two poems, not my own

“Tomorrow, Tomorrow”
I remember the cities I have never seen
exactly. Silver-veined Venice, Leningrad
with its toffee-twisted minarets. Paris. Soon
the Impressionists will be making sunshing out of shade
Oh! and the uncoiling cobra alleys of Hyderabad.

To have loved one horizon is insularity;
it blindfolds vision, it narrows experience.
The spirit is willing, but the mind is dirty.
The flesh wastes itself under crumb-sprinkled linens,
widening the Weltanschauung with magazines.

A world’s outside the door, but how upsetting
to stand by your bags on a cold step as dawn
roses the brickwork and before you start regretting,
your taxi’s coming with one beep of its horn,
sidling to the curb like a hears – so you get in
— Derek Walcott

“The Composer”
All the others translate: the painter sketches
A visible world to love or reject;
Rummaging into his living, the poet fetches
The images out that hurt and connect,

From Life to Art by painstaking adaption,
Relying on us to cover the rift;
Only your notes are pure contraption,
Only your song is an absolute gift.

Pour out your presence, a delight cascading
The falls of the knee and the weirs of the spine;
Our climate of silence and doubt invading;

You alone, alone, imaginary song,
Are unable to say an existence is wrong,
And pour out your forgiveness like a wine.
—W H Auden

weekend

I’m really hoping this weekend is boring. I hope that’s not too much to ask. After the last couple of weeks, I think I deserve a day or two off.

We’re fully out of the apt. It was really anticlimactic – I cleaned the one spot Mark mentioned, I asked if he needed me to do anything else, we talked about the deposit – and that was it. Again, hard to leave a place where one has been happy, even if you’re going somewhere better. It was just a flood of memories as we walked down the stairs and out the door – made even more poignant because I know I won’t be going back to that place. When we moved out of 130 we knew that Jen was moving in, so the actual flood of emotion was delayed a bit. She’s moving out in a couple of weeks – so I’ll have to say my goodbyes again, but a year’s distance separates me from all of that, so I think I’ll be OK. Memory is a really strange thing.

Our fridge arrived yesterday morning. Jen, dedicated porch monkey that she is, camped out at the house until it arrived, then sent me a series of very funny emails regarding her porch monkey duties. God, I love my sister.

But of course not everything could go smoothly. We had to have N’s junky Jeep towed – and as soon as we started for the house, it started pouring. Nate got to the house with the towing company, only to find that we had no power. On top of that, all of our windows were open. I left my car running in the alley, took Nate’s car around front, then tore through the house – soaking wet – closing windows. The trip from the back door to the garage was enough to soak me to the skin. We got the car taken care of, then had to mop up the house. Fortunately the only things that really got wet were a couple of blankets and one book – it could’ve been much much worse. I think the most frustrating thing was the lack of power – our neighbors on all sides had power, just not us. Oh well. It’s amazing how patient you become about these things after going without power for days at a time.

Sleep update: I actually slept soundly last night! Hooray! Maybe the temptation of the interweb has more to do with my sleepless nights than I thought. Or maybe reading about Kant was enough to do me in…

jen

Subject #2 – Jen
Year of introduction – 1984
Fact of Some Note – I was the only one who thought Jen would be a girl.

I met Jen in 1984. I really can’t tell you much about our introduction – I just remember being at the house with Grandma and Mark while Mom was at the hospital. I don’t know if we were allowed to go see her, being four and three, respectively. Our relationship has changed significantly over the last 19 years – especially in the last two or three years. When we were small we didn’t get along at all – and Mark and I were terrible about teasing her. As adults (or what passes for adults), we’ve grown really close and our relationship is the envy of many.

A few choice Jen anecdotes:
When Jen was four, she really, really, really wanted a blue puppy. I don’t know if anyone had told her that dogs don’t normally come in blue. About 12 years later I finally gave her a blue dog.
During her senior year, Jen was up for “Clip of the Day” on one of our local TV station’s evening show. My coworkers and I spent the entire day clicking on the link to vote for her volleyball prowess. The prize? A six foot party sub, which she never got.
Jen and I were there when our brother Eric was born. Apparently my dad thought that having us girls there for the “miracle of birth” would persuade us never to have sex. It didn’t work.
After she quit prom and graduated from high school, Jen came to work with me. A few months later, she moved into our old apartment when we moved to a new place. So, for almost a year, we were coworkers and neighbors, as well as sisters and friends. People at our workplace begged to be included in our family.

Some things I love about her:
She has been loyal and supportive of me, even if she doesn’t always understand my actions.
We can be totally silly together, yet still sit up all night talking about the things that matter.
She is a super divalicious fashion consultant.
She misguidedly loves Orlando Bloom, even though he looks like a bunny.
She is the best porch monkey and sister anyone could ask for.