Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Quiet Night

Last night, before Yasu came home (did I tell you I finally moved to Queens?) from his dinner party in the city, I spent a few hours alone in the apartment, head propped up in bed, reading Elizabeth Bishop, and listening to the soft patter of rain on the surface of the air conditioner outside. It was not an unpleasant sound, but a tiny tinny noise, more urban lullabye than an annoyance.

It fit in perfectly with the mood of what I was reading. Every now and then I would get up to pee (too much water with those six salty Chinese dumplings I had for dinner) and the sound of the rain would be overwhelmed by the unsalubrious and embrarassing sound of me. I had a hard time putting the book down when I clambered back into bed.

Here is a copy of the last poem I read last night.

It is nice, sometimes, to snatch a passage of poetry from a book and meditate on it as you drift off to sleep. It can have the most interesting effect upon your dreams.


Elizabeth Bishop

The still explosions on the rocks,
the lichens, grow
by spreading, gray, concentric shocks.
They have arranged
to meet the rings around the moon, although
within our memories they have not changed.

And since the heavens will attend
as long on us,
you've been, dear friend,
precipitate and pragmatical;
and look what happens. For Time is
nothing if not amenable.

The shooting stars in your black hair
in bright formation
are flocking where,
so straight, so soon?
-- Come, let me wash it in this big tin basin,
battered and shiny like the moon.

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