From the Height of Emotion to the Dread of the Telephone



The day finally came, and when it did it was actually the middle of the night. Staring at the glut of white dresses that some e-commerce site ‘suggested’, evidence that they were listening in, spitting back all the recommendations the earlier eavesdropped conversations indicated. But who needs a long, lace dress to drag through sand… or dress shoes for that matter… when the whole point of the South Pacific destination is to be warm… to return to the shoelessness of Hawaiian toddlerhood?

After all, there is no more value to be found at this point in life for caution, trepidation and overthinking. Just enough thinking. As one of Louise Erdrich’s characters in The Plague of Doves states simply, “But it happened in the heat of things”, to which another replies, “What doesn’t happen in the heat of things?”

Photo (c) 2013 Daniel Chodusov used under Creative Commons license.

‘lost in the steam and chatter’


Remembering John Ashbery, who died earlier this year.

Paradoxes and Oxymorons
John Ashbery
This poem is concerned with language on a very plain level.
Look at it talking to you. You look out a window
Or pretend to fidget. You have it but you don’t have it.
You miss it, it misses you. You miss each other.

The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and cannot.
What’s a plain level? It is that and other things,
Bringing a system of them into play. Play?
Well, actually, yes, but I consider play to be

A deeper outside thing, a dreamed role-pattern,
As in the division of grace these long August days
Without proof. Open-ended. And before you know
It gets lost in the steam and chatter of typewriters.

It has been played once more. I think you exist only
To tease me into doing it, on your level, and then you aren’t there
Or have adopted a different attitude. And the poem
Has set me softly down beside you. The poem is you.



Hesitate to Call
Louise Glück
Lived to see you throwing
Me aside. That fought
Like netted fish inside me. Saw you throbbing
In my syrups. Saw you sleep. And lived to see
That all. That all flushed down
The refuse. Done?
It lives in me.
You live in me. Malignant.
Love, you ever want me, don’t.


‘where should i warm my hands’


The Worlds
Pentti Saarikoski
the worlds rose
out of the abyss
moved through me          broke
i sat on a blue stool
thus wasn’t walking         yet moved
farther and farther
approached a
comprehension of words until
i turned
no longer cared for them
and now i’m heavy with boredom               games
no longer interest me
children are mean         in all yards
words meaningless        in all yards
where should i take
my fear       disgust         my petrified words
where should i warm my hands
over what fire                 tell me
where do the songs go
no one sings
any more?

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

When you go


When You Go
Edwin Morgan
When you go,
if you go,
And I should want to die,
there’s nothing I’d be saved by
more than the time
you fell asleep in my arms
in a trust so gentle
I let the darkening room
drink up the evening, till
rest, or the new rain
lightly roused you awake.
I asked if you heard the rain in your dream
and half dreaming still you only said, I love you.