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Offline WHD

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Re: Diner Library
« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2013, 08:50:35 AM »
On this day after 9-11, it occurs to me to post this here. Posted yesterday on the DDFB page.
To me it reads like a manifesto of what we as Diners believe (well, most of us... I don't see RE signing on to #18...)

Thoughts in the Presence of Fear
by Wendell Berry
Web exclusive to the Autumn 2001 issue of Orion magazine
http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/214

    This essay along with two others by Wendell Berry was published by Orion in In the Presence of Fear, available for purchase in the online store.


I. The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day.

II. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living in a “new world order” and a “new economy” that would “grow” on and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be “unprecedented”.

III. The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this proposition did not acknowledge that the prosperity was limited to a tiny percent of the world’s people, and to an ever smaller number of people even in the United States; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor people all over the world; and that its ecological costs increasingly threatened all life, including the lives of the supposedly prosperous.

IV. The “developed” nations had given to the “free market” the status of a god, and were sacrificing to it their farmers, farmlands, and communities, their forests, wetlands, and prairies, their ecosystems and watersheds. They had accepted universal pollution and global warming as normal costs of doing business.

V. There was, as a consequence, a growing worldwide effort on behalf of economic decentralization, economic justice, and ecological responsibility. We must recognize that the events of September 11 make this effort more necessary than ever. We citizens of the industrial countries must continue the labor of self-criticism and self-correction. We must recognize our mistakes.

VI. The paramount doctrine of the economic and technological euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on innovation. It was understood as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on from one technological innovation to the next, which would cause the economy to “grow” and make everything better and better. This of course implied at every point a hatred of the past, of all things inherited and free. All things superseded in our progress of innovations, whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all.

VII. We did not anticipate anything like what has now happened. We did not foresee that all our sequence of innovations might be at once overridden by a greater one: the invention of a new kind of war that would turn our previous innovations against us, discovering and exploiting the debits and the dangers that we had ignored. We never considered the possibility that we might be trapped in the webwork of communication and transport that was supposed to make us free.

VIII. Nor did we foresee that the weaponry and the war science that we marketed and taught to the world would become available, not just to recognized national governments, which possess so uncannily the power to legitimate large-scale violence, but also to “rogue nations”, dissident or fanatical groups and individuals - whose violence, though never worse than that of nations, is judged by the nations to be illegitimate.

IX. We had accepted uncritically the belief that technology is only good; that it cannot serve evil as well as good; that it cannot serve our enemies as well as ourselves; that it cannot be used to destroy what is good, including our homelands and our lives.

X. We had accepted too the corollary belief that an economy (either as a money economy or as a life-support system) that is global in extent, technologically complex, and centralized is invulnerable to terrorism, sabotage, or war, and that it is protectable by “national defense”

XI. We now have a clear, inescapable choice that we must make. We can continue to promote a global economic system of unlimited “free trade” among corporations, held together by long and highly vulnerable lines of communication and supply, but now recognizing that such a system will have to be protected by a hugely expensive police force that will be worldwide, whether maintained by one nation or several or all, and that such a police force will be effective precisely to the extent that it oversways the freedom and privacy of the citizens of every nation.

XII. Or we can promote a decentralized world economy which would have the aim of assuring to every nation and region a local self-sufficiency in life-supporting goods. This would not eliminate international trade, but it would tend toward a trade in surpluses after local needs had been met.

XIII. One of the gravest dangers to us now, second only to further terrorist attacks against our people, is that we will attempt to go on as before with the corporate program of global “free trade”, whatever the cost in freedom and civil rights, without self-questioning or self-criticism or public debate.

XIV. This is why the substitution of rhetoric for thought, always a temptation in a national crisis, must be resisted by officials and citizens alike. It is hard for ordinary citizens to know what is actually happening in Washington in a time of such great trouble; for all we know, serious and difficult thought may be taking place there. But the talk that we are hearing from politicians, bureaucrats, and commentators has so far tended to reduce the complex problems now facing us to issues of unity, security, normality, and retaliation.

XV. National self-righteousness, like personal self-righteousness, is a mistake. It is misleading. It is a sign of weakness. Any war that we may make now against terrorism will come as a new installment in a history of war in which we have fully participated. We are not innocent of making war against civilian populations. The modern doctrine of such warfare was set forth and enacted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who held that a civilian population could be declared guilty and rightly subjected to military punishment. We have never repudiated that doctrine.

XVI. It is a mistake also - as events since September 11 have shown - to suppose that a government can promote and participate in a global economy and at the same time act exclusively in its own interest by abrogating its international treaties and standing apart from international cooperation on moral issues.

XVII. And surely, in our country, under our Constitution, it is a fundamental error to suppose that any crisis or emergency can justify any form of political oppression. Since September 11, far too many public voices have presumed to “speak for us” in saying that Americans will gladly accept a reduction of freedom in exchange for greater “security”. Some would, maybe. But some others would accept a reduction in security (and in global trade) far more willingly than they would accept any abridgement of our Constitutional rights.

XVIII. In a time such as this, when we have been seriously and most cruelly hurt by those who hate us, and when we must consider ourselves to be gravely threatened by those same people, it is hard to speak of the ways of peace and to remember that Christ enjoined us to love our enemies, but this is no less necessary for being difficult.

XIX. Even now we dare not forget that since the attack of Pearl Harbor - to which the present attack has been often and not usefully compared - we humans have suffered an almost uninterrupted sequence of wars, none of which has brought peace or made us more peaceable.

XX. The aim and result of war necessarily is not peace but victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies the violence that won it and leads to further violence. If we are serious about innovation, must we not conclude that we need something new to replace our perpetual “war to end war?”

XXI. What leads to peace is not violence but peaceableness, which is not passivity, but an alert, informed, practiced, and active state of being. We should recognize that while we have extravagantly subsidized the means of war, we have almost totally neglected the ways of peaceableness. We have, for example, several national military academies, but not one peace academy. We have ignored the teachings and the examples of Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and other peaceable leaders. And here we have an inescapable duty to notice also that war is profitable, whereas the means of peaceableness, being cheap or free, make no money.

XXII. The key to peaceableness is continuous practice. It is wrong to suppose that we can exploit and impoverish the poorer countries, while arming them and instructing them in the newest means of war, and then reasonably expect them to be peaceable.

XXIII. We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us.

XXIV. Starting with the economies of food and farming, we should promote at home, and encourage abroad, the ideal of local self-sufficiency. We should recognize that this is the surest, the safest, and the cheapest way for the world to live. We should not countenance the loss or destruction of any local capacity to produce necessary goods

XXV. We should reconsider and renew and extend our efforts to protect the natural foundations of the human economy: soil, water, and air. We should protect every intact ecosystem and watershed that we have left, and begin restoration of those that have been damaged.

XXVI. The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It’s proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or “accessing” what we now call “information” - which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.

XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly. We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a “new economy”, but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.

Amen.  :)

WHD

Offline Surly1

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Re: Wendell Berry
« Reply #61 on: September 12, 2013, 01:39:05 PM »
VII. We did not anticipate anything like what has now happened. We did not foresee that all our sequence of innovations might be at once overridden by a greater one: the invention of a new kind of war that would turn our previous innovations against us, discovering and exploiting the debits and the dangers that we had ignored.

Actually, some of us wondered for many years why the wide world was full of terrorists, but that here in the Motherland we were untouched by the violence so common in other places...like Northern Ireland and Israel and Chechnya. I always expected it would start sometime.

In fact some of us still wonder why we have so little terrorism here and now. I don't believe that it has that much to do with the government protecting us.

I would suggest we have plenty of terrorism. It's just in body armor and tanks.





