the snow man

Standard

The Snow Man
Wallace Stevens
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Photo by Vlad Fara on Unsplash

permission space

Standard

Comfort is a strange and bizarrely entitled expectation. How did we arrive at this place where we feel angry, entitled, unreasonable and demanding when we must experience just moments of discomfort? I think about this a lot, but there are moments when it takes over entirely.

I was stepping off a train in Stockholm not so long ago when I saw an older woman descending the one or two very narrow and steep steps to disembark the train, and she slipped and fell, hard, her leg sliding between the train step and the platform. She screamed out, and her leg bent the wrong way completely. People gathered around to help. After wincing and thinking about what I could possibly do, I decided to just walk away, but the violence and suddenness of the moment stuck with me for days. What this has to do with comfort isn’t exactly clear. But such moments jar me from my walking cocoon and being in my own world to question all these things, like what right we think we have to being comfortable all the time.

 

 

passing remark

Standard

Passing Remark
William Stafford

In scenery I like flat country.
In life I don’t like much to happen.

In personalities I like mild colorless people.
And in colors I prefer gray and brown.

My wife, a vivid girl from the mountains,
says, “Then why did you choose me?”

Mildly I lower my brown eyes—
there are so many things admirable people do not understand.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

regret

Standard

Regret
Dee LeRoy
You kick it
off the porch
but it returns
soon enough
whiskers twitching
all the more eager
for admission.
So you let it in
name it
nurture it
learn to live
with the purring of it
heavy and warm
in your lap
its hooked claws
kneading your heart
with affection.

Photo by Emily Fletke on Unsplash

amusing tongue of procrastination – Random gum of February 2019 soundtrack

Standard

It’s been another city-to-city runaround for the last two months, and music has been one of the things fueling me as I overfill an endless to-do list, tend to my most basic needs and contemplate the impending doom of Brexit and Trumpdom. I know some of these are repeated of songs I’ve included in other mixes. At this point I don’t think it can be helped. I collect what keeps me going as I go… and that might be the same songs month after month…

amusing tongue of procrastination
Good Goo of Random Gum – January and February 2019

Follow along on Spotify.

01 Cameron AveryDance with Me …Sure, I’m a lonely fool and I ain’t that cool
But I’ll walk you through it…
Some Australian thing
02 PoliçaMarrow
Snowy walks in the dark
03 thanks – Your World
04 INXSKiss the Dirt (Falling Down a Mountain)
Hard to believe how long Hutchence has been gone; another Aussie representative
05 AlvvaysPlimsoll Punks
Sometimes things inexplicably and unexpectedly remind you of someone and you can’t figure out why they ever seemed so important
06 World PartyIs It Like Today?
World Party is one of those bands my best friend and I probably made fun of (no idea why) when we were adolescents. Now I listen to this during the snowy, dark morning walks and can’t separate it from the annoyances of public transportation
07 The CultFire Woman
The Cult was never my thing, and this song was something I suppose I made fun of in its heyday, but I recently sent it to my best friend when she offered to help me overcome my fear of fire in order to operate my dormant fireplace
08 LizzoJuice
Can’t get enough of this
09 U2Spanish Eyes
Another nod to adolescence and the old days when B-sides were so hard to come by
10 Phantastic FernitureBad Timing
Oh, how I love everything Julia Jacklin is involved in. “Maybe it’s not the timing/maybe we were never meant to be”
11 Lee HazlewoodPray Them Bars Away
12 Stone RosesMade of Stone
I think I include this song every time I am in a period of isolation and contemplation and walking long distances – since I first heard it in 1989, it has served this purpose
13 Bill CallahanJavelin Unlanding
14 Charlotte GainsbourgSuch a Remarkable Day
15 Townes van ZandtHigh, Low and In Between
16 Connie FrancisYou’re Gonna Miss Me
17 SantigoldCoo Coo Coo
18 Agnes ObelIt’s Happening Again
Denmark
19 Elvis Costello & The Imposters – Heart-Shaped Bruise
20 Julia JacklinHead Alone
“Come on, give me the room tonight/You know I’ve told you before that you hold me too tight”
21 Elvis CostelloThis Year’s Girl
Recently binged the second season of The Deuce – this was a perfect theme song for this season. “You want her broken with her mouth wide open cause she’s this year’s girl”
22 Clau Aniz, flávia cabral – Montanhesa
23 Dory PrevinThe Lady With the Braid
24 SwansBlind
25 Ludovic Alariewe’re a dream nobody wrote down

against dying

Standard

Against Dying
Kaveh Akbar
if the body is just a parable
about the body if breath
is a leash to hold the mind
then staying alive should be
easier than it is most sick
things become dead things
at twenty-four my liver was
already covered in fatty
rot my mother filled a tiny
coffin with picture frames
I spent the year drinking
from test tubes weeping
wherever I went somehow
it happened wellness crept
into me like a roach nibbling
through an eardrum for
a time the half minutes
of fire in my brainstem
made me want to pull out
my spine but even those
have become bearable so
how shall I live now
in the unexpected present
I spent so long in a lover’s
quarrel with my flesh
the peace seems over-
cautious too-polite I say
stop being cold or make
that blue bluer and it does
we speak to each other
in this code where every word
means obey I sit under
a poplar tree with a thermos
of chamomile feeling
useless as an oath against
dying I put a sugar cube
on my tongue and
swallow it like a pill

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash