Wednesday, October 30, 2013

House of cards

After the kids leave, I convert the second bedroom of my mother’s apartment into a bachelor pad. I deflate the air mattress Miles was sleeping on, and set the rickety card table up into a small, soft-lit paradise of books. I hold office there, taking notes on nothing, listening to the crickets. It definitely encourages nightowlness.

I finished Revolutionary Road on my trip, and now feel I never need to drink a martini. I also read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I found on my sister's shelf. It warned me sufficiently of Swedish mosquitoes.

Unable to find Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl in either of the big used bookstores I visited, I borrowed it from my mother’s library. It’s a devastating book. You can eat all the radiation you want, but you'll have to bury your shit in your head. 

I picked up poetry books by Sappho, Tao Lin, Michael Ondaatje and Alison Titus. In the poetry aisle of a bookstore I got into a conversation with a bearded gentleman. He asked me who my favorite poets were. My first (unrehearsed, unhesitant) answer was Charles Wright. 

In Future Tense, he wrote:

All things in the end are bittersweet—
An empty gaze, a little way-station just beyond silence.
If you can’t delight in the everyday,
                                                         you have no future here.
And if you can, no future either.

And time, black dog, will sniff you out,
                                                            and lick your lean cheeks,
And lie down beside you—warm, real close—and will not move. 

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I love this poem, and that black dog.

I had to set Revolutionary Road aside for another time. Maybe it was the martinis!

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