"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Re: Diner Library
« Reply #62 on: September 12, 2013, 02:06:32 PM »
Plus my personal favorite. Our tax dollars at work.



Back story here:
http://www.ynaija.com/police-officer-who-kicked-an-handcuffed-woman-in-the-face-given-10-year-suspension-photos-video/
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Eddie

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Re: Diner Library
« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2013, 04:15:24 PM »
We damn sure have an abundance of Law and Order in this country. Way more than we need, and far too well equipped. But that's not the same as terrorism, exactly, in my book. Terrorism is pressure cookers and black powder and ball bearings. Bombs in baby carriages.

The behavior you're referencing is our fledgling attempt to learn how to ease right-wing death squads into the 21st century American zeitgeist. We're coming right along on that, no doubt.

"The nail that sticks out gets hammered down" as the Japanese say. My heartfelt advice to anyone who is listening is "Don't be the nail that sticks out". At least not by fighting cops with rubber bullets and pepper spray using  trash can lids and water soaked bandanas. The graveyards are full of dead heroes.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 04:23:44 PM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library - Poetry- Nothing Gold Can Stay - Robert Frost
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2013, 08:42:07 AM »

Nothing Gold Can Stay


by Robert Frost   

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.



Offline Surly1

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Re: Diner Library/Avoiding the feeding of trolls
« Reply #65 on: September 18, 2013, 11:43:47 AM »
Didn't want to start a new topic, so I thought I might park this here.

Two remarkable little sites that I found today and reposted on the DDFB site.

First, this:
https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they're often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. Don't be fooled! This website has been designed to help you identify and call out dodgy logic wherever it may raise its ugly, incoherent head.

Rollover the icons above and click for examples. If you see someone committing a fallacy online, link them to their fallacy e.g. yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman.

Visit the site and see for yourself. Then when someone pops and ad hom or false cause, just hit them with the URL.


Here is the next. Mario Piperni posted this today, and I visited:
https://bookofbadarguments.com/?view=allpages

Delightful little book. We're see many old familiars within.





When the book is ready, I'll be giving some as Christmas gifts.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library
« Reply #66 on: September 18, 2013, 06:02:12 PM »
Just finished that wonderful illustrated book Surly, what a great find. 

Placed it in my favorites, a keeper for sure.  :emthup:

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library - Poetry - William Blake - Auguries of Innocence
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2013, 07:01:20 AM »

Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.

One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

Offline Golden Oxen

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

Biography of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou poet

(born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928) an American author and poet who has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer" by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie.

                                                           
Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

Offline Eddie

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Re: Diner Library
« Reply #69 on: November 21, 2013, 09:59:28 AM »
This one has been rattling around in my head today.


A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING.

AS virtuous men pass mildly away,
    And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
    "Now his breath goes," and some say, "No." [1]                   

So let us melt, and make no noise,                                       5
    No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
    To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
    Men reckon what it did, and meant ;                              10
But trepidation of the spheres,
    Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
    —Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove                                     15
    The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
    That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
    Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.                           20

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
    Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
    Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so                                          25
    As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
    To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
    Yet, when the other far doth roam,                                30
It leans, and hearkens after it,
    And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
    Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,                                    35
    And makes me end where I begun.

                         --- John Donne
 
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library-Poetry Shelf- Catching a Porcupine
« Reply #70 on: December 15, 2013, 03:32:49 AM »
Kinda wish I hadn't come across it. Hate starting the day teared up.


Catching a Porcupine

 Father used to say
that if I were sitting,
waiting for a porcupine,
the time is always best
when the Milky Way turns back—
this is the time
when a porcupine returns.
 
Father also said
I should feel the wind.
He used to say
I should be careful
always to test
the direction of the wind.
The porcupine is not a thing
which will return, he’d say,
coming with the wind.
Rather, it moves
slant-wise, across it,
so that it can better
sniff the air and tell
if danger lurks ahead.
 
