October 15, 2010

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doin' things I used to do
They think are new



Erin Shafkind, Jeppa's Belly National Park, 2010

Waking at Night
-- Jack Gilbert

The blue river is gray at morning
and evening. There is twilight
at dawn and dusk. I lie in the dark
wondering if this quiet in me now
is a beginning or an end.


The Beautiful American Word, Sure
-- by Delmore Schwartz

The beautiful American word, Sure
As I have come into a room, and touch
The lamp's button, and the light blooms with such
Certainty where the darkness loomed before,

As I care for what I do not know, and care
Knowing for little she might not have been,
And for how little she would be unseen,
The intercourse of lives miraculous and dear.

Where the light is, and each thing clear,
Separate from all others, standing in its place,
I drink the time and touch whatever's near,

And hope for day when the whole world has that face:
For what assures her present every year?
In dark accidents the mind's sufficient grace.


Last Call
-- by Kim Addonizio

It's the hour when everyone's drunk
and the bar turns marvelous, music
swirling over the red booths,
smoke rising from neglected cigarettes as in each glass
ice slides into other ice, dissolving;
it's when one stranger nudges another
and says, staring at the blurred rows of pour spouts,
I hear they banned dwarf tossing in France,
and the second man nods
and lays his head on the bar's slick surface,
not caring if he dies there, wanting, in fact, to die there
among the good friends he's just met, his cheek
in a wet pool of spilled beer.
It's when the woman in the corner gets up
and wobbles to the middle of the room,
leaving her blouse draped over a stool. Someone is buying
the house a final round, the cabs are being summoned,
and the gods that try to save us from ourselves
are taking us by the neck, gently,
and dropping us into the night, it's the hour
of the blind, and the dead, of lost loves
who come to claim you, finally, holding open
the swinging door, repeating over and over
a name that must be yours.

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