Feeling Ophelia

"if you have two coats in your closet and are only using one then you've stolen the other from someone who needs it" - a friend of a friend

0 notes

This Morning
Raymond Carver

This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk — determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted. Kept going
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
far below. All lovely. All bathed in a pure
cold light. But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander. I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else. I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other. (And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong — duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife. All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day. What
I’ve trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did.
For when I turned back i didn’t know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.

This Morning
Raymond Carver

This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk — determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted. Kept going
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
far below. All lovely. All bathed in a pure
cold light. But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander. I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else. I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other. (And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong — duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife. All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day. What
I’ve trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did.
For when I turned back i didn’t know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.

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Melancholia
Charles Bukowski

the history of melancholia
includes all of us.

me, I writhe in dirty sheets
while staring at blue walls
and nothing.

I have gotten so used to melancholia
that
I greet it like an old
friend.

I will now do 15 minutes of grieving
for the lost redhead,
I tell the gods.

I do it and feel quite bad
quite sad,
then I rise
CLEANSED
even though nothing
is solved.

that’s what I get for kicking
religion in the ass.

I should have kicked the redhead
in the ass
where her brains and her bread and
butter are
at …

but, no, I’ve felt sad
about everything:
the lost redhead was just another
smash in a lifelong
loss …

I listen to drums on the radio now
and grin.
there is something wrong with me
besides
melancholia.

Melancholia
Charles Bukowski

the history of melancholia
includes all of us.

me, I writhe in dirty sheets
while staring at blue walls
and nothing.

I have gotten so used to melancholia
that
I greet it like an old
friend.

I will now do 15 minutes of grieving
for the lost redhead,
I tell the gods.

I do it and feel quite bad
quite sad,
then I rise
CLEANSED
even though nothing
is solved.

that’s what I get for kicking
religion in the ass.

I should have kicked the redhead
in the ass
where her brains and her bread and
butter are
at …

but, no, I’ve felt sad
about everything:
the lost redhead was just another
smash in a lifelong
loss …

I listen to drums on the radio now
and grin.
there is something wrong with me
besides
melancholia.

0 notes

Runcible Spoon - 1970

the shit shits

yes, it’s dark in here
can’t open the door
can’t open the jam lid
can’t find a pair of socks that match;
I was born in Vienna in 1915 and never thought it
would be like this.

at the races today I was standing in the 5 win line
and this big fat guy with body odor
kept jamming his binoculars into my back and I turned and
said,
“pardon me, sir. could you please stop jamming those god damned
binocs into my backbone?”
he just looked at me with little pig eyes—
rather pink with splotches of gravel for pupils
the eyes just kept looking until I stepped out and
got sick, vomitted in a
trashcan.

I keep getting letters from an uncle in Vienna who must be
75 years old and he keeps asking,
“my boy, why don’t you WRITE?”
what can I write him?
there is nothing that I can write.

I put on my shorts and they rip.
sleep is impossible, I mean good sleep, I just get
small spurts of it, and then back to the machine where the foreman
comes by:
“Klienholtz, for a piece-worker you crawl like a snail!”

I’m sick and I’m tired and I don’t know where to go or what to do.
well, shit, at lunchtime we all ride down the elevator together
making jokes and laughing
and then we sit in the employees cafeteria making jokes and
laughing and eating the re-baked food;
first they buy it then they fry it
then they bake it then they sell it, can’t be a germ left in there or
a vitamin either.

but we joke and laugh
otherwise we would start
screaming.

on Saturday and Sunday when I don’t have money to go to the track
I just lay in bed
I never get out of bed
I don’t want to go to a movie
it is shameful for a full-grown man to go to a movie alone.
and women are less than nothing. they terrify and
bulldoze me.

I wonder what Vienna is like?

I think that if they would let me stay in bed long enough I could
get well or strong or at least feel better
but it’s always up and back to the machine
searching for stockings that match
shorts that won’t tear,
looking at my face in the mirror, disgusted with
my face…
but nothing to do
nothing to do.

my uncle, what is he thinking with his crazy
letters? did he do any
better?

we are all little pieces of shit
only we walk and talk
laugh
make jokes
and
the shit shits.

someday I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of the blackbirds
ants out of berry leaves.

I will sleep and laugh and sing until something
kills me.

Runcible Spoon - 1970

the shit shits

yes, it’s dark in here
can’t open the door
can’t open the jam lid
can’t find a pair of socks that match;
I was born in Vienna in 1915 and never thought it
would be like this.

at the races today I was standing in the 5 win line
and this big fat guy with body odor
kept jamming his binoculars into my back and I turned and
said,
“pardon me, sir. could you please stop jamming those god damned
binocs into my backbone?”
he just looked at me with little pig eyes—
rather pink with splotches of gravel for pupils
the eyes just kept looking until I stepped out and
got sick, vomitted in a
trashcan.

