September 25, 2009

It's a victory for the heart
Every time the music starts
So please don't kill the machine



Huguette Roe, Mixed Drinks, 2009

Worn Words
-- by W.S. Merwin

The late poems are the ones
I turn to first now
following a hope that keeps
beckoning me
waiting somewhere in the lines
almost in plain sight

it is the late poems
that are made of words
that have come the whole way
they have been there
there is not a sound in the whole night


The Reader
-- by Franz Wright

The mask was gone now, burned away
(from inside)
by God's gaze

There was no
I, there

was no he--
finally

there was no text, only
what the words stood for;
and then

what all things stand for.


Goodbye to a Friend with No Mother Tongue
-- by Franz Wright

But which language did you dream in.

In what language
did you cry

Which one
did you fly in. . .

In what words can we possibly die

Forget our names and close our eyes?


What I Understood
-- by Katha Pollitt

When I was a child I understood everything
about, for example, futility. Standing for hours
on the hot asphalt outfield, trudging for balls
I'd ask myself, how many times will I have to perform
this pointless task, and all the others? I knew
about snobbery, too, and cruelty—for children
are snobbish and cruel—and loneliness: in restaurants
the dignity and shame of solitary diners
disabled me, and when my grandmother
screamed at me, "Someday you'll know what it's like!"
I knew she was right, the way I knew
about the single rooms my teachers went home to,
the pictures on the dresser, the hoard of chocolates,
and that there was no God, and that I would die.
All this I understood, no one needed to tell me.
the only thing I didn't understand
was how in a world whose predominant characteristics
are futility, cruelty, loneliness, disappointment
people are saved every day
by a sparrow, a foghorn, a grassblade, a tablecloth.
This year I'll be
thirty-nine, and I still don't understand it.

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