‘Consolation’, by Wisława Szymborska

December 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

They say he read novels to relax,
But only certain kinds:
nothing that ended unhappily.
If anything like that turned up,
enraged, he flung the book into the fire.

True or not,
I’m ready to believe it.

Scanning in his mind so many times and places,
he’d had enough of dying species,
the triumphs of the strong over the weak,
the endless struggles to survive,
all doomed sooner or later.
He’d earned the right to happy endings,
at least in fiction
with its diminutions.

Hence the indispensable
silver lining,
the lovers reunited, the families reconciled,
the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded,
fortunes regained, treasures uncovered,
stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways,
good names restored, greed daunted,
old maids married off to worthy parsons,
troublemakers banished to other hemispheres,
forgers of documents tossed down the stairs,
seducers scurrying to the altar,
orphans sheltered, widows comforted,
pride humbled, wounds healed over,
prodigal sons summoned home,
cups of sorrow thrown into the ocean,
hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation,
general merriment and celebration,
and the dog Fido,
gone astray in the first chapter,
turns up barking gladly
in the last.


Ani DiFranco: ‘Joyful Girl’

March 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

do it for the joy it brings
because i’m a joyful girl
because the world owes me nothing
and we owe each other the world
i do it because it’s the least i can do
i do it because i learned it from you
i do it just because i want to
because I want to

everything i do is judged
and they mostly get it wrong
but oh well
‘cuz the bathroom mirror has not budged
and the woman who lives there can tell
the truth from the stuff that they say
and she looks me in the eye
and says would you prefer the easy way?
no, well o.k. then
don’t cry

and i wonder if everything i do
i do instead
of something i want to do more
the question fills my head
i know that there’s no grand plan here
this is just the way it goes
and when everything else seems unclear
i guess at least i know

February 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

one of my favourite bookshop
kids came in just now
bookaholic also
sequined silver backpack
and red tights
one of my real heroes


February 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

I struggle to wake this morning, first time in weeks. Take it for a good sign, terrestrial. I have missed my body

In my dream, I recall just the end, I yelled at the woman No, I can’t deal with that right now,

when she asked would I make the aubergine. And it’s odd, because I had not understood it for urgent.

I think it must be lonely to be a mathematician. I wouldn’t want to do it. 

Maybe I need faces more than the mathematician does. I don’t know.

Now there is a new flower, a tall one that I am only half sure is real.

There are little clips keeping those long stems up and they make me wince

No, I haven’t got to enjoying meat yet.

I like it when,

meeting people, they try to decipher nationality. 

It’s interesting.

Maltese, but also Icelandic

Not French and not Scandinavian and who knows what, but a little Irish at least, at least something not English

Still, nothing can go fast enough,

so this morning was a false start.

[It is our borderzones where it is created.] — No, ‘border’ is wrong; too hard, too set, too bounded. It is more like the liminal

The world likes us to be confident.

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