On ‘the Shadow of Austerity’ in Greek Poetry - The New Yorker’s David Wallace introduces readers to a new anthology, Austerity Measures, which collects Greek poets’ responses to the nation’s financial d...
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
(Sunday, 4 am)
Turn on the light. Turn over.
Tonight we 'fall back' into Standard Time. It's the one night of the year when a body might painlessly gain an extra hour of sleep, and I'm insomniac, mind full of manic burble.
Rain spatters the window, the wind moans softly but the air is still pillowy, warm. I pad about the house in my bare feet. Outside: pitch black, the horizon folds upon itself. No islands, no sea, no sky, just darkness visible.
As usual on such nights, I create titles, lists, map out future projects. Usually, initially, a single word or phrase pries me from bed: tonight, perhaps tellingly, that word is "cracked."
I get up so as not to have to remember, so as to be able to forget. Writing the words down at once pulls a long thread of associations and absolves me of clinging, repetitiously, to these shreds of the night. I'll be able, soon, to return to sleep, to return to that endless and flooded/ dreamland....
I huddle under the lamp, make lists, and cannot find words for what truly cleaves my heart:
to each death we bring every other one.
That must wait for morning.
The first two instances of italics in this entry are, in fact, lines lifted from Elizabeth Bishop's poem, "Sunday, 4 am." The last line in italics is mine.