/ literati:

“when i was your age, television was called books!”—Peter Faulk, The Princess Bride

Sister I’m A Poet

Galway Kinnel

Sister, I’m A Poet

Poetry lived with you in close quarters in the years between adolescence and adulthood. During that time, your 20′s, poetry fed a dramatic spirit not yet dampened by the practical and dignified. So then, when we’d all taken jobs, paying our bills on time, newly cautious to the promise and heartbreak of any shining thing, we left poetry behind.

And then one day a friend in need of its powers of support and re-awakening shares an old verse that once had saved him:

Trust the Hours

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

–Galway Kinnell

Live reading here

Thanks for sharing, Rob. Returning the favor, three short morsels from Richard Brautigan:

Alas, Measured Perfectly

Saturday, August 25, 1888. 5:20 P.M.
is the name of a photograph of two
old women in a front yard, beside
a white house. One of the women is
sitting in a chair with a dog in her
lap. The other woman is looking at
some flowers. Perhaps the women are
happy, but then it is Saturday, August
25, 1888. 5:21 P.M., and all over.

Boo, Forever

Spinning like a ghost
on the bottom of a
top,

I’m haunted by all
the space that I
will live without
you.

Automatic Anthole

Driven by hunger, I had another
forced bachelor dinner tonight
I had a lot of trouble making
up my mind whether to eat Chinese
food or have a hamburger. God,
I hate eating dinner alone. It’s
like being dead.

Richard Brautigan


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