I keep getting letters from an uncle in Vienna who must be
75 years old and he keeps asking,
“my boy, why don’t you WRITE?”
what can I write him?
there is nothing that I can write.

I put on my shorts and they rip.
sleep is impossible, I mean good sleep, I just get
small spurts of it, and then back to the machine where the foreman
comes by:
“Klienholtz, for a piece-worker you crawl like a snail!”

I’m sick and I’m tired and I don’t know where to go or what to do.
well, shit, at lunchtime we all ride down the elevator together
making jokes and laughing
and then we sit in the employees cafeteria making jokes and
laughing and eating the re-baked food;
first they buy it then they fry it
then they bake it then they sell it, can’t be a germ left in there or
a vitamin either.

but we joke and laugh
otherwise we would start
screaming.

on Saturday and Sunday when I don’t have money to go to the track
I just lay in bed
I never get out of bed
I don’t want to go to a movie
it is shameful for a full-grown man to go to a movie alone.
and women are less than nothing. they terrify and
bulldoze me.

I wonder what Vienna is like?

I think that if they would let me stay in bed long enough I could
get well or strong or at least feel better
but it’s always up and back to the machine
searching for stockings that match
shorts that won’t tear,
looking at my face in the mirror, disgusted with
my face…
but nothing to do
nothing to do.

my uncle, what is he thinking with his crazy
letters? did he do any
better?

we are all little pieces of shit
only we walk and talk
laugh
make jokes
and
the shit shits.

someday I will tell that foreman off.
I will tell everybody off.
and walk down to the end of the road and
make swans out of the blackbirds
ants out of berry leaves.

I will sleep and laugh and sing until something
kills me.

0 notes

A snake came to my water-troughOn a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,To drink there. In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob treeI came down the steps with my pitcherAnd must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me. He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloomAnd trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone troughAnd rested his throat upon the stone bottom,And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,He sipped with his straight mouth,Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,Silently. Someone was before me at my water-trough,And I, like a second-comer, waiting. He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,And stooped and drank a little more,Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earthOn the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking. The voice of my education said to meHe must be killed,For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous. And voices in me said, if you were a manYou would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off. But must I confess how I liked him,How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-troughAnd depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,Into the burning bowels of this earth ? Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him ?Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him ?Was it humility, to feel so honoured ?I felt so honoured. And yet those voices :If you were not afraid, you would kill him ! And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,But even so, honoured still moreThat he should seek my hospitalityFrom out the dark door of the secret earth. He drank enoughAnd lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,Seeming to lick his lips,And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,And slowly turned his head,And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,Proceeded to draw his slow length curving roundAnd climb again the broken bank of my wall-face. And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,Overcame me now his back was turned. I looked round, I put down my pitcher,I picked up a clumsy logAnd threw it at the water-trough with a clatter. I think it did not hit him,But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste,Writhed like lightning, and was goneInto the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination. And immediately I regretted it.I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act !I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education. And I thought of the albatross,And I wished he would come back, my snake. For he seemed to me again like a king,Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,Now due to be crowned again. And so, I missed my chance with one of the lordsOf life.And I have something to expiate :
A pettiness.

-D.H. Lawrence

A snake came to my water-troughOn a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,To drink there.
 In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob treeI came down the steps with my pitcherAnd must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.
 He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloomAnd trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone troughAnd rested his throat upon the stone bottom,And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,He sipped with his straight mouth,Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,Silently.
 Someone was before me at my water-trough,And I, like a second-comer, waiting.
 He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,And stooped and drank a little more,Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earthOn the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
 The voice of my education said to meHe must be killed,For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.
 And voices in me said, if you were a manYou would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.
 But must I confess how I liked him,How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-troughAnd depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,Into the burning bowels of this earth ?
 Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him ?Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him ?Was it humility, to feel so honoured ?I felt so honoured.
 And yet those voices :If you were not afraid, you would kill him !
 
And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,But even so, honoured still moreThat he should seek my hospitalityFrom out the dark door of the secret earth.
 He drank enoughAnd lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,Seeming to lick his lips,And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,And slowly turned his head,And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,Proceeded to draw his slow length curving roundAnd climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.
 And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,Overcame me now his back was turned.
 I looked round, I put down my pitcher,I picked up a clumsy logAnd threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.
 I think it did not hit him,But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste,Writhed like lightning, and was goneInto the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.
 And immediately I regretted it.I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act !I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.
 And I thought of the albatross,And I wished he would come back, my snake.
 For he seemed to me again like a king,Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,Now due to be crowned again.
 And so, I missed my chance with one of the lordsOf life.And I have something to expiate :

A pettiness.

