2003.12

Friday, 12.05:

Matt’s thesis defense went very well today: such a relief, and both Paula and Saundra thanked me privately for my hard work. Now on to the next immediate thing: catching up with grading. Classes end on Tuesday, and don’t have everything ready–not by a long shot.

We got a cat today. Becky Warner had three feral kittens, two orange, one gray, and R said if I got permission from Sue & Wayne, he’d go along with it. He went with me this afternoon to pick one out. On the way, I said if none of them felt right, we’d skip it; Becky already had some guy in Mifflinburg committed to taking them and finding them homes. We wanted the same cat, the pale orange one. Not sure yet if it’s female or male, but very cute, and has adjusted already to Sadie (less so to us).

How long since we’ve had a kitten? Not since George. Twenty years?


Tuesday, 12.09:

draft | Cradle

The poet is reading by moonlight, walking his slow way home,
holding the open book steady. He pauses by lamplight,
rereads the same line. The street shines with snowmelt. In snowlight, 
in shadow, the poet walks home
like a man who is dreaming the way. By porchlight,
by carlight, the poet is reading–one line, from one poem–
he’s repeating, he’s reading it all the way home. 


Classes ended today. Crush of grading leftover papers mixed with enormous relief: a month to try to write.


Thursday, 12.18:

Email from Katie this afternoon, an installment on the poem we’re writing, from the line by Bishop. Immediately I set to working off what she’d sent and had the next segment within a few minutes. Then went back to another line she’d sent earlier–last month?–by Molly Peacock. I had wanted to work on this one before now but got interrupted and lost that thread. So now we have two in progress. I’m so happy to work with Katie on these:

Let us live where the twilight lives after the dark,                [Bishop]
curled in the hull the seed’s embryo shrugs
aside. A small boat unfit for travel. We rend

to grow: the dragonfly slits its own back
like a zippered dress, emerges and waits for the blood
in its wings to wake, to harden. To fly

from what has been wasted, what lost, what lifted
or left, let us move like the scent spiraling off
the moonflower, its damp tissue bruised

by the moth. Where the moth overwinters,
where the mouth dreams of hands that . . .

And now I’m wondering whether it’s actually bats that pollinate moonflowers, though I suppose moths could bruise them by trying? 

All is in fragments: the wingspan                    [Peacock]
of a held breath, mass of an eyelash,
heat of blood climbing the spine’s 
worn stair. Blue in the dark, blue
in its lonely vocation. She me
your red side. Tell me . . .