Sunday, November 23, 2014

meat


from "Persephone the Wanderer" (1), Louise Gl├╝ck —

. . . . .

she has been a prisoner since she has been a daughter.

The terrible reunions in store for her
will take up the rest of her life.
When the passion for expiation
is chronic, fierce, you do not choose
the way you live.  You do not live;
you are not allowed to die.

You drift between earth and death
which seem, finally,
strangely alike.  Scholars tell us

that there is no point in knowing what you want
when the forces contending over you
could kill you.

White of forgetfulness,
white of safety—

They say
there is a rift in the human soul
which was not constructed to belong
entirely to life.  Earth

asks us to deny this rift, a threat
disguised as suggestion—
as we have seen
in the tale of Persephone
which should be read

as an argument between the mother and the lover—
the daughter is just meat.

. . . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

take me through the sweet valley

 Say Valley Maker

with the grace of a corpse
in a riptide
I let go
and I slide slide slide
downriver
With an empty case by my side
an empty case
that’s my crime

and I sing (Say Valley Maker)
to keep from cursing
yes I sing (Say Valley Maker)
to keep from cursing

river oh
river end
river oh
river end
river go
river bend

take me through the sweet valley
where your heart blooms blooms blooms
take me through the sweet valley
where your heart is covered in dew dew dew

and when the river dries
will you bury me in wood?
where the river dries
will you bury me in stone?

oh I never really realized
death is what it meant
to make it on my own

because there is no love
where there is no obstacle
and there is no love
where there is no bramble
there is no love
on the hacked away plateau
and there is no love
in the unerring
and there is no love
on the one true path

oh I cantered out here
now I’m galloping back

so bury me in wood
and I will splinter
bury me in stone
and I will quake
bury me in water
and I will geyser
bury me in fire
and I’m gonna phoenix

I’m gonna phoenix

I'm gonna phoenix


—Smog (Bill Callahan)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

lost libraries


"... We shed as we pick up, like travelers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind.  The procession is very long and life is very short.  We die on the march.  But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it.  The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language."

— from Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, quoted by James Gleick in The Information