It’s Weirdly Quiet

It’s Weirdly Quiet

When it’s quiet
I think I’m deaf or dead
But—
How do I tell?

So, I say (quiet)
Hey—
Anybody out there?

Sometimes
The cat comes (quiet)
But all remains—
Quiet

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Quiet out there

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific.

The prompt prolific can be interpreted as pro-life. It’s in there: pro-lific and pro-life. Looks like these two might have something in common, right?

I’m not speaking of pro-life in the sense of anti-abortion—let’s not even look in that direction. It’s pro-life more in the sense of obsessively bringing things to life. Regardless of whether said things wish to be alive in the first place or would rather choose not to.

Spring is a quintessentially prolific season, hence my tulip photo. I never post tulips while omitting to quote my pet poet Sylvia Plath. I think I get her, or she gets me, whichever way you put it. She wasn’t particularly pro-life, which we have in common, as manifested by her choice to quit and put her head in the oven. And since we live in an age when you can’t say anything without offending someone, please let it be recorded that I’m not pro-suicide. Which is quite a feat, for a suicidal person.

But now, rest your eyes on the tulips and consider how they feel. That’s how tulips feel to Plath:

The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.
18-04-18-prolific
Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening.

Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.
—Louis MacNeice

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Wait, That’s Not Even a Poem

Wait, That’s Not Even a Poem

In my past life
When I dropped myself on the bed
Overworked, exhausted & sleep-deprived
After studying English poetry all night
There were snippets of rhymed lines
Waging a war of verses in my mind

Warning me

I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

What a heap of shit
How did I think
Any of that matters

It doesn’t pay the bills

So, flashforward to now
When I drop myself on the bed
Still overworked, exhausted & sleep-deprived
After translating a company website all night
There’s a war of visions going on in my head

A clash of clichés making me wish for brain death
I laugh at the line The extrusion line strikes back
Though there’s nothing funny about that
It’s pathetic, really, just like me

I still don’t pay the bills

But, at least, I’m not buying this shit
Maybe I’m brain-dead already
As I wish
That would be—a happy ending
I think

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Not going gentle into that night
Weekly Photo Challenge: Story Potential

Weekly Photo Challenge: Story Potential

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Story.

Not much of a photo, but a potential for story here. The story of the lost ball; or, the art of losing stuff.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
—Elizabeth Bishop

 

Staring into That Good Night

Staring into That Good Night

So it’s night and I go to smoke
Outside
And see—so many fucking stars
Just hanging up there
Flickering like crazy

(Maybe
Some of them are planes)
Anyway
Here’s the epiphany:
I feel existential fear
Because I’m so tiny

So tiny
I can’t see but a microscopic bit
The whole of it I can’t see
Because of these spiky things
Of roofs
Thrusting upwards into the sky
(Not going gentle into that good
night)

They’re cutting out a miniature piece
For me to see
While the whole of the universe
Is laughing at me
Bastard

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Walls Make Neighbours

Walls Make Neighbours

There’s a wall between me
And the gritty city street
Just a wall
Of concrete or brick or shit

One and something feet maybe
Separating me
From everything not-home
Not-nice, not-warm, not even

A not too thick wall
Between me and someone
Next to me
Above me
And next door—the post office

That’s not too much
When you think of it
A teeny-tiny willy-nilly wall
Between you and all not-you
And that’s it

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Abstract concrete
Weekly Photo Challenge: Story

Weekly Photo Challenge: Story

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Story.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table.
—T. S. Eliot

So what’s the story here? I don’t know about the story in the above poem, except that the poet was crazy, as poets are prone to be, which is my professional opinion of a doctor of literature. I picked the poem as an epigraph because I really like the comparison of the sky to the operating table. So cute. And as sterile as the airport corridors in the below photo. I don’t know about the story of the photo either, but come on, there must be a plenty of stories in there! It’s an airport for fuck’s sake. There are always stories where there are people.

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What I do know is my story at this airport. It was the first of the gazillion circles of hell, as not imagined even by Dante, who had no imagination, which was my recent business trip. Everything that could possibly go wrong duly did, and my boss, who is a pathological optimist and liar, kept on saying We’re on a pleasure trip, it’s an adventure! First, a business trip is not a pleasure trip. Second, you only call a fuckup an adventure when you’re talking to a child whom you’re saving from a disaster and whom you don’t want to frighten. And why, yes, I’m a pathological negativist.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Face in the Crowd

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Face in the Crowd

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: A Face in the Crowd.

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.
—Ezra Pound

18-02-21-face1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations (on Clouds)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations (on Clouds)

In response to WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations.

Ben Huberman of WordPress says variations, thinking of music (and cheese). I hear variations, and think of poetry (and permutations). Poetry shall be the easier of the two.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
—Louis MacNeice

I don’t entirely share the poet’s fascination (bordering on intoxication) but the drunkenness of things being various stuck with me for reasons unknown and unimportant.

Also, it’s clear that the poet is a poet: he can’t even eat a tangerine! Normal people don’t spit the pips but swallow. It’s easier that way. And smart people don’t buy tangerines with pips.

Anyway, here’s a picture of variations on clouds.

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