With wide yellow swaths,
And the timing of serpents,
I’m wrapped up in sundresses:
You pierce me.
I would have known you, as ultraviolet lilacs
This sweet summer sickness had amassed.
I would have seen you, flowering frigid meadows,
But as the calm comes: At last.
We can go now: down, dirty, and broken.
All parts, all staying, all still, all past.
Adam Gopnik on Richard Martinez’s courage to speak the painful truth about guns: http://nyr.kr/1jPdeuc
I had a professor once who gave a lot of arbitrary rules for his papers. “Avoid the word ‘lifestyle’”, “Don’t use the word ‘use.’” It was obnoxious and frustrating and I lost a lot of hard-fought points over it, but I made some of my best essays with his guidance.
One of the most important was “Avoid cliché,” and this explains it beautifully.
Darkness dissembles; the lights recede
At random; bright
Pinpoints appear; valves hiss and unwind—
Isolate, far away, like breath
Escaping, the rush of blood
Dwindles to different chambers …
Meanwhile, the rinsings go on
And on, like an ocean,
Spilling into the flesh, rubbing
Their foamy edges into the grain.
Now there is no removal,
For these are the waters that burn,
The acids that scald;
These are the flames you have asked for.
Homo sapiens is the only species to suffer psychological exile. —E. O. Wilson