Father used to say
I should breathe softly
when sitting, waiting
for a porcupine.
It is a thing, he said,
which hears everything.
I must not even
make a rustling.
I must sit deadstill.
 
Father taught me
about the stars.
He used to say
that I should,
if sitting by a burrow,
I should watch the stars,
the places where they fell,
I should, above all,
watch them keenly,
for the places where stars fall,
he often taught,
really are the places
where porcupines can be caught.


These are translations based on the “Bleek Collection,” |Xam (bushman) oral records taken down by the German linguist W.H. Bleek, and his assistant, Lucy Lloyd, in the 1870s. The “informants” listed are the |Xam people who related their poems and tales to Bleek and Lloyd. By the end of the century, the |Xam had been effectively exterminated; nobody on earth today can speak their language.

Offline Karpatok

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Re: Diner Library/Catching A Porcupine
« Reply #71 on: December 15, 2013, 05:33:18 AM »
Sometimes, Golden Oxen, it's hard not to love you.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library/Catching A Porcupine
« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2013, 05:50:38 AM »
Sometimes, Golden Oxen, it's hard not to love you.

What a wonderful thing to say Karpatok. Thank you ever so much.

You have been missing for a while, hope all is OK. Boy, did you ever make my day, Thanks again K

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library: Poetry Shelf - The Killers
« Reply #73 on: December 31, 2013, 06:27:59 AM »
The Killers

Not that anybody’s ever going to see it now
but in my very first passport photo
I look like the kind of young man
whom a West German customs official
would have been trained to stare long and hard at,

the eyes, gunmetal grey and the hair
like a metaphor for the mind,
a long and flowing mist,
a guy whose name might be likely to feature
on a government’s most wanted list.

Ten years later, things have changed, love
has clearly been and left what even
those guys you get at La Guardia
would have seen straight away presented no threat,
the hair a little bit shorter, the eyes

exposed to doubt, the face more flesh
than geist and above all else the kind of smile
which I have clearly had difficulty giving
in full like I’m thinking, perhaps,
that it might be a waste or not completely cool.

A lot less flesh than flash, like the speed
at which the years have passed have left me
a little bit stunned, this latest passport photo
looks, all of a sudden, nothing like me.
It’s laughable! What am I doing in color?

My eyes no longer grey? And the hair? Where is it?
It’s as if every border I’ve passed through,
every damned port I’ve been stuck in
has taken an inordinate pleasure in stamping out
that young man, who looked like he could kill.

Andrew Elliott


Andrew Elliott's previous collections are Lung Soup and The Creationists. He lives in London.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: Diner Library - Poetry Shelf - Instructions for the Trance - Lynn Emanuel
« Reply #74 on: January 06, 2014, 04:30:04 AM »

I swallowed the pill/smoked the dope that gave the self a self
And fought to be mindful of the boney oak.

A river drags its scratch in the dirt,
a mountain swells in a sob.

I leave my body, blank and sweet, like taking off a dress.
I leave my breasts, spare as the backstairs,

The shoulders’ boney ledges, the sediments of sex.
And yet . . .

I’m not so sure about this, I said to friends
who were sleek with selflessness.

We’re just passing by they said
to dogs choking on their chains in yards.

If the self is a house, whose house are we?
I asked the oak

which stood on the shore of a river,
its sturdy brush strokes drowning

in the shivery foliage of  other trees.
I, too, stood on a shore,

lost, and looking myself like a river
with many currents,

forlorn, forgotten, died out, neglected,
even now disappearing into the crowds of these words.


Lynn Emanuel

Lynn Emanuel was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, in 1949. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa, an MA from City College of New York, and a BA from Bennington College.

Her books of poetry include: Noose and Hook (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010); Then, Suddenly— (1999), which was awarded the Eric Matthieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets; The Dig (1992), which was selected by Gerald Stern for the National Poetry Series; and Hotel Fiesta (1984).

   

 

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