-D.H. Lawrence

0 notes

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry

0 notes

Unde Malum
Where does evil come from? 
It comes 
from man always from man only from man 
- Tadeusz Rozewicz 
 
Alas, dear Tadeusz, good nature and wicked man are romantic inventions you show us this way the depth of your optimism so let man exterminate his own species the innocent sunrise will illuminate a liberated flora and fauna where oak forests reclaim the postindustrial wasteland and the blood of a deer torn asunder by a pack of wolves is not seen by anyone a hawk falls upon a hare without witness evil disappears from the world and consciousness with it Of course, dear Tadeusz, evil (and good) comes from man.
- Czeslaw Milosz

Unde Malum

Where does evil come from? 

It comes 

from man 
always from man 
only from man 


- Tadeusz Rozewicz 

 

Alas, dear Tadeusz, 
good nature and wicked man 
are romantic inventions 
you show us this way 
the depth of your optimism 
so let man exterminate 
his own species 
the innocent sunrise will illuminate 
a liberated flora and fauna 
where oak forests reclaim 
the postindustrial wasteland 
and the blood of a deer 
torn asunder by a pack of wolves 
is not seen by anyone 
a hawk falls upon a hare 
without witness 
evil disappears from the world 
and consciousness with it 
Of course, dear Tadeusz, 
evil (and good) comes from man.

- Czeslaw Milosz

0 notes

Hope 

To talk to trees

And at last

Tell them everything

You have always thought 

- Alice Walker

Hope

To talk to trees

And at last

Tell them everything

You have always thought

- Alice Walker

1 note

The island 

Since I’m Island-born home’s as precise
as if a mumbly old carpenter,
shoulder-straps crossed wrong,
laid it out, refigured
to the last three-eighths of shingle.

Nowhere that plowcut worms
heal themselves in red loam; 
spruces squat, skirts in sand
or the stones of a river rattle its dark
tunnel under the elms,
is there a spot not measured by hands;
no direction I couldn’t walk
to the wave-lined edge of home.

Quiet shores — beaches that roar
but walk two thousand paces and the sea
becomes an odd shining
glimpse among the jeweled
zigzag low hills. Any wonder
your eyelashes are wings
to fly your look both in and out?
In the coves of the land all things are discussed.

In the ranged jaws of the Gulf,
a red tongue.
Indians say a musical God
took up his brush and painted it,
named it in His own language
“The Island”

- Milton Acorn

The island

Since I’m Island-born home’s as precise
as if a mumbly old carpenter,
shoulder-straps crossed wrong,
laid it out, refigured
to the last three-eighths of shingle.

Nowhere that plowcut worms
heal themselves in red loam;
spruces squat, skirts in sand
or the stones of a river rattle its dark
tunnel under the elms,
is there a spot not measured by hands;
no direction I couldn’t walk
to the wave-lined edge of home.

Quiet shores — beaches that roar
but walk two thousand paces and the sea
becomes an odd shining
glimpse among the jeweled
zigzag low hills. Any wonder
your eyelashes are wings
to fly your look both in and out?
In the coves of the land all things are discussed.

In the ranged jaws of the Gulf,
a red tongue.
Indians say a musical God
took up his brush and painted it,
named it in His own language
“The Island”

- Milton Acorn

0 notes

Ah!
Je veux vivre
Dans ce rêve qui m’enivre;
Ce jour encore,
Douce flamme,
Je te garde dans mon âme
Comme un trésor!
Cette ivresse
De jeunesse
Ne dure, hélas! qu’un jour!
Puis vient l’heure
Où l’on pleure,
Le coeur cède à l’amour,
Et le bonheur fuit sans retour.
Je veux vivre, etc
Loin de l’hiver morose
Laisse-moi sommeiller
Et respirer la rose
Avant de l’effeuiller.
Ah!
Douce flamme,
Reste dans mon âme
Comme un doux trésor
Longtemps encore!

- Gounod

Ah!
Je veux vivre
Dans ce rêve qui m’enivre;
Ce jour encore,
Douce flamme,
Je te garde dans mon âme
Comme un trésor!
Cette ivresse
De jeunesse
Ne dure, hélas! qu’un jour!
Puis vient l’heure
Où l’on pleure,
Le coeur cède à l’amour,
Et le bonheur fuit sans retour.
Je veux vivre, etc
Loin de l’hiver morose
Laisse-moi sommeiller
Et respirer la rose
Avant de l’effeuiller.
Ah!
Douce flamme,
Reste dans mon âme
Comme un doux trésor
Longtemps encore!

- Gounod