Thursday, April 30, 2020

Quarantine Notes

March 27, 2020
Siri, Google "Etiquette tips for the children of murderers."

April 1, 2020
Nobody wants to hear the details of your dream. 
Unless you have a two point set up and punchline, 
I don't want to listen to your boring narrative that thrills only you. 
So I will soft-focus my ears and 
watch you instead, 
watch you instead of listen to you, 
watch how excited and amazed you are about 
this movie you invented while you weren't even trying, 
this movie you are intrigued and puzzled and fascinated by, 
and maybe even a little in love with. 
You made something, 
or rather, your unconscious did 
and it is still a thrill.

April 4, 2020
I cry later. 
Families who eat casseroles of cortisol know what I mean. 
Shock and awe are our way, 
so do the next thing, 
move to help or 
inform or 
research or 
call or 
transfer funds or 
Google interventions or 
reach out or 
call Western Union or 
notify the funeral home. 

No time for feeling. Not now. Not yet.


Thank you, black squirrel,
for the glimpse of your quicksilver curves,
your shiny coat and deft digging
in my planter box.

You're eating the old bulbs I planted yesterday
but please
feel my welcome to them.

I'd forgotten to plant the crocus and
spring anemones
some long ago autumn
I'd hoped to revive them but

my jolt of delight from your
feline back-foot scratching
is all the liveliness of spring
I need.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Pagan Easter Zoom at the Church of the Holy Palmer

We were all sitting there looking at each other and I said, "let's play a game! Grab the book nearest to you and..."

And somebody else said, "Read the last three lines!"

And Natalie had a book about being a Red Sox fan and Micki read in German from a book about art and Brent read from James Agee's A Death in the Family and I read from Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth (Seriously, it was the book right next to the wall although I haven't cracked it in years, no, DECADES):
On the other hand, if we reject our doom, and bend our efforts toward survival--if we arouse ourselves to the peril and act to forestall it, making ourselves the allies of life--then the anesthetic fog will lift: our vision, no longer straining not to see the obvious, will sharpen: our will, finding secure ground to build on, will be restored; and we will take full and clear possession of life again. One day--and it is hard to believe that it will not be soon--we will make our choice. Either we will sink into the final coma and end it all or, as I trust and believe, we will awaken to the truth of our peril, a truth as great as life itself, and like a person who has swallowed a lethal poison but shakes off his stupor at the last moment and vomits the poison up, we will break through the layers of our denials, put aside our fainthearted excuses, and rise up to cleanse the earth of nuclear weapons.

And then Laura read the W.S. Merwin's poem, "The Drunk in the Furnace."

And Brent read the poem "The Rain" by Robert Creeley. And I started giving him shit because the last line is:

Be wet
with a decent happiness.
And that sounds WAY too close to "Be wet with a decent penis" so I started yelling "That's a horndog poem!" and Serena said the same and then it kind of fell apart and we started talking gardening.
The Rains 
by Robert Creeley
All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.
What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it
that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me
something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.
Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out
of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.