[Image: “Side of Building Shanghai,” by user DaiLuo on Flickr.com. (Used here under a Creative Commons license; thank you!) From the photographer: “This is straight from the camera, nothing at all done — this is the side of a building in Shanghai. When you stand and look at it, it is difficult to see how they did this. It looked like a holograph.” I myself haven’t been able to discover any more information about the building, let alone how this display is/was created. Anyone know?]
From whiskey river:
A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there… And at the end of your life, your whole existence has the same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.
(Michael Crichton [source])
Just this, just this, this room where we are. Pay attention to that. Pay attention to who’s there, pay attention to what isn’t known there, pay attention to what is known there, pay attention to what everyone is thinking and feeling, what you’re doing there, and pay attention. Pay attention.
(W. S. Merwin [source])
Drunk on Someone Else’s Love
…I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls
with clean blood
and organised drawers.
I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests
at night when no one else is alive,
however you choose to see it,
and I live in my own flames.
Sometimes burning too bright and too wild
to make things last
myself or anyone else
and so I run.
Run run run,
far and wide
until my bones ache and lungs split
and it feels good.
Hear that people? It feels good,
because I am the slave and ruler of my own body
and I wish to do with it exactly as I please…
(Charlotte Eriksson [source])
Not from whiskey river:
6:48 a.m., and leaden
little jokes about what heroes
we are for getting up at this hour.
Quiet. The surf and sandpipers running.
T minus ten and counting, the sun
mounting over Canaveral
a swollen coral, a color
bright as camera lights. We’re blind-
sided by a flash:
shot from the unseen
launching pad, and so from nowhere,
a flame-tipped arrow—no, an airborne
pen on fire, its ink a plume
of smoke which, even while zooming
upward, stays as oddly solid
as the braided tail of a tornado,
and lingers there as lightning would
if it could steal its own thunder.
—Which, when it rumbles in, leaves
under or within it a million
firecrackers going off, a thrill
of distant pops and rips in delayed
reaction, hitting the beach in fading
waves as the last glint of shuttle
receives our hands’ eye-shade salute:
the giant point of all the fuss soon
smaller than a star.
Only now does a steady, low
sputter above us, a lawn mower
cutting a corner of the sky,
grow audible. Look, it’s a biplane!—
some pilot’s long-planned, funny tribute
to wonder’s always-dated orbit
and the itch of afterthought. I swat
my ankle, bitten by a sand gnat:
what the locals call no-see-’ums.
(Mary Jo Salter [source])
My father at the dictionary-stand
Touches the page to fully understand
The lamplit answer, tilting in his hand
His slowly scanning magnifying lens,
A blurry, glistening circle he suspends
Above the word “Carnation.” Then he bends
So near his eyes are magnified and blurred,
One finger on the miniature word,
As if he touched a single key and heard
A distant, plucked, infinitesimal string,
“The obligation due to every thing
That’s smaller than the universe.”
(Gjertrud Schnackenberg [source])
…when the bird call came, I was looking down. And there was the skull. Surrounding it was a sensation, and above, a sky very deeply blue. Then it happened: the picture got bigger: the skull was, I saw, not a skull at all, but a weathered mushroom, eaten back, or worn away. The whites and creams, the holes for cords, the holes like sockets and the slendering snout—all turned back to gills/stem/cap; there was the shift from bone to mushroom, a rising from solid and going to pith, rigidity softening into flesh.
In the space a mushroom now held, for full, long seconds, a skull had been.
That pinned me to the afternoon.
To concentrate a skull up from a mushroom… but no, that’s not it. It went very fast. It was vaster than any conscious thought. To be of a moment that folds up distance, finds no distance between mushroom and skull, allows skull from the first—though there was a patch of new mushrooms right there, shining, fat, rampant, creamy, just-sprung. To be part of a mind that flies past the known (until finally, the cues come on hard: all those days of good, soaking rain, the fast greening of lawns, everything sprouting and shooting like crazy), to be part of an order, a whole, a knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous: at that tufty spot on my neighbor’s grass, with an airy/oceanic blue sky above, mushroom met skull, the resemblance bloomed and extended me. Right into the heart of the afternoon.
(Lia Purpura [source])