Monday, January 1, 2018

Daily Dose


From Half-Light: Collected Poems, 1965 - 2016, by Frank Bidart

TO THE DEAD

What I hope (when I hope) is that we'll
see each other again,--

. . . and again reach the VEIN

in which we loved each other . .
It existed. It existed.

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,--

. . . for, like the detectives (the Ritz Brothers)
in The Gorilla,

once we'd been battered by the gorilla

we searched the walls, the intricately carved
impenetrable paneling

for a button, lever, latch

that unlocks a secret door that
reveals at last the secret chambers,

CORRIDORS within WALLS,

(the disenthralling, necessary, dreamed structure
beneath the structure we see,)

that is the HOUSE within the HOUSE . . .

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,--

. . . there were (for example) months when I seemed only
to displease, frustrate,

disappoint you--; then, something triggered

a drunk lasting for days, and as you
slowly and shakily sobered up,

sick, throbbing with remorse and self-loathing,

insight like ashes: clung
to; useless; hated . . .

This was the viewing of the power of the waters

while the waters were asleep:--
secrets, histories of loves, betrayals, double-binds

not fit (you thought) for the light of day . . .

There is a NIGHT within the NIGHT,--

. . . for, there at times at night, still we
inhabit the secret place together . . .

Is this wisdom, or self-pity?--

The love I've known is the love of
two people staring

not at each other, but in the same direction.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Daily Dose


From Collected Poems, by Siegfried Sassoon

ELEGY

Your dextrous wit will haunt us long
Wounding our grief with yesterday.
Your laughter is a broken song;
And death has found you, kind and gay.

We may forget those transient things
That made your charm and our delight:
But loyal love has deathless wings
That rise and triumph out of night.

So, in the days to come, your name
Shall be as music that ascends
When honour turns a heart from shame...
O heart of hearts! ... O friend of friends!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Breakfast at the Bookstore with Brad and Nick # 126

Daily Dose

From Forty Stories, by Anton Chekhov, translated by Robert Payne

ONCE MORE

"He drank some water and lay down, and once more he saw the sleigh gliding along, and once more he saw the head of the bull without eyes, and the smoke, and the clouds.  And so it went on until the sun rose."

From Gusev, I.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Caricature


Daily Dose

From The Wings of the Dove, by Henry James

IT WASN'T

"It wasn't to torment him -- that again he didn't believe; but he had come to the house in some discomfort, so that he frowned a little at her calling it thus a luxury."

From Chapter XVIII