The Whole World in Unison is Turning

16 February 2014
10:26 pm
Edinburgh

T. —

This is getting ridiculous. I’m still writing 2013.

Are you just in an ‘internet is difficult’ phase? I just want to make sure you’re okay. Send up a flare or something =).

Last day in at St. Giles until June, and all I could do was giggle at the terrible scansion of the hymns. Last day of Mom’s visit, full of great conversation and wonderful food. All morning, I took notes about the nature and risks of being seen. The risks are something to face and release, not necessary characteristics. The nature of being seen is far more interesting. Still, I thought both perspectives were interesting to look at and dig into.

I have a hot water bottle, Bloom is curled up on my legs, and I have books and books to read before Iona. I should be getting ready to leave in a few weeks, but how can I spend all that time planning about the future when right now is pretty perfect?

Totally
Tony Hoagland

I’m raking leaves and singing in my off-key voice
a mangled version of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,”
a song I thought I hated;

that’s how it goes when your head and your heart
are in different time zones —
you often don’t find out till tomorrow
what you felt today.

I know I do not understand the principles
of leaf removal; I pile them up
in glowing heaps of cadmium and orange,

but I identify so much more
with the entropic gusts of wind
that knock them all apart again.
Is it natural to be scattered?

When I look into the sky I am often dreaming
of a television program I saw some months ago;
when I walk into a dinner party

I am thinking of the book I mean to read
when I get home — you might say
my here is disconnected from my now,
so I am never entirely anywhere,

or anyone. But I won’t speak cruelly
of myself: this dividedness is just what
makes our species great: possible for Darwin

to figure out his theory of selection
while playing five-card stud,
for surgeon Keats to find the perfect rhyme

wrist-deep in the disorder
of an open abdomen.

For example, it is autumn here.
The defoliated trees look frightened
at the edge of town,

as if the train they missed
had taken all their clothes.
The whole world in unison is turning
toward a zone of nakedness and cold.

But me, I have this strange conviction
that I am going to be born.

*

Goodnight,
M

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