As if my life were shaven

blackdog

It Was Not Death

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down—
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos—crawl—
Nor Fire—for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool—

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine—

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And ’twas like Midnight, some –

When everything that ticked—has stopped—
And Space stares—all around—
Or Grisly frosts—first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground—

But, most, like Chaos—Stopless—cool—
Without a Chance, or Spar—
Or even a Report of Land—
To justify—Despair.

~ Emily Dickinson

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Two rivers, a continent

Some things I’ve lost:

My heart (little pieces of it, most of which I have never recovered)

My patience (luckily, this seems to replenish automatically)

My head (found it again)

My religion (like the song, but without Michael Stipe’s annoying whine)

Time, so much time. I have a daily subscription, but the fee keeps going up. (Soon I may be forced to let my membership lapse.)

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The Truth About Love

O Tell Me the Truth About Love

Some say love’s a little boy,

And some say it’s a bird,

Some say it makes the world go round,

Some say that’s absurd,

And when I asked the man next door,

Who looked as if he knew,

His wife got very cross indeed,

And said it wouldn’t do.

 

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,

Or the ham in a temperance hotel?

Does its odour remind one of llamas,

Or has it a comforting smell?

Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,

Or soft as eiderdown fluff?

Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?

O tell me the truth about love.

 

Our history books refer to it

In cryptic little notes,

It’s quite a common topic on

The Transatlantic boats;

I’ve found the subject mentioned in

Accounts of suicides,

And even seen it scribbled on

The backs of railway guides.

 

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,

Or boom like a military band?

Could one give a first-rate imitation

On a saw or a Steinway Grand?

Is its singing at parties a riot?

Does it only like Classical stuff?

Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?

O tell me the truth about love.

 

I looked inside the summer-house;

It wasn’t even there;

I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,

And Brighton’s bracing air.

I don’t know what the blackbird sang,

Or what the tulip said;

But it wasn’t in the chicken-run,

Or underneath the bed.

 

Can it pull extraordinary faces?

Is it usually sick on a swing?

Does it spend all its time at the races,

or fiddling with pieces of string?

Has it views of its own about money?

Does it think Patriotism enough?

Are its stories vulgar but funny?

O tell me the truth about love.

 

When it comes, will it come without warning

Just as I’m picking my nose?

Will it knock on my door in the morning,

Or tread in the bus on my toes?

Will it come like a change in the weather?

Will its greeting be courteous or rough?

Will it alter my life altogether?

O tell me the truth about love.

 

By WH Auden (!907-1973)

The Present Never Ends


Song of a Manhattan Suicide Addict 

By Yayoi  Kusama
Swallow antidepressants and it will be all gone
Tear down the gate of hallucination. 

Amidst the agony of flowers, the present never ends

At the stairs of heaven my heart expires in their tenderness. 

Calling from the sky, doubtless, transparent in its shade of blue

Embraced with the shadow of illusion

Cumulonimbi arise. 

Sounds of tears

Shed upon eating the colour of cotton rose

I become a stone 

Not in time eternal

But in the present that transpires. 

(A video installation at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, National Gallery, Singapore.)

The Bathroom Mirror Makes You Look Tall

Who’s That Girl?

Relationships make fools of some all of us.

Turn us into liars and cheats.

Who would recognise the person you become

when you’re in his arms

or laughing at his jokes

or talking about feminism and racism

and all the things you never knew you believed in?

Who would want to know her?

Even your cat is embarrassed.

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