not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


"Let us then, said I, first of all be what we ought to be; let us set ourselves where our nature demands; and then let us yield to the drift of circumstances, endeavouring simply to be true to ourselves. Thus, whatever happens, we shall regulate our circumstances without superfluous anxiety; not by altering things themselves, but by controlling the impressions they make upon us... ."

 Étienne Pivert de Senancour, Obermann

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

this year's first maple leaf

Autumn Movement by Carl Sandburg

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,
       the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things
       come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,
       not one lasts.

Monday, May 25, 2015

spring, you've returned again

innocent like a calf

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

a single thing

Trillium by Louise Glück

When I woke up I was in a forest. The dark
seemed natural, the sky through the pine trees
thick with many lights.
I knew nothing; I could do nothing but see.
And as I watched, all the lights of heaven
faded to make a single thing, a fire
burning through the cool firs.
Then it wasn’t possible any longer
to stare at heaven and not be destroyed.
Are there souls that need
death’s presence, as I require protection?
I think if I speak long enough
I will answer that question, I will see
whatever they see, a ladder
reaching through the firs, whatever
calls them to exchange their lives—
Think what I understand already.
I woke up ignorant in a forest;
only a moment ago, I didn’t know my voice
if one were given to me
would be so full of grief, my sentences
like cries strung together.
I didn’t even know I felt grief
until that word came, until I felt
rain streaming from me.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"a reminder, for me, of an anterior state, a sort of origin"

... Any flower opening into a blossom seems to open my own eyes. Without my knowing so. Without the slightest intentional act by either party. By opening, the blossom opens something else that is much more than itself. When you sense this, it surprises you, gives you joy. Even if now, at times, you happen to tremble like a person who is afraid and who believes, or pretends to believe, that he doesn't know why.

 Philippe Jaccottet, And, nonetheless: Selected Prose and Poetry 1990-2009

Saturday, May 16, 2015

"unnecessary, powerless, priceless things"


   Flowers again? Stepping and phrasemaking again around flowers? Moreover, while still taking more or less the same footsteps and making the same phrases? 

    Yet I cannot help it...

    So I will begin again because it has begun all over again: the wonder, the astonishment, the bewilderment; the gratitude as well.)

Philippe Jaccottet, And, nonetheless: Selected Prose and Poetry 1990-2009

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

heaven's water

"Hair Poem" by Bill Knott

Hair is heaven’s water flowing eerily over us
Often a woman drifts off down her long hair and is lost