Friday, February 14, 2014

RANDOM CONSOLATIONS

Mary's amaryllis.
Saturday again, and, although cold, not wet. I haven't been able to get in a good walk all week. Louise and I started our writing sessions early (-ish) and they continued for most of the rest of the day with only short breaks for food and rest. So, although, (again), I would vastly prefer a nice afternoon nap, I am preparing to walk.

I've been very very down. I cannot attribute this to alcohol as my intake is limited to a beer a day (with Jeopardy). I suppose the Gummy Life Savers I succumbed to yesterday might contribute to my system of a down today, but otherwise, I have been more or less moderate. We will see if the lack of exercise is a contributing factor. And perhaps I will find something to photograph in my peregrination. It will be short as I do need to sleep before another screenwriting seminar at 3:00.

Reporting post walk-experiment: yes, it did help. I grow fonder and fonder of walking. Once I get off of the busy street and into the neighborhood again, it is pretty quiet. And there are enough different streets to change my route, though the houses and architecture are fairly uniform. Now for a twenty minute nap before the seminar.

Almost a week later.

I came down with some kind of cold or sinus infection on Monday, shortly after I arrived in Brooklyn to catsit the fabulous-tailed Nightshade and to, ostensibly, lurk around the hotel lobby where Kidscreen was taking place. I wasn't well enough to go and then the weather threatened to be very bad, so I took my leave and headed back to Long Island.

The place I was cat sitting was very much to my taste, complete with a big claw-foot bathtub which I availed myself several times during my short stay. 








I thought to find a poem as I don't have much to say for myself at the moment. I went upstairs to look for a collection, as I thought I had sprung enough Billy Collins on you for awhile. To my surprise, I had only the volume I spirited away from my deceased brother's library, The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. My other volumes of poetry are in the garage and I didn't really want to dress and trek through the snow to retrieve them. Without much ado, I fell upon this Hart Crane poem. I really know (or knew, I did read the little introduction) very little about Mr. Crane. This poem came as a nice surprise given its cinematic and feline connections.

CHAPLINESQUE

We make our meek adjustments,
Contented with such random consolations

As the wind deposits
In slithered and too ample pockets.

For we can still love the world, who find
A famished kitten on the step, and know
Recesses for it from the fury of the street,
Or warm torn elbow coverts.

We will sidestep, and to the final smirk
Dally the doom of that inevitable thumb
That slowly chafes its puckered index toward us,
Facing the dull squint with what innocence
And what surprise!

And yet these fine collapses are not lies
More than the pirouettes of any pliant cane;

Our obsequies are, in a way, no enterprise.
We can evade you, and all else but the heart:
What blame to us if the heart live on.

The game enforces smirks; but we have seen
The moon in lonely alleys make
A grail of laughter of an empty ash can,
And through all sound of gaiety and quest
Have heard a kitten in the wilderness.

— Hart Crane

Here's what he had to say about this (in a letter to William Wright, 10/17/1921):

"As you did not 'get' my idiom in 'Chaplinesque,' I feel rather like doing my best to explain myself. I am moved to put Chaplin with the poets (of today); hence the 'we.' In other words, he, especially in The Kid, made me feel myself as a poet, as being 'in the same boat' with him. Poetry, the human feelings, 'the kitten,' is so crowded out of the humdrum, rushing, mechanical scramble of today that the man who would preserve them must duck and camouflage for dear life to keep them or keep himself from annihilation. I have since learned that I am by no means alone in seeing these things in the buffooneries  of the tragedian, Chaplin . . .  and in the poem I have tried to express these 'social sympathies' in words corresponding somewhat to the antics of the actor."

Cooder and Emmylou are much more than random consolations as Cooder now scratches at my leg, wanting I-am-sure-you-know-what ...




No comments:

Post a Comment