Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Poet: Charles Wright

These are all from the October 29 issue of The New Yorker, which I just received thanks to TC. I let most of my subscriptions lapse due to parsimony regarding my money (and wondering if I had enough time to indulge in everything I over-subscribe to anyway). But I am glad to have this one back--it is always interesting to read, and I like 90% of every issue.

This is currently the only magazine I'm subscribed to, until I cave in and order Martha Stewart's Living to really indulge in my "fuck you, I am a feminist" love of baking, decorating, and craft-making. I don't much miss my Harper's Monthly (I liked only 60-70%/issue, especially because the Lewis Lapham comments were so annoying), and the digital subscription I had to The New Republic is worthless if you don't spend enough time reading it online (it is better to get the print edition to bring on the train, which I may yet do). If not for low resources of money and time, I would read The Atlantic Monthly and The Economist, and yes, definitely over The American Prospect or The Nation (the latter two are too polemic). I, the commie pinko lefty, am still capable of surprising you, the gentle reader.

I can also imagine throwing my non-existent money and time away on The New York Review of Books. I would also subscribe to The American Scholar, which is such a geek signifier on train--the only visible link to PBK since no one actually wears the key (outside of college, it is a little too relivin' the glory days collegiate), and no one actually does the handshake or even remembers it. There are limits to my reading though. I would never read The Believer or anything affiliated with McSweeneys (just say no to emo, especially if it is twee and pretentious). n+1 is something I would subscribe to if I had more money, but better than that is The Paris Review. Yes, Paul Gowder, I said that out loud.

At some point though, reading so many magazines and book reviews makes you wonder whether you should spend that time actually reading the books they review. So there's that. So I've cut down my magazine reading and increased my actual book reading. But I am glad to have this one magazine back. This is awesome.

So for TC, four short poems for Monday. It is impossible to capture the white space in Blogger, but they're charming enough to type up anyway:


It is Sweet to Be Remembered

No one's remembered much longer than a rock
is remembered beside the road
If he's lucky or
Some tune or harsh word
uttered in childhood or back in the day.

Still how nice to imagine some kid someday
picking that rock up and holding it in his hand
Briefly before he chucks it
Deep in the woods in a sunny spot in the tall grass.


Sunlight Bets on the Come

The basic pleasures remain unchanged,
and their minor satisfactions--
Chopping wood, building a fire
Wtching the the elk herd
splinter and cruise around the outcrop of spruce trees

As the deer haul ass,
their white flags like synchonized swimmers' hands,
Sunlight sealing--stretched like Saran wrap--
The world as we know it,
keeping it fresh-flamed should tomorrow arrive.


Consolation and the Order of the World

There is a certain hubris,
or sse of invulnerability,
That sends us packing
Whenever our focus drops a stop, or the flash fails.

These snaps are the balance of our lives,
Defining moments, permanent signs,
Fir shadows needling out of the woods,
night with its full syringe.


We Hope That Love Calls Us, But Sometimes We're Not So Sure

No wind-sighs. And rain-splatter heaves up over the mountains,
and dies out.
October humidity
Like a heart-red tower light,
now bright, now not so bright.
Autumn night at the end of the world.
In its innermost corridors,
all damp and all light are gone, and love, too.
Amber does not remember the pine.

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