Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WHY RUSH AT EVERY SPARK?

So much for my dreams of sleep. I just could not do more than doze for most of the night, which, of course, means that today was nearly nonexistent for me. Just in trying to keep my spirits of positivity in motion, I did have a fun conversation with SMS that touched on William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience and Shakespeare and that doesn’t happen every day.


It rained quite a bit so when it stopped, I took the opportunity to pull some weeds in the garden while the aforementioned conversation took place. I didn’t get the bills paid, although I did mail the property tax off and that was the big one. And I hung a new rail in the kitchen for spatulas and such. I am so inept at that kind of thing, but I tell myself it will get better with practice. And I said my mental thanks to JRV and PAS who have helped me learn my way around some basic power tools. No great shakes but we need all the counter space we can get. 




Meanwhile, my department head just came in and suggested I shut it down. I did get in some poetry reading today, so here's one.

LYING AWAKE

This moth caught in the room tonight
Squirmed up, sniper-style, between
The rusted edges of the screen;
Then, as long as the room stayed light,

Lay here, content, in some corner hole.
Now that we've settled into bed,
Though, he can't sleep. Overhead,
He throws himself at the blank wall.

Each night, hordes of these flutterers haunt
And climb my study windowpane;
Fired by reflection, their insane
Eyes gleam, they know that they want.

How do the petulant things survive?
Out in the fields they have a place
And proper work, furthering the race;
Why this blind, fanatical drive

Indoors? Why rush at every spark
Cigar, head lamp, or railroad warning,
Break a leg off and starve by morning?
And what could a moth fear in the dark

Compared with what you meet inside?
Still, he rams the fluorescent face
Of the clock, thinks that's another place
Of light and families, where he'll hide.

We ought to trap him in a jar,
Or come like the white-coats with a net
And turn him toward the living. Yet
We don't: we take things as they are.

W.D. Snodgrass, Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems, 2009


My department head.

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