So much I have forgotten in ten years, So much in ten brief years! I have forgot What time the purple apples come to juice, And what month brings the shy forget-me-not. … The yellow by-road mazing from the main, Sweet with the golden threads of the rose-apple. I have forgotten - strange - but quite remember The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.
-From Flame-Heart, Claude McKay
Nothing like a new flame in October. A month made for fires and curling up in front of them. For now, I have a cat and a space heater and that suits me just fine.
I’m this secret kind of selfish Songs are about me Books are about me The moon is about me Things that aren’t about me Bore me Dogs Television Other People’s Lives I pretend to be interested But really I’m just waiting for them to stop Talking Barking Flashing at me So I can get back to the homily of myself The only faith I have
But meant that it’s not
Hot and still
But wanted to not
Turned slightly away
But wished that he wouldn’t
I walk a flat line with my shoes and my cup precariously balancing tea I walk a flat line with the hair and the clothes and the constant pretending of me The flat line gets flatter with the want and the loss and the never-ending shortage of now The flat line gets fatter with the toil and the troubles ever rending and pushing the plow
Flat line with no sign of survival a play without an ending ever clapping towards revival
An ANCIENT saga tells us how In the beginning the First Cow (For nothing living yet had birth But Elemental Cow on earth) Began to lick cold stones and mud: Under her warm tongue flesh and blood Blossomed, a miracle to believe: And so was Adam born and Eve. Here now is chaos once again, Primeval mud, cold stones and rain. Here flesh decays and blood drips red, And the Cow’s dead, the old Cow’s dead.
-Robert Graves, Dead Cow Farm
Nobody here today but Manuel, Nate and AJ. Brought to you by someone who likes their colors swirling close together - whose 6’s dance precariously close to their 9’s.
I’m at Chase bank, standing in line to deposit money. I’m maybe about to get my period or maybe just feeling particularly emotional, because suddenly I find myself staring past the teller at the latest Chase ad - a little blonde pigtailed girl pouring tea for a man who looks like Joaquin Phoenix. They’re having pretend tea, as the little girl is about eight. She’s wearing a friendship bracelet and Joaquin has on an expensive-looking watch. I don’t have a clue what any of it has to do with Chase, but they look playful, happy. The couch is a bright white, the tea cups blue and pink.
They look like they need someone else in the picture. Maybe an older version of the pigtailed girl who’s also wearing a friendship bracelet - a gift from the little girl. And as I stare at them and begin to invite myself into the tea party, a woman walks up next to me to make her own deposit. She’s thin and angular and wearing flat shoes and too much black. Too sure of herself, with hunched shoulders which seem to bend away from her certainty. She looks too much like me. Or some future version of me.
She leaves, but it’s too late and now the tea party has soured. The cups and couch now seem like not-so-subtle enforcers of gender and wealth, the bracelet and watch weak substitutes for actual human ties. But it’s too bad, I think walking away, because for a minute there the tea looked so warming, the smile on Joaquin’s face so sure.
The sea rocks have a green moss. The pine rocks have red berries. I have memories of you.
Speak to me of how you miss me. Tell me the hours go long and slow.
Speak to me of the drag on your heart, The iron drag of the long days.
I know hours empty as a beggar’s tin cup on a rainy day, empty as a soldier’s sleeve with an arm lost.
Speak to me…
-Carl Sandburg, Home Thoughts
Carl and today’s mystery letter writer have a point - there’s nothing quite like the feeling of home. And picking up litter’s become a part of my daily routine what with all the cat babysitting I’ve been doing lately. Though I think the letter writer may have been referring to trash. We may never know.