May 12, 2010

and it's getting late now
everything is spent now
wonder where it went now
never get to sleep now

Alex Gross, Oblivion, 2007

Society for the Dissolution of Learning
-- by Angela Ball

A scientist reports that evolution is
"A factory for the almost impossible,"

So, I've decided to go there.
I am a seminary for the pretty close to impetuous.

A nonscientist, I see the creation of life
As a kind of bulk mailing,
Much of which arrived
At the wrong address.

My extensively shaky reading habits might help:
"Our world," says John Lukacs, "has come to the edge of disaster
Precisely because of its preoccupation with justice."
I agree! I resolve to abandon the pursuit of sense,
Which turns intentions into roller skates
And revelations into laundry.

Sentimental Education
-- by Tony Hoagland

And when we were eight, or nine,
our father took us back into the Alabama woods,
found a rotten log, and with his hunting knife

pried off a slab of bark
to show the hundred kinds of bugs and grubs
that we would have to eat in a time of war.

"The ones who will survive," he told us,
looking at us hard,
"are the ones who are willing to do anything."
Then he popped one of those pale slugs
into his mouth and started chewing.

And that was Lesson Number 4
in The Green Beret Book of Childrearing.

I looked at my pale, scrawny, knock-kneed, bug-eyed brother,
who was identical to me,
and saw that, in a world that ate the weak,
we didn't have a prayer,

and next thing I remember, I'm working for a living
at a boring job
that I'm afraid of losing,

with a wife whose lack of love for me
is like a lack of oxygen,
and this dead thing in my chest
that used to be my heart.

Oh, if he were alive, I would tell him, "Dad,
you were right! I ate a lot of stuff
far worse than bugs."

And I was eaten, I was eaten,
I was picked up
and chewed
and swallowed

down into the belly of the world.

What We Want
-- by Linda Pastan

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names--
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.


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