russian pipelines with love
The ethical dimension
New: Jonathan Crary's *Scorched Earth*
Everything was beautiful
Great gameWhy even try?
Richard Wilbur born 101 years ago today
Explanation for below in link above



Richard Wilbur

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back, 
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten.  I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.


  1. the complete quotation from 'cat's cradle' is

    everything was beautiful and nothing hurt

    1. 1/my mistake - the quote is from billy pilgrim, protagonist of 'slaughterhouse five'

      2/i was thinking of the following, from cat's cradle -

      God made mud.
      God got lonesome.
      So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
      "See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
      And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
      Lucky me, lucky mud.
      I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
      Nice going, God.
      Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have.
      I feel very unimportant compared to You.
      The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
      I got so much, and most mud got so little.
      Thank you for the honor!
      Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
      What memories for mud to have!
      What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
      I loved everything I saw!
      Good night.
      I will go to heaven now.
      I can hardly wait...
      To find out for certain what my wampeter was...
      And who was in my karass...
      And all the good things our karass did for you.