Trying to Name What Doesn’t ChangeRoselva says the only thing that doesn’t changeis train tracks. She’s sure of it.The train changes, or the weeds that grow up spideryby the side, but not the tracks.I’ve watched one for three years, she says,and it doesn’t curve, doesn’t break, doesn’t grow.
Peter isn’t sure. He saw an abandoned tracknear Sabinas, Mexico, and says a track without a trainis a changed track. The metal wasn’t shiny anymore.The wood was split and some of the ties were gone.
Every Tuesday on Morales Streetbutchers crack the necks of a hundred hens.The widow in the tilted housespices her soup with cinnamon.Ask her what doesn’t change.
Stars explode.The rose curls up as if there is fire in the petals.The cat who knew me is buried under the bush.
The train whistle still wails its ancient soundbut when it goes away, shrinking backfrom the walls of the brain,it takes something different with it every time.
The cover photograph of my edition of Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul’s “In a Free State” would be hilarious if only it were funny.
Years of going to the farm
Years of taking the walk with your mother, guests and guards
From the warm house to the horses you mostly go down
For an hour with your mother, guests, and guards
Fenced by black wood and electric wire
The narrow path has hills on both sides
An indigo lake at the end of each end
Fresh water springs and bridges that cross
Today I made the descent in thirty-five
No talk, no guards
Fast past the pregnant cows that moan
Took a stick to repel the dirty dogs
But on the climb back to the house
A herd of cows was using my path
With my stick I bent electric wire
And sat in a pasture to wait for the cows
During my wait the grass moved in waves
And I watched white clouds drift by
But I knew it would sound dumb
If I wrote it down just like that
So I sat in a field to think of ways
To thank the walk and the cows for the wait
But when I got up to a path blackened by shit
I lost all hope for the scope of this poem
This very casual poem was recently published by Empty Mirror Books. Happy weekend to all!
I finished reading Ian McEwan’s “The Comfort of Strangers” this past weekend and am still spooked. But, it was so deliciously and erotically dark that I can hardly lament its disastrous end.
I usually stay away from noir/horror but this novel was short enough for me to enter and exit unscathed. Plus, it offers a valuable lesson: keep clear of unsolicited tour giudes, especially if you are hot.
I keep coming back to this poem by British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy again and again.
There is a myth among poetry writers that poets will only ever write a few perfect poems. Well, I think this is part of her (quite ample) list of absolutely perfect poems. It is from her collection “Rapture,” which won the T.S. Elliot Prize and should be on every poetry fan’s bookshelf.
I tend the mobile now
like an injured bird
We text, text, text
our significant words.
I re-read your first,
your second, your third,
look for your small xx,
The codes we send
arrive with a broken chord.
I try to picture your hands,
their image is blurred.
Nothing my thumbs press
will ever be heard.