June 29, 2005

the only thing I'd change would be the ending

From the July 2005 edition of Harper's:

-- Estimated amount spent lobbying Congress last year: $3,000,000,000

-- Number of former members of Congress or federal-agency heads who are now lobbyists: 240

-- Minimum amount members of Congress have paid their own relatives since 2001: $3,000,000

-- Number of America's nine "Founding Fathers" who denied the divinity of Jesus: 7

-- Rank, in the current line of succession to the U.S. Presidency, of the first non-Christian: 16

* I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. Then words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company. - Gaston Bachelard [via]

* Fire Left by Travellers
-- by Frank Stanford

Before in our lives we have all gone down
to some river or another
and spoken with those who don't often speak
we tell them about the black fumes of our dreams
roots smouldering and asleep
and the hammer hanging on the branch
and they go on sinking long nails
into their boat's damaged wood
they make a harbor out of anything
that will hold a rope for a night
they sit on buckets
near the water's circular ruins
eating fish cooked in wine
one has a belly and keeps young ducks under his shirt
one wears a beautiful scarf
he claims the moon is a liar
under the patch over his left eye
briars take over their boots
which took journeys without walking
half under water there's a chimney
driftwood and broken oars and lost lures
floating in the flue
the current drawing them up the fireplace like smoke
there it stands alone like a stone tree
the house having burned
before the river rose
before I walked down these levees
my father's long graves
which he raised like a pharaoh
I kept coming down them
holding both arms before me like a sleepwalker
holding out my hands
trying to warm them on campfires long gone
sod might as well have been snow
I looked down the steep slope of those days
a skier getting ready for a jump
I had things to say


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