Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's Later Than You Think

Today is the once-a-year day when I can go around reminding myself, It's later than you think -- not because I'm feeling philosophical or depressed or harried but simply because it IS -- we changed the clocks and nothng about my body rhythms is fully adjusted to that change. It's later than I think although my computer has adusted it's clock for reasons too mysterious for me to fathom.

It was a beautiful day. Sunny, a tad nippy but promising spring is somewhere a few rotations and a bit of tilting of the earth away. I walked a great deal, in fact, more than I've walked in many moons. And I was definitely dragging by the time I got home but that's what it will take to regain the lost strength. Among my stops was my favorite thrift shop, Housing Works, which supports AIDS groups. They get great donations. I nearly bought a David Hockney book but it was quite heavy so I decided that if it haunts me I'll go back tomorrow and see if it's still here. Hockey, along with Lucian Freud, are my favorite British contemporary artists. What I did purchase was easier to carry, a book of Billie Collin's poetry, SAILING ALONE AROUND THE ROOM -- a title I love.

I had not heard of the Brooklynite poet until he was named Poet Laureate about five years ago. Since then I've read one book of his poetry and this will be the second.

I've just finished reading a book of poetry by Mark Smith-Soto which I liked a lot He refers a great deal to his childhood in Costa Rico and the various characters from that time and place. He now teaches somewhere in the NY area. Sometimes I feel that the serious poets are the ghosts in the literary machine. Almost no one knows their names;they seem mostly to write for a small community of people who mostly also write poetry. It's too bad more people don't pick up books of poetry; with the
notoriously shortened attention spans [whcih I only partly beleive actually exist] poems are ideal, often short enough to read in less than a minute. And if it grabs you, you can read it several times in ten minutes and really pay attention and get the juice out of it.

I noticed that the Collins book had a bookmark in it at the poem, "Insomnia" . I surmise something about the former owner.
It begins:
Even though the house is deeply silent
and the room, with no moon
is perfectly dark,
even though the body is a sack of exhaustion
inert on the bed,
someone inside me will not
get o ff his tricyhcle,
will not stop tracing the same tight circle
on the same green threadbare carpet.

There's more ... so, for those who fear poetry, what don't you understand? Poetry reading is not hard work. Try it, you'll like it. ... And tired as I am after my walking today, I think this will not be an insomnia night ... though I know about the mind's tricycle making tight circles on the carpet.

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