• Poetry Snark
  • Saturday, April 30, 2005

    La Luz, L'Andaluz

    Friends, nay, potentates as Milton would have it, can you hear the hooves of the horses? Headed towards eternity? Oh, fiddle sticks, it seems the tome of man is largely unwrit. This morning, a letter from W.C. which I intend to transcribe for you arrived in my forest green mail box. Its stationary was of a fragile ochre, crisp to the touch but soft in ripping open, that slow deliberate tear of an envelope, so ripe with anticipation, so like an apricot left in a mason jar full of brandy overnight. Also this morning Irish oatmeal & darjeeling with a hint of cardamom & just a pinch, a child's pinch really, of allspice. I do love a cup of tea, friends, & its flavor seems perfectly complimented by the cozy atmospherics of a tinder-fire in the red brick hearth. I recall my youth, sip by sip, my blazing red tricycle unmoving beneath the blushing pink decor of the budding apple tree, its pedals wilting a quilt over the soft green glass in which I would lay prostrate, my eyes transfixed on the great puffs of ivory cloud afloat in the perfect azure sky, my thoughts transported to distant lands, distant travails in which I always & after much insufferable heroism would triumph over the green dragon or the chain-mailed knights of yore. Oh, the frivolity of youthful dreams, the jovial wont of the child's mind! Such heights, such wildly painted scenes did I see in my mind's eye! & now, the hooves persist & they are all that I hear. When, in moments of repose, my eyes turn towards the heavens, I see cirrus cloud, wall cloud, the yellow fog of the city. Where, oh great Scott, but where now that wondrous music of my youth? Is it fled, or have I so grotesque become that its notes fall all around me while deaf I search for a chimera? Oh dear me, friends, such mournful thoughts & lamentations & it isn't even time for second tea. Forgive me, forgive me, I hastened to the flame.

    Friday, April 29, 2005


    Cheerio gentle readers. This morning, the sun slowly peeled like an orange & the temperature like a snowy egret plummeted, leaving all around us grey & chilled through & through. There was a message from Mrs. Dirmish on the machine regarding a game of bridge. The euro gained, while the yen seemed poised to drop, like the white feather of Rosencrantz. The wind through the budding apricot trees plays its bony tune, the branches swept this way & that in their ghostly disquieting dance. Spring this year appears almost funereal, & while still smoke rises from our chimneys as a spirit suspired & issued henceforth to the firmament, so our heavy reluctance to join the chiming & cheering of sunnier times persists indefatigably, stubborn against the tide & pull of the calendar indeed. This morning I partook of crumpets & black oolong with a smidgeon of honey, seated most comfortably in my royal red velvet chair fireside, a view of the undulating hillocks framed perfectly in the four panes of my study window. I had a leather-bound volume of Leigh Hunt's Collected Works folded open upon my knee & found it the perfect compliment to the morning's equipoise of excess & modestly discernable beauty. Decadence in a cemetary. That which establishes its own significance does so via arbiting the plainness of its context, don't you think? Ah, the world & its conundrums, its vast galaxy of playful enigmas & its looming crutch of seriousness. Dear me, I fear it so.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    A Matutinal Entry

    Oh my, how the years have raced on & pressed upon the horizon like so many tireless work-horses. And so suddenly, so curiously, I find myself here, yes, the Heideggerian here, all aflutter with wonder. It wasn't too long ago, you know, that my black toes tipped and tapped across the gray cobblestone of the Hong Kong streets. It wasn't so long ago that W.C. and I sipped absinthe in a small cafe, our raincoats draped over the faded blue chair-arms like a timepiece in a Dali painting, aslumber, indolent, slothful and irrefragable, somehow, in the haze of a metropolitan evening. They were the seventies, friends, yes, and on distant shores we heard the echoes of rage in their muted cacophonies, borne across the breadth of ocean like the carcass of an orange roughy or the slight semi-lunar peel of an orange, discarded doubtless after some rousing match of beach volleyball or the like. Back in the States, yes, I could vaguely discern the whimpering, the specious babble of revolutions that, like Keats' plaintive anthem, so quickly faded when the straw men exited the coffeshops, their hands wiped clean in the boudior. Oh the merry men and women who hoped so slightly for some change and who let life change them instead! Yes, it was the seventies, my friends, and it was time to own your life. In Hong Kong, we perused the pages of the Americans, yes, yes, we plowed through the youngish Mailer and we eschewed the flabbergasting long-windedness of the confessionals. We saw Plath die in an oven, saw America shudder at nothing, and we set ourselves apart, yes, yes, in the name of literature, in the name of poetry, in the name of truth. Yes, friends, B.W. Dictionary, W.C. Rogers and your humble host, self-exiled, expats in search of that literary grail. Our lives until now have been cloaked in some mystery, it's true. We shall work hard to remedy our pasts. We shall endeavor to tell, here, here, the tale of that great era.