January 20, 2017


It was everywhere, in the streets and houses,
on farms and now in the air itself.
It had come from history and we were history
so it had come from us.
I told my artist friends who courted it
not to suffer
on purpose, not to fall in love
with sadness
because it would naturally be theirs
without assistance,
I had sad stories of my own,
but they made me quiet
the way my parents’ failures once did,
nobody’s business
but our own, and, besides, what was left to say
these days
when the unspeakable was out there being spoken,
exhausting all sympathy?
Yet, feeling it, how difficult to keep
the face’s curtains
closed – she left, he left, they died –
the heart rising
into the mouth and eyes, everything so basic,
so unhistorical
at such times. And then, too, the woes
of others would get in,
but mostly I was inured and out
to make a decent buck
or in pursuit of some slippery pleasure
that was sadness disguised.
I found it, it found me, oh
my artist friends
give it up, just mix your paints,
the strokes unmistakably will be yours.

Stephen Dunn

the noise that colours make

January 20, 2017


Perhaps he was mad. In the seventh grade he had done a science project on this worry. It was the year he began to wonder about the noise that colours make. Roses came roaring across the garden at him. He lay on his bed at night listening to the silver light of stars crashing against the window screen. Most of those he interviewed for the science project had to admit they did not hear the cries of the roses being burned alive in the noonday sun.

Anne Carson
Autobiography of Red

Led by the Serpent

January 20, 2017


Diary 18th January

What a busy little bee I’ve been. And yet I did manage to go out walking yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful day full of sun, but cold for all that. Views to the coast from the top of the hill. Today, too, the weather is s’posed to be fine. So I’ll get out again later for a tramp across the moor.

Finished my story “A day-return to the Isle of the Dead”. Started a new, untitled story yesterday. Autobiographical in part, which is unusual for me.

The sky at dusk streaked pink.

19th January

Sleepless night and cold morning.

Walked up to the mast with Dee yesterday afternoon. Islands of gorse flowering everywhere. Confused by the mild weather, I s’pose. A cold breeze, however.

No one about on the moor. Dee opened my jeans. ‘Someone might come,’ I protested. ‘That’ll be you in a minute,’ her teasing reply.

Led off the path by my thing. Normally I walk here alone with only my ghosts for company. I hear a rhythmic clip clopping from behind. Glancing back. There is a woman on horseback trotting towards us. She can see quite clearly what Dee is doing. As she passes she calls, ‘Good afternoon,’ to us, a huge grin on her narrow face.

‘Afternoon,’ replies Dee, without slowing the rapid motion of her hand.

This horsey woman keeps looking back over her shoulder. Sees me cumming in Dee’s tight little fist. Waves her crop in the air, a salute to the God of handjobs. Disgusting to spy on us in that way. But Dee couldn’t stop laughing about it…

I feel strangely chained to this landscape. To its wild remoteness.

Went to the pub, drank Merlot in front of the roaring log fire. Cooked a vegetable casserole when we got home. Drank brandy and hot chocolate.