A Saturday in the Life

As much as possible these days, I play the game of intuition on the weekends. I have designed a “no plans” lifestyle for myself, which allows for complete freedom of being during my non-work hours. The game of intuition, for me, means acting as instinctively as possible, moment to moment, from basically the moment I leave work on Friday afternoons until going to bed on Sunday evenings. Continue reading “A Saturday in the Life”

Firs

The afternoon of our desire,
the cat napping in the barn,
the carnival tears of merriment and
the mess of dreams in mornings
when things came to mind—this
density of living among the dead kept
flowers in our mouths after
each mean and powerful rain.
You were not like the others—you
stood there facing the wood like
nothing fell around you. There was
the backside of your body,
the haze around your head,
and your terrible calm amid
whatever braved a movement. In
any phase of five minutes you’d
steal the galaxies, take them
under your gaze, and you were
shameless as a voyeur,
ruthless as a pioneer.

–dkp

The Attic

It occurs to me that one can be too conscious. The metacognitive processes involved in writing require, for those of us with hoarding minds, the same kind of patience, stamina, and downright courage it takes to clean out the attic, to assess the contents one by one. Continue reading “The Attic”

The Wings

I recall Joni Mitchell once said something about the pressure she felt in youth, a surely mounting pressure, to be great–to make one’s expression dance in unison with one’s soul—, and I say “mounting” because these pressures accumulate with the years. Time tends to carry on like the breath of a sad singer’s song; the phrase finished, the sounds produced, she must then gasp for air in the intervals, if to continue the tune. Continue reading “The Wings”

A Home in Holland

There is a bell tower in the courtyard behind our apartment, and three minutes after I awoke to Erik’s soft goodbye kiss, it rang eight beats, like two measures in 4/4 time, to mark the 8 o’clock hour. And so the day began like a song. One, however jet lagged, cannot fall back asleep after such a composed start. Continue reading “A Home in Holland”

On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819-1891)

On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision                                                                     1851

There is a certain tragic phase of humanity which, in our opinion, was never more powerfully embodied than by Hawthorne. We mean the tragicalness of human thought in its own unbiased, native, and profounder workings. Continue reading “On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision”

On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864)

On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance                                                                   1856

[Melville] stayed with us from Tuesday till Thursday; and, on the intervening day, we took a pretty long walk together, and sat down in a hollow among the sand hills (sheltering ourselves from the high, cool wind) and smoked a cigar. Continue reading “On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance”

Animal Sit, Animal

I woke up this morning to Dr. Rybak’s voice and the cat’s meow. Dr Rybak—dream. Cat—reality. (Wallace Stevens would understand.) I was lying among supreme linens in Allie’s childhood bedroom, and I was lying on my back, down the direct center of the bed, my head comfortably lodged between the two, side-by-side head pillows. Figaro wanted food, five am. Continue reading “Animal Sit, Animal”

The Women Begin to Sing

In the house the women begin to sing. We hear the first line commence, beginning to swell as they take hold, and we rise and move toward the door, taking off our hats and throwing our chews away. We do not go in. We stop at the steps, clumped, holding our hats between our lax hands in front or behind, standing with one foot advanced and our heads lowered, looking aside, down at our hats in our hands and at the earth or now and then at the sky and at one another’s grave, composed face.

-William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

Amsterdam

european kitchens, bread crumbs abound
locking locks to insides
it is good to be out in the world
good to try
a netherlandish sun opened up
I saw it
I saw it spread over the bodies of
black boy, black girl
age seven, age five
hand in hand, as they walked along
a long, narrow street

If You’re Lost Enough

Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone’s road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home.

From Directive, Robert Frost
(1947) Continue reading “If You’re Lost Enough”

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