Monday, October 31, 2011

Not Your Children's Vampire



excerpt from Dracula by Bram Stoker

Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine. But seeing them now close to me, I could not but notice that they were rather coarse, broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and cut to a sharp point. As the Count leaned over me and his hands touched me, I could not repress a shudder. It may have been that his breath was rank, but a horrible feeling of nausea came over me, which, do what I would, I could not conceal.




The Count, evidently noticing it, drew back. And with a grim sort of smile, which showed more than he had yet done his protruberant teeth, sat himself down again on his own side of the fireplace. We were both silent for a while, and as I looked towards the window I saw the first dim streak of the coming dawn. There seemed a strange stillness over everything. But as I listened, I heard as if from down below in the valley the howling of many wolves. The Count's eyes gleamed, and he said.



"Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!" Seeing, I suppose, some expression in my face strange to him, he added,"Ah, sir, you dwellers in the city cannot enter into the feelings of the hunter."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday in CinCity. The Ghost Story Edition.

Giselle...





"...cause sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead." Poor Giselle, if only she'd had an IPod to listen to the wisdom of Adele or read some poetry.


Sometimes, I Am Startled Out of Myself


by Barbara Crooker



like this morning, when the wild geese came squawking,

flapping their rusty hinges, and something about their trek

across the sky made me think about my life, the places

of brokenness, the places of sorrow, the places where grief

has strung me out to dry. And then the geese come calling,

the leader falling back when tired, another taking her place.

Hope is borne on wings. Look at the trees. They turn to gold

for a brief while, then lose it all each November.

Through the cold months, they stand, take the worst

weather has to offer. And still, they put out shy green leaves

come April, come May. The geese glide over the cornfields,

land on the pond with its sedges and reeds.

You do not have to be wise. Even a goose knows how to find

shelter, where the corn still lies in the stubble and dried stalks.

All we do is pass through here, the best way we can.

They stitch up the sky, and it is whole again.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Cat's Life

by David R. Slavitt



Her repertoire is limited but fulfilling,

with two preoccupations, or three, perhaps,

if you include the taking of many naps:

otherwise she is snuggling or killing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On the Wards

by Rafael Campo





I pass you in a hurry, on my way

to where another woman who I know

is dying of a stroke that in the end

is nothing worse than what is killing you.

Same gurney, same bruised arms and mute IV—

you wait for what might be a final test.

It's something in the way you look at me

that makes me realize you have your own

mistakes you think you're paying for, your own

ungrateful kids, your own unspeakable

pain. Yet you look at me, still desperate

for just another human being to

look kindly back at you, to recognize

in you the end is not far off, is not

so unimaginable. Years ago

I watched a patient of mine say goodbye

to life. She was alone like you, alone

like me, she was in agony. She looked

at me, and I, afraid to be the last

thing here on Earth she saw, twisted my head

to look away. I almost do the same

to you, afraid you might imagine me

as later you lay dying, but I don't.

Instead, I look at you remorselessly,

the way I hope that someday I am seen,

the way each one deserves to be imagined,

and wonder at your astonishing beauty.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

fare thee well, fireflies...

A Lover


by Amy Lowell



If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly

I could see to write you a letter.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday in CinCity. The Full Moon and the Neuro Unit Edition.

Letter from a Mental Hospital


by Kim Lozano






From the heart of an old box of letters

I lift a small water-stained envelope.

Inside, a note card as thin and brittle as a frozen leaf

bears a message written fifty years ago

by a woman who shares my name.



She delivers no greeting, no sorry to have been away so long.

She leaves no record of visitors, rationed cigarettes,

group art, or the barren iceberg of treatment.



I imagine her listening to the ping of the radiator

on a snowy morning, seated in her nightgown and socks

by an open window. A bell rings in the hallway

but she doesn't move toward her robe or her slippers or her brush.



I see myself sitting beside her, reaching

toward her dull pencil to place my fingers over hers,

hand on hand, gliding over the words, moving

like two skaters on a lake tracing the solitary line—

Please come get me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday in CinCity


It was a grrrl's weekend at the lake. Pizza, beer, thrift store shopping, farmers' markets and girltalk. A nice break for all of us and a new way to reconfigure ourselves with 2 girls growing up, up, and away. CollegeGrrrl shadowed at BigFatTeaching Hospital, first in the Burns unit, then with me. That was fun to have her there and explain some of the details about nursing that can't be learned till you're in the thick of it and equipment that makes much more sense in person than in a lecture.

HoneyHaired--our new collegegrrrl--made up for lost sleep. You'd think there was a magical sleeping potion in the backseat of the car.

But, they're off and running again. Hubby is off working at winterizing the place before the season passes. I'm here on a day off with the remaining animal boys who could also sleep all day and night and then some. Must pull myself away quickly. I'm convinced they release some pherome that entices all humans around them to nap the day away.


At the Lake


by Mary Oliver



A fish leaps

like a black pin --

then -- when the starlight

strikes its side --



like a silver pin.

In an instant

the fish's spine

alters the fierce line of rising



and it curls a little --

the head, like scalloped tin,

plunges back,

and it's gone.



This is, I think,

what holiness is:

the natural world,

where every moment is full



of the passion to keep moving.

Inside every mind

there's a hermit's cave

full of light,



full of snow,

full of concentration.

I've knelt there,

and so have you,



hanging on

to what you love,

to what is lovely.

The lake's



shining sheets

don't make a ripple now,

and the stars

are going off to their blue sleep,



but the words are in place --

and the fish leaps, and leaps again

from the black plush of the poem,

that breathless space.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Living Things

by Anne Porter



Our poems

Are like the wart-hogs

In the zoo

It's hard to say

Why there should be such creatures



But once our life gets into them

As sometimes happens

Our poems

Turn into living things

And there's no arguing

With living things

They are

The way they are



Our poems

May be rough

Or delicate

Little

Or great



But always

They have inside them

A confluence of cries

And secret languages



And always

They are improvident

And free

They keep

A kind of Sabbath



They play

On sooty fire escapes

And window ledges



They wander in and out

Of jails and gardens

They sparkle

In the deep mines

They sing

In breaking waves

And rock like wooden cradles.