Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Little Poetry



I sit at the dining room table in a moment of respite eating olives and a strong Stilton cheese, some roasted garlic with a French loaf.  A glass of red sits beside me.  I have a moment this afternoon.  I could do anything.  I could, but I can't.  After a day at the factory I am too tired to go out and do the things I dreamed of doing the night before.  Although I get better every day (or so I tell myself),  I don't have it in me to saunter yet.  Yet, I say.  But I must.  It is all I have dreamed of and longed for.  The means to travel, the time to go.

I urge anyone not to wait.  There is no waiting, no certainty.  All you ever have is the now.  There is no future that you know of or want to know of.  If you don't do it now, you won't.  I tell you the truth.

But there is always some old guy trying to tell youth how to live their lives.  That is what they say.  That is what they have always said.  It must be true.

Since I don't have the energy to go tonight, I will eat and drink and write, and then I will look at a new book I have just gotten, "Early Work" by Joel Sternfeld.  It is a real dandy.

And then the news.  I watch less and less of it, but I can't turn away from the train wreck.  I am rubbernecking the American Experience.

It looks to me like the democrats will lose again in two years.  I don't think Identity Politics is going to win the national vote.  It might carry Queens, but we'll see how that works out.  But the usual crew is on hand this time around.  I'm waiting for Hillary to announce again.  There is no learning, only idealism and theory.

And the Russians.

Did I tell you I got beautified for the Snow Moon?  We went out to the lake and watched it for a good, long time.  I thought of Li Po but could not think of the other Chinese poet of the era.  Lao Tse?  No.  Who?

Drinking rice wine under a full Snow Moon.

The Solitude of Night
BY LI PO
TRANSLATED BY SHIGEYOSHI OBATA

It was at a wine party—

I lay in a drowse, knowing it not.

The blown flowers fell and filled my lap.

When I arose, still drunken,

The birds had all gone to their nests,

And there remained but few of my comrades.

I went along the river—alone in the moonlight.

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