In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world. - Emil Cioran
Thursday, January 31, 2019
C. D. WRIGHT from “Scratch Music”
many threads have I broken with my teeth. How many times have I looked
at the stars and felt ill. Time here is divided into before and since
your shuttering in 1978. I remember hanging onto the hood of the
big-fendered Olds with a mess of money in my purse. Call that romance.
Some memory precedes you: when I wanted lederhosen because I’d read
Heidi. And how I wanted my folks to build a fallout shelter so I could
arrange the cans. And coveting mother’s muskrat. I remember college.
And being in Vista; I asked the librarian in Banks, the state’s tomato
capital, if she had any black literature and she said they used to have Lil Black Sambo
but the white children tore out pages and wrote ugly words inside.
Someone said if I didn’t like Banks I should go to Moscow. I said, Come
on, let’s go outside and shoot the hoop. I’ve got a jones to beat your
I haven’t changed.
Now if I think of the earth’s
origins, I get vertigo. When I think of its death, I fall, I’ve picked
up a few things, I know if you want songbirds, plant berry trees. If you
don’t want birds, buy a rubber snake. I remember that town with the
Alcoa plant I toured. The manager kept referring to the workers as
Alcoans, I thought of hundreds of flexible metal beings bent over
assemblages. They sparked. What would I do in Moscow? I have these
dreams—relatives loom over my bed. We should put her to sleep Lonnie
says, Go home old girl, go home, my aunt says. Why should I go home
before her I want to say. But I am bereft. So how is Life in The Other
World. Do you get the news. Are you allowed a pet. But I wanted to show
you how I’ve grown, what I know: I keep my bees far from the stable,
they can’t stand how horses smell. And I know sooner or later an old
house will need a new roof. And more than six years have whistled by
since you blew your heart out like the porch light. Reason and meaning
don’t step into another lit spot like a well-meaning stranger with a
hat. And mother’s mother who has lived in the same house ten times six
years, told me. We didn’t know we had termites until they swarmed. Then
we had to pull up the whole floor. ”Too late, no more…” you know the
poem. But you, you bastard. You picked up a gun in winter as if it were a
hat and you were leaving a restaurant; full, weary, and thankful to be
spending the evening with no one.