Well now, isn’t winter arriving apace? My son asks me which is the first season. Good question, kid. It’s one of the very few sets we don’t call out for alpha and omega, seasons. Should we order it so everything gets born at the start, feasts, gleans, and blows apart? Or let’s mix it up so we are born in the white snow and the rest of life is a revelation of relief.
Today’s got a blue and white mottled sky, really light and bright on spots of the white, elsewhere a few bits gun metal. The gun metal is dull and very high on the window, when I look at it my eyeballs are raised in a way that tugs on the back of my brain and makes me feel a luxurious physical sense of the onset of crying without the least actual crying. Writing that has made me laugh. Now more of the sky is getting gunny and it’s become entirely funny.
Two days ago in class we did Frank O’Hara, I tell them to get the collected and I give a list of ones not to miss. Then whichever ones come up in class we talk about. It’s incredibly fun. This one is coming to mind right now. It’s an early one and most of the stuff that goes on in most of his poems are not herein on display, all those newspapers and movie stars, jazz songs, the exact time and the weather, but there is already the backswing of the phrasing and the secret sorrow placed casually on a coaster on a marble table top. (“I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton/ at 7:15 and go straight to dinner/ and I don’t know the people who will feed me”)
It’s got a tonguey title, sorry to say. Just call it When I was a child. or Imagine!
When I was a child
I played by myself in a
corner of the schoolyard
I hated dolls and I
hated games, animals were
not friendly and birds
If anyone was looking
for me I hid behind a
tree and cried out "I am
And here I am, the
center of all beauty!
writing these poems!
There you have it. As I’ve previously advised, if you are losing your mind, or even just getting tired of following it around the room, describe something. Then you too can be at the center of all beauty.
Happy Hanukah! Here’s something I wrote for the New York Times about Hanukah, a lively discussion follows. I think you have to be a subscriber to see it, sorry about that.
Take it easy on yourself you magnificent coconut.
PS This past Sunday we took the kids to the top of the Empire State so they could see how high up some things are, how low the rest, and how big the world is. In the first picture, above, we looked down. Now look up. xox