The oldest

is the sharp surprise

of that first note awakening from silence.

She is a new idea,

the turn of fashion,

The first time you hear a joke.

 

The second

is the sound at the center,

it’s most clear tone.

He is the idea that settles,

a great sweater,

the reason you want laughter.

 

The youngest

is the first echo of reverberation

as sound leaves you.

The moment you can stop and love the refrain.

He is what comes from a good idea,

the moments when you don’t need fashion.

The soft smile when you hear laughter.

 

 

 

 

Black Rock City, where life is condensed.

Everything…hope, dance, exposure, love, sex, loss, deprivation,

Everything. So much of it. A triple shot of life. A week, and your head is spinning.

A week, and the watered down pace the rest of life is going feels alien;

guts you on the shore.

 

Carnival of mirrors, indeed.

 

One of the beauties of loving to read is that there is always more.

I’ve managed to miss lots of important authors in my 40 years of reading.

Here is one on my list to soak up: Margaret Atwood.

Here is my favorite poem of hers, so far:

 

AGAINST STILL LIFE

 Orange in the middle of a table:

 

It isn’t enough

to walk around it

at a distance, saying

It’s an orange:

nothing to do

with us, nothing

else: leave it alone

 

I want to pick it up

in my hand

I want to peel the

skin off; I want

more to be said to me

than just Orange:

want to be told

everything it has to say

 

And you, sitting across

the table, at a distance, with

your smile contained, and like the orange

in the sun:  silent:

 

Your silence

isn’t enough for me

now, no matter with what

contentment you fold

your hands together; I want

anything you can say

in the sunlight:

 

Stories of your various

childhoods, aimless journeyings,

your loves; your articulate

skeleton; your posturings; your lies.

 

These orange silences

(sunlight and hidden smile)

make me want to

wrench you into saying;

now I’d crack your skull

like a walnut, split it like a pumpkin

to make you talk, or get

a look inside

 

But quietly:

if I take the orange

with care enough and hold it

gently

 

I may find

an egg

a sun

an orange moon

perhaps a skull; center

of all energy

resting in my hand

 

can change it to

whatever I desire

it to be

 

 

and you, man, orange afternoon

lover, wherever

you sit across from me

(tables, trains, buses)

if I watch

quietly enough

and long enough

 

at last, you will say

(maybe without speaking)

 

(there are mountains

inside your skull

garden and chaos, ocean

and hurricane; certain

corners of rooms, portraits

of great-grandmothers, curtains

of a particular shade;

your deserts; your private

dinosaurs; the first

woman)

 

all I need to know:

tell me

everything

just as it was

from the beginning.

 

 

-Margaret Atwood 1966

 

You can get it at the library or buy it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Poems-1965-1975-Margaret-Atwood/dp/0395404223

Or you can put it on your list:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17648.Selected_Poems