My Return

My return to the blogging world after two weeks of silence. I’d like to take refuge in my recent fever, which kept in me in bed for days, or in a trip to New York to see the Gates — but I wasn’t too sick to play World of Warcraft and I didn’t go to New York until after the Gates came down.

I’m in New York now, taking a brief break between work-related meetings — although I did stop in to see my brother, who promptly took me around the corner to see his fiance Barbara, working in a new flower shop recently featured in the daily candy.

But what really caught my attention was today’s poem at poetry daily:

If You Were Still in That Novel Composed at the Head of the Stairs

Listen, nothing happens. Your whole body wants to turn from slush
to fire. Think of something that surprised you. Perhaps from the back
porch you saw a woman standing barefoot in a hospital gown by the
Mutability roses; come on now, there’s a story here. You ask the
disaster in and sitting on a kitchen chair she begins to sway in time to
unseen waves. Her green smell makes black pools in the table cloth
and you know whatever you have always been having done to you
was wounded out of her voice and the stiff height of the bed on the
fourth floor of the hospital in which a pale a shudder a breathing
hard escaped into stinging death. She’s crude, you think indignantly,
as she laughs at nothing at all. When you open the door on a rainy
mauve dusk and point the way out in your sternest manner, she
kisses you on the soft center of the cheek and whispers into your ear
with burning conviction that happiness might still burst into your life
like a marvelous catastrophe.

Cal Bedient

Denver Quarterly

Volume 39, Number 2 – 2004

The poem seemed especially appropriate given our travel companion; this morning, on the train ride up to New York from DC, Larry and I had a pleasant chat while a strange woman accosted Joshua and spilled out her life’s story. Somehow the poem seemed to get at the woman’s bizarre story (featuring, among other things, conjoined twins, fake ears, strippers, and medical school) for me. I hope he blogs it.

One Response to “My Return”

  1. Anne Says:

    I’ve read this poem a few times now and I’m mezza mezza on it. There are some fantastic lines —

    “you ask the disaster in”

    “you know whatever you have always been having done to you was wounded”

    “she’s crude, you think indignantly”

    “happiness might still burst into your life like a marvelous catastrophe.”

    And overall it conjures something very pungent, specific in a way that it connects to other very specific “slush to fire” experiences.

    But overall, I still feel pulled and twisted by the poem in a way that doesn’t leave me satisfied. It may be as simple as feeling abandoned to the block or prose format. Why not some lineation in there, some ballast? Or maybe this preference on my part is just proof that I’m either storm-tossed or anal. Or both, of course.

    Anyway, love to you up there in whatever city you’re in at the moment! Here in Charlottesville the sun is out and the snow is bidding adieu (to you and you and you), and I’m giving some thought to my exhaustion, whether it means that I’m getting sick again or just that my life needs a thunderous curtailing.


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