Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Asian Morning

“Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving things
Was the eye of the blackbird.”  -Stevens

You'll have to forgive me, Dear Reader... but I've been thinking about modernism again.
“I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.”  -Stevens

And in moments of weakness like this, I refuse to turn to T.S. Eliot.
“The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.”  -Stevens

So Wallace Stevens it is...I've always found it so amusing that he humped life insurance.
“A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.”  -Stevens

What a soul crushing pursuit, as if writing poetry wasn't sadomasochistic enough, selling the blessed assurance of death to the living and affluent, forcing signature on the bottom line.
“I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendos,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.”  -Stevens

But how else do you bring the world up to speed.
“Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass,
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro,
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.”  -Stevens

Asia is this way... arriving with this wealth of know how like...
“O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?  -Stevens

Why rotary phones don't work and who Fats Domino was and why asbestos is dangerous and how come polyester is not a leisure material and why snake's blood doesn't cure colon cancer...
“I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.”  -Stevens

Or maybe it does...and I'm the one who should be paying attention.
“When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.”  -Stevens

These are confusing is easily swept away.
“At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.”  -Stevens

That's why I hold on to the past so tight.
“He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach,
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.”  -Stevens

While staring at an uncertain future.
“The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.”  -Stevens

Anyway, it was a very pleasant morning.  Sun and a little breeze.  Washed my hands in the outdoor sink. Stepped over a family of pine cones.  Felt the wood on the desks smooth after a solid sanding.

“It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.”  -Stevens

Made peace with the world.  Gave better than I got... and most days broke even.

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