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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

dreaming of a destiny sublime

"When our dream of the lovely and the true grows dim in our wavering thoughts; when the image of harmony falls from its high estate and is wrapped in the fogs and shadows of earth; when nothing survives of our affection or our hope; when we pass away on the ceaseless stream of time, fleeting irrevocably like the world around - my friends! she whom I have lost and you so far away, how can we congratulate ourselves on having had the gift of life?

What is there that can truly support us? What are we? A sorrowful blending of blind matter with free thought, of hope with bondage; urged on by an invisible breath in spite of our complainings, grovelling beneath clear skies on the miry soil, crawling like insects on the muddy paths of life; and yet until the very last moment, dreaming of the pure raptures of a destiny sublime."

Obermann, √Čtienne Pivert de Senancour

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

fish and the vortex

Dogfish from Mary Oliver's Dream Work

Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman’s boot,
with a white belly.

If you asked for a picture I would have to draw a smile
under the perfectly round eyes and above the chin,
which was rough
as a thousand sharpened nails.

And you know
what a smile means,
don’t you?


I wanted
the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
  where it falls
down over the rocks: an explosion, a discovery;
  I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,
whoever I was, I was

for a little while.


It was evening, and no longer summer.
Three small fish, I don’t know what they were,
huddled in the highest ripples
as it came swimming in again, effortless, the whole body
one gesture, one black sleeve
that could fit easily around
the bodies of three small fish.


Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don’t we?



the dogfish tore open the soft basins of water.


You don’t want to hear the story
of my life, and anyway
I don’t want to tell it, I want to listen

to the enormous waterfalls of the sun.

And anyway it’s the same old story – – –
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world.


And look! look! look! I think those little fish
better wake up and dash themselves away
from the hopeless future that is
bulging toward them.


And probably,
if they don’t waste time
looking for an easier world,

they can do it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


The Farm

Frank stooped, pulled the lever, popped the trunk.
Ma closed her jacket, pretended to preen over last year's garden,
Clots and clumps of soil, the sunflowers solemn shepherds, soft shouldered.
John and Harold put the suitcases in
and Molly shifted her feet, crinkled her pretty dress's hem.
She wanted to look nice so had forsaken her sweater.
I kicked the tires, a half-hearted guise at a safety inspection.
Then Joshua, the neighbour, clucked the sign with his tongue.
They'd pull away. It would all pull away.
It would begin its slow release around the borders.