I am wide/awake. The mind/is listening.”
—William Carlos Williams
Today I wrote, “The spring is late this year.
In the early mornings there is hoarfrost on the water meadows.
And on the highway the frozen ruts are papered over with ice.”
The day was gloves.
How far from the usual statement
About time, ice—the weather itself had gone.
—John Ashbery (from The Skaters, IV)
In his Berlin story, Something About the Railway, Robert Walser wrote, “Nowadays, anywhere there is nature, trains are also found.” How true it is: almost all along its route, the best views of the Hudson between New York City and Poughkeepsie are from the train, not by foot. But there’s one place near to us where anyone on foot can have the ne plus ultra of views, weather permitting, of course. Continue reading
Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
—Chaucer, from The Canterbury Tales, The Prologue
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
–T. S. Eliot, from The Waste Land, Part I, The Burial of the Dead
Spring, Part I (Early April, New York City)
In the lobby at 745 Fifth Avenue, there was a fellow playing piano. Moon River, to be exact. What, I wondered, would an alien landing on earth think of that? Inside the building, for which I felt decidedly underdressed in jeans, an old mock turtleneck, and fleece jacket complete with cat hair, were at least three posh galleries. Despite my appearance, I was allowed to enter and roam the halls. Continue reading
Having written something that pleases one doesn’t give one instructions on how to do it again.
William Carlos Williams’ Portrait of a Lady is a peculiar thing, stuttering along as it does. It begins:
Your thighs are appletrees
whose blossoms touch the sky.
Which sky? . . . Continue reading