thursday, december 25

outside, cold and mostly dry
dirty snow just left in ditches
piles and skiffs beneath trees
and logpile shadows
woodsmoke drifting

in here, general disarray
scattered paper, boxes, blankets
clothing, food
my empty wineglass by the keyboard

today i read:
old mail from friends,
papers i found stacked on my bedroom floor
from the first few years of college,
the part of guns, germs, and steel
about the invention of writing,
gary snyder from a thin paperback
i bought for my sister

sometimes i see myself in perfect relief
earnest hopes and efforts to impress
self-assurance falling into pieces
toy alphabets on notebook covers
strange ideas never quite fit
everything just kind of

life so generally full
of chances to learn
it's amazing
what you can let yourself forget.

tags: topics/poem

p1k3 / 2003 / 12 / 25

thursday, december 18

tuesday morning i left the room
just before my grandmother took her last breath
to call my father
i did not say what i should have
come now, as fast as you can
but i could almost not speak
and i was afraid
that somehow she would go on like that

grief is not a flowchart process
acceptance is a word worn empty by repetition

you can try to turn love aside,
break it into pieces that won't burn so much
or cut so deep
but it waits in everything

all of us broken, fucked up, failing
sometimes whole by whatever grace
we know it or we should
for once i do, and i am not sure what is left
but gratitude for all this that's never enough
and somehow has to be

tags: topics/poem

p1k3 / 2003 / 12 / 18

Thursday, December 11

Neil Gaiman might well be right; John M. Ford's 110 Stories could be the best poem about the fall of the WTC.

A really fascinating NY Times article, about what you could loosely term fundamentalist Christian separatism. My first thought was that I know these people.

I meant to write a paper on the subject of homeschooling and its historical antecedents some time this semester; putting it off until the last minute (well, the last 10 hours) turned it into something else, and not something really worth reading. I did glean a few facts, though, about the evolution of public schools in America. It makes a strange sort of tale, if you pay attention, but the things that are wrong do start to make more sense when you read about their origins.

I also made an effort at starting to integrate fragments of my family's oral tradition, such as it is. Our age is not kind to the direct transmission of history by speech and song, but some of my people are natural storytellers anyway. In a much earlier time, my grandmother and father would have been the ones talking longest and best around the fire, and I would have been the small child who listened a little more than the rest, maybe a little too attentively - eventually they would have said to themselves that one, and one day when the others ran off with their pointed sticks to hunt marmots and gather acorns1 I would have been quietly pulled aside by the elders, and marked ever after that as the one whose role is to remember and tell you all about it if you ask, and sometimes even if you don't.

Anyway, all of those things - weird intense Christianity, education, and tale-telling - will probably make further appearances here if I ever get my act together.

1. I was going to say that, probably, my ancestors never practiced a hunter-gatherer kind of lifestyle where both oak trees and marmots would have provided sustenance, but I got to looking, and darned if they aren't both all over the Northern hemisphere.

p1k3 / 2003 / 12 / 11

sunday, december 7

of course it didn't snow
or anything - in fact it's too warm
for the coat i have been wearing

from the perspective of, say,
the homeless guys downtown
this can hardly be a bad thing.

tags: topics/poem

p1k3 / 2003 / 12 / 7

sunday, december 6

december's weight is strange
so much piled up and waiting

so many things coming undone

my mind is degrees off level
all day i felt like falling over
moving in some direction that muscles
would not pull, the inner ear
not willingly sanction

there was a biting wind this morning,
a wind with promise
but often enough i read promise in weather
which only signals its own inconsequence
i am told there's a foot of snow in upstate new york
chill and endless rain seem probable in england

i would like some kind of heavy falling from the sky
of my own.

tags: topics/poem

p1k3 / 2003 / 12 / 6

Friday, December 5

i've got to get the fuck out of the u.s.a.

Apropos of nothing, except that it's a great lyric and I think Cracker are a pretty great band. And maybe I do.

Where was I?

Oh. Yes. The server is sort of back up here, (it was sort of down, and anyway that's why there hasn't been any p1k3 for a few days) but I'm about to engage in severe dereliction of duty and go drink beer with my friends instead of messing any more with permissions and whatnot tonight.

I am sort of back, by the way.

p1k3 / 2003 / 12 / 5