Leaves in the eaves
of the photograph’s blue sky,
a sky not flat but arching
and pretend-deep—I look up, it’s
September and the tree
in the backyard’s
fading, soon enough
it’ll be winter,
leaves all matrixed
on the sidewalk,
drawing. I can’t tell
the difference anymore. What
have I done with this year of living?
I fretted & fanged,
was a kind of
slang of myself.
Time slips on.
Used to know how to live,
now need a mnemonic,
boat tour, including
snorkels & a printed
angelfish, shark, sweetheart,
home, house, abode.
for funneling the moon’s
on skin. Everyone
walking around holding
something in. I see you’re really me,
lifelike but not alive,
an animal in a diorama.
Wake up, you! That marvelous
thing you never
imagined has arrived,
I see it there,
on the horizon’s vanishing
from the hawthorn,
October 10, 2014 at 12:23am
I GIVE A CONVINCING SERMON
I give a convincing sermon. I say The body
is a coat. It is a very dark and heavy coat
but worthless. Mother Mary nods from the pews.
If I give Mary all my atoms she will plant them
in a garden where ripened women relinquish
their bones to make room for littler women.
It is dangerous to grow accustomed to a garden.
Just when the flowers soften you, they disappear.
Then you are a weepy fern among skyscrapers.
I don’t want my soul exposed like that.
Neither can you make a garden stay. Don’t even try.
Every plot becomes a dark city over time.
I have collected many dark ideas over time.
I have so many ideas they are a second coat.
As an expression of our inability to live up to the standards of experience, which aren’t even that high, art is transcendent, beating reality at its own game, making reality real, the imagination wearing mortal flesh, slumming, readying itself to go back to God after sprinkling its messages like apple seeds across a nation, which will grow into fruit-bearing trees.
Because of this, artists have more, or less, sex, or the same amount. Think of Picasso and Kafka.
Art is made instead: if life were enough, we wouldn’t. But we need art’s off ramp to a parallel road, less congested, more beautiful, where it means something just to pass by.
CRAIG MORGAN TEICHER
October 3, 2014 at 12:43am
See how the fish go back and forth endlessly in their tank, from one side to the other and back and back again, along a line they forget. Boredom is a failure of the imagination to perceive reality, which is exciting. For instance, if you get very close to a tiny bug scampering across a stone wall, this is very exciting; you won’t be bored. The clouds are always changing shape—a cow, a bicycle wheel, and that one looks like a fork…it’s very exciting.
Or it’s a failure of reality to make room for the imagination: that may indeed be a stone wall, but it is made of trillions of imperceptible atoms only visible to the inner eye, which splinters everything into the parts of which all might, of which all must, be made.
Imagination is the failure of boredom to accept reality, which is matter-of-fact and available in the simplest sense of that word, meaning it is right here before you, go and touch it or don’t, it won’t change anything and you are being kept out anyway, locked in an imaginary bubble that only an imaginary needle can pop.
It is no surprise that you’re bored, given the above, and the above is no surprise, given that you are you, not that you are so different from anyone else.
Leaves are falling outside. There is no reason to count them—a number won’t aide or impede their falling, nor will it change your life.
CRAIG MORGAN THEICHER
September 29, 2014 at 8:45pm
I DON’T EVEN
why can’t you bear to figure yourself out
well that is really a good question
it would mean you are the pieces in the dark
you are the whole thing taken apart
and hidden so as to be safe and secret
you are the secret and the ways lost to the makers
and to figure yourself out would mean all the lights would come on
and you would know the thing you didn’t want to know
and the secret would be in danger again and all that could be made
could be made would be made
you are a message to yourself can you write this down sure
you are a message you left to yourself at some other time you will
remember if you could sit here long enough
you are a code and the thing hidden in the code and the code breaker
breaker breaker break break codebreaker break codebreaker break
break codebreaker break
just like that like some machine just like that
what is the secret is it is a loyalty to others
that never breaks machine of loyalty
no one believes in it they test it all the time all fools
what would it take for you to really give up on someone well
the someone would have to be you
First you wake in disbelief, then
In sadness and grief and when you wake
For the last time, the forest you’ve been
Looking for will turn out to be
Right in the middle of your chest.
September 4, 2014 at 8:13pm
"In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe said there are two kinds of writers: putter-inners (like himself) or leaver-outers (like Fitzgerald). These categories, like all categories, are of course oversimplified, but they still illustrate a great point. Just like saying yes, saying no creates your story. It’s what you leave out, not just what you put in, that forms a story, that makes a life.
Creative pursuits hold an inherent need for choice, whether we consider music, art, literature, dance, or design. Every great story is surrounded by white space of some kind. Blank spaces are powerful. The author and designer choose not to lay out a page with text to every edge. Its white space is part of the story it tells. What we choose to leave out creates the story.”
A LESSON, by Liz Danico
I’LL REMEMBER AUGUST
The dog Schafer says to
put it to sleep. Let it down easy,
he says. There is no thicker love
than to suffer. Schafer says
the gray is getting thin. We aren’t
losing track of its bones
these days. We consult Schafer
as to what can be done; he suggests
we let it go. Sooner or later, we will shake
it off, understand we never would’ve
held it so close if it weren’t for that one
time. I nod, and then you nod. I’ll remember
August, I say, not looking at you
or at Schafer, how embarrassingly the heat
suffocated a home of us, how happy we were
that it melted our hair and insides.
You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.
July 31, 2014 at 10:00am
Don’t wait for permission to make something that’s interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don’t wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who’ll give you notes to make it better. Don’t wait till you’re older, or in some better job than you have now. Don’t wait for anything. Don’t wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That’s not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it’ll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.
— IRA GLASS