Monday, December 19, 2016

A Poem from the Experimental Novel, "House of Leaves"...

(Untitled Fragment)
By Mark Z. Danielewski, from "House of Leaves", page 563

Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when thoughts keep drifting
as walls keep shifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind.


This truly experimental novel, which is many stories (lifetimes/dimensions) in one, messed with my head so badly that, among other abuses, I threw it against walls, poured coffee (then blow dried it in remorse) on it, tossed it in the trash (and retrieved it) twice, stopped reading it for a full year, then finally just wrote my frustration into the margins (along with the author's gazillion footnotes/endnotes/sidenotes) which is freaking hilarious NOW as I revisit it about 10 years after I read it and enjoy my bad attitude back around 2005 when I experienced "House of Leaves".  Mark Z. Danielewski (MZD) is a pioneer, a poet, and a courageous trailblazer.  He's also a crazy as a loon genius and an excellent storyteller.  It would just be nice to read one of his stories in chronological order, but I doubt that'll happen.  Reading a fat novel (occasionally) in circles and sideways got a bit tedious at times, but I guess that's art for you.

If you're looking for a challenging reading experience, then read this book.  If you're an impatient, normal type, then for heaven's sake:  DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Questions of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.
Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:
“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?
Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”
Elizabeth Bishop

Saturday, December 3, 2016

In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti

It's been crazy here at Chez Dragonfly since I got my greenhouse. Did I mention I have a new little greenhouse/potting shed?  I do! I counted 62 plants in it yesterday, most babies propagated from my other plants: Lemongrass, Yarrow, Pineapple Sage, Spearmint, Peppermint, Chocolate Mint, Apple Mint, Comfrey, Basil, Lavender, Airplane Plants, Wandering Jew, Black Sweet Potato Vines, Passionflowers...too many to recall!  Mother Nature keeps blessing me with abundance.  For the first time in my life, I have big fat Tomatoes in December!  They're also in the greenhouse.  I bought one Angel Trumpet flower a few years ago & now have 12 of them. They're like trees! This Spring I plan to have a few plant sales to make some money to buy more plants. LOL!  It's an addiction.  And my Cypress Tree has 10 babies all thriving across my front yard.  They're gorgeous.

I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas/Holiday season filled with love, peace & happiness.  I sincerely appreciate the many faithful readers of my blog, several who have become dear, precious friends over the years.  This has been a physically painful year for me (chronic pain & autoimmune disorders) and your support means the world to me.  God bless you all! xo, Marion

...water like a stone...

In the bleak midwinter

Related Poem Content Details

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.