Saturday, June 15, 2013

Suet on her beak

Tonight, when the light is almost gone, she turns up to dine on the rapidly vanishing suet cake. Raising and lowering her crest in the excitement of eating! It looks almost fluorescent to me!

This was a lazy day, spent recovering from yesterday's too-full day. S. is listening to a copy of Cheever; a life that he borrowed from the library. I had been eating little bits of Cheever's diaries for a couple of months and brought them with me. So natch, I got a used copy of the biography and began it right away before finishing (actually--before even getting well-started) on poor old Franz Kafka, who looks at me reproachfully from the coffee table. But, biographies are like suet to me--I'll be back soon.
. .
Trying to think of what to write next, I idly pick up the crisp untouched copy of the Spring, 2011 Gettysburg Review, (which I left behind when we went back west) and scan the Table of Contents for poets. And here is Dean Young, whose work I have loved for a long time. I look at the titles--can't resist: "Soon All Your Questions Will Be Answered"--what reference librarian (even a retired one) could? And then I got to the bird! So here it is!

Soon All Your Questions Will Be Answered

What is reflexology, anyway?
What baffling hurt will it assuage,
what buffing draft of doom? Can it
bring back my bird? Can it make the echo
shut up and explain itself? Can the heart
stay drunk on rainwater alone? You sure
these muchrooms won't also kill us,
these rice balls distract the river phantoms?
This letter, twice forwarded, at last received,
bears witness to its indistinct travails
like a wound in the nose, an enigma
in an arroyo. And under all the kernel
of lived life, complaint and horselaugh,
restorative as plutonium. Many have swept up
here before, been swept up, blatant ads
for health and the tonic contradictions
of suffering. Take as long as you want,
you need only sign your name once then
the system takes over.

Dean Young in the Gettysburg Review, 24:1, page 18.
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