Saturday, February 25, 2012

Up and...

Enjoying The left hand of darkness, Le Guin, marvelous narrator et al; Lou Ragland; The Relatives; ghost stories; Thomas Mann (not Buddenbrooks); work is bibliographic clean-up, enough said; sunny February, will it ever rain; Betelgeuse and Sirus staring; exactness and promptitude; exhilaration and sumptuousness; "Without you I've not slept, not once in the garden nor cared much whether I slept on holly or flock, lonely to death between one breath and the next only to meet you, hear you, only to touch ..." Sa’di, Persia poem, trans. by Bunting; Piazzolla's bandoneon concierto (Nonesuch), this Sat. morning.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Suddenly it's

Dec. 26 and cold every day and night for many days now. Reading P. Pullman trilogy for the 3rd time, and not sure why, except that it's good and unable to get into anything else short of David Copperfield. Another job, too much gospel, coffee and chocolate ambivalence, usual conflation of desire and confusion, A. visiting from Alaska, too much like lip synching Wallace Stevens (which is coffee and chocolate ambivalence), and Schein, the Banchetto suites.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Hampstead: The Horse Chestnut Trees"

At the top of a low hill
two stand together, green
bobbings contained within
the general sway. They
must be about my age.
My brother and I
rode between them and
down the hill and the impetus
took us on without pedalling
to be finally braked by
a bit of sullen marsh
(no longer there) where the mud
was coloured by the red-brown
oozings of iron. It
was autumn
or was it?

Nothing to keep it there, the
smell of leaf in May
sweet and powerful as rutting
confuses me now, it's all
getting lost, I started
forgetting it even as I wrote.

Forms remain, not the life
of detail or hue
then the forms are lost and
only a few dates stay with you.

But the trees have no sentiments
their hearts are wood
and preserve nothing
boles get great, they are
embraced by the wind they
rushingly embrace,
they spread outward
and upward
without regret
hardening tender green
to insensate lumber.

--Thom Gunn

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Studies in words

Sunny windy Sunday. Listening mostly these days to JSP bluegrass collections and Gary Higgins’ Red Hash; finished Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas, readable & well-written; “Your gown going off, such beauteous state reveals/As when from flowry meads th’hills shadow steales”—“beauteous” being the only word of seventeen which is doing no work; a summer romp with Marlowe perhaps; planting fuchsias in the front, cat on the side, in the sun; clothes, deaths, jobs, mirrors, trips, honestly, no real jolts or inspirations, just re-reading and re-listening, and re-seeing, so much, singly, yet minute and matter; “melancholy space and doleful time” (Wordsworth).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Post-May Day


white spirit in hallways
everything after winter
wants cutting and trimming
reading and waiting while
garden advice drifts up the stairs
smoke vents implacably from
a chimney in each stack
a draught through all the doors
in the house ajar persistent as
a Watchtower hawker but
today is Sunday and our
front door is wide open for
an hour while the jamb dries

wonderful late Andrew Crozier;
a rainy Sat. though here; job upheaval;
mostly Old Time music; tea; “love is lovelier for lust”;
May birds, air; hardly purpose but pleasure to it all;
and later, a walk, alone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Journal: June 1971

Some later Paul Blackburn: water, shade and glints of sun:

Men with shovels directed a stream

of sizable pebbles into the excavations

about young new-planted mountain ash trees

set mid-quad in the concrete

from a dump truck .

I brought back home

a single rhododendron bloom that had fallen .

Outside the cellar door, I spoke to a bee, he
danced before me, crotch to face, he checked me out, he
buzzed, I talked, he sat
in my beard for a moment . We
talked. I wanted to go inside . I told him
so . I did .


Sunday, October 5, 2008


“the long afternoon of sun”, is that from Hemingway? a short story? Farewell to Arms? or have I have imagined this or from who then? A walking route I take goes by a gated community, as I walk by the southern walls, on a late afternoon or early evening, I touch the walls and have felt the warmth, saturated into the stucco, from the sun, a simple yet compositely expressive phrase that I take stock of, passing, “imagist incisiveness” (Tanner), “if you can get to see it clear…then any part you make will represent the whole” (Death in the Afternoon).