good morning. sid is taking a bit of a break. production on hold, absorption in progress.
here are some other things:: my friend nate goes to school at Webster University. the other day he told me that one of their english professors was named missouri’s poet laureate. his name is david clewell and he writes a darn good poem::
On any ring of keys we’ve ever carried,
no matter the size, there’s always one that means
absolutely nothing. In all these years accumulating
like loose change that never adds up, of keeping things
private in so many different places, it’s no wonder
we’ve drawn another sentimental blank: is this one
still useful? Or obsolete, a fossil? And we keep it
hanging around in some dark pocket of our lives
as if we’ll wake up one morning suddenly wiser,
remembering foot lockers, strongboxes, diaries,
a warehouse on the outskirts, one night
locked in an embrace that went wrong in a hotel room,
a post office box, a top bureau drawer, a piece
of intricate machinery we operated once,
And sometimes, when just walking down the street
through one more day seems more that we can bear,
it might occur to s, that odd key out, its vestigial teeth
biting into the hip, rattling the purse,
chattering to its dimwitted cousins in the language
of keys. Whispering of a while lost race,
a diaspora of keys, it breeds an unhealthy dissension,
Sooner or later they’ll make their break, they’ll be gone
for hours, days, weeks, a desperate chaingang of keys,
until they’re found in the last place anyone would look
without a trace of remorse, And we’ll know the ringleader:
a key among keys, but not of them.
Sometimes we get this easily carried away.
And maybe now we’re on a street we’ve never seen,
as if it’s leading us somewhere, daring us to keep pace,
like a key that’s been around, that’s seen its share
of keyhole, Like something that really knows a place
it could slip quietly into and turn for the better
with us right behind, holding on. Until we’re in a room where
someone’s getting ready for bed and asks what took us
so far out of our way to begin with, what kept us going
through those thin years since. A room that’s been made up
almost to perfection, with only one thing
missing. And at last that’s where we come in.
Maybe above this storefront. Or in that apartment house
next door. Or where the freight elevator heaves and rises,
humming our name all the way to the top.
This key must have been important. An honor
and a privilege. Even now it vaguely reminds us of a time
we could be trusted that much. That far. With something.
We keep meaning to get rid of it, but it’s hard
to throw away a key. It’s the treat no one ever makes
good on: I’m gonna lock the door and….We are given only
so many in a life. And despite the ways
they weigh us down or hold us up fumbling through them
in the dark, feeling for the lock, it’s never enough.
So on a day like today we have to feel lucky
that we’re short a vital padlock, a gate swinging open
an honorary city. We may be worn out, may be rubbed smooth,
but we’ve still got the smallest of reserves jangling
in our imagination. We’re waiting for just the right moment
and place, waiting to be let in on the secret
other side of the door where what we’ve been
carrying around so long finally fits and makes sense
and we didn’t walk by our chances this time, never dreaming.
yup yup. i’m a sucker for lines like that last one there.
here’s another good’n::
Wrong Number after Midnight
When I pick up, the voice on the other end is already off
and running: You were right, man, you were so
incredibly right, and now I’m more than sorry I didn’t believe you
when you claimed that the only way to keep their voices out of our heads
was by using heavy-duty aluminum foil, the kind
our own mothers were crazy for when it came to preparing leftovers
for their deep-freeze oblivion. You tried to tell me:
regular foil’s too thin for making any kind of proper headgear—
a ponderous buffer-zone helmet, or something less obtrusive and more
stylish, say, a wave deflecting beret. Next time I visit,
I’ll be sure to bring enough of the extra-strength for us both.
And although this sounds like something I certainly might
perhaps only to my closest friends, it’s true—it happens
that I didn’t, and finally he stops to worry up a whisper: This isn’t
my friend Stuart, is it? And I say No, and he says Oh my God,
man, they’ve gone and gotten through to you, haven’t they? As if
he’s the one who can’t believe what he’s hearing, who’s never felt so
disconnected, standing in the middle of whatever room he’s renting
in his suddenly less-than-accommodating life. There’s no way
he can appreciate how accidentally he’s reached me, how sympathetic
I really am—the one other person who might think it’s worth trying,
this last-ditch defense against the aliens or the in-laws or those
frightening late-night infomercial people.
It’s after midnight again.
when everything that comes along is that much harder to resist,
and where I’ve come to live, more often than I’d like,
just a single touch-tone button away, apparently, from the madhouse,
I’m so wide awake now in the dark, it’s not funny, and there’s nothing
left to say along the miles of open line, nothing to do but quietly
the receiver in its cradle, take the long walk back to sleep. And if I make it
that far again tonight, you can be absolutely sure that’s when
the Venusian scout-ships will be closing in, or Patricia’s mother,
and somewhere Mr. Car Wax Guru will be setting a Chevorlet on fire
to the paid-off astonishment of his TV-studio audience—one more
brilliant lesson in the virtue of sheer resilience—and he’ll swear
nothing else on Earth can stand up to that kind of heat.
But three of us, more or less, in our foil-wrapped, American-as-baked-
potato wisdom, will know better. There’s me, my wrong-number
Stuart, wherever he is right now. May his meds make him unbreakable,
and doctors never talk him fully out of his half-baked, hard-won silence.
May his friends wait until morning before ringing through to him there.
And let the plans of the space people and our relatives and anyone else
who would come to us in our woozy sleep, on this night at least,
come to naught. May they be foiled, with any luck. And with
or our curses foiled again. May it turn out they’ve been looking,
all along, for someone else. And if they find us instead, certifiable
wrong numbers, may they have to tell us exactly how sorry they are.
And for how much.
Given the crush of increasingly unstable particles
in the universe, it’s no small thing: how surprisingly undisturbed
we actually are, how quiet it so often is on our end of the line.
And whenever we get to thinking that’s okay, there’s quite enough
still ringing in our ears for one more night or for a lifetime,
here comes another one of those voices out of nowhere, saying
in so many words we haven’t heard anything yet.
i’m fairly certain the guy on the other end of that phone call is a good friend of mine.
aaaand one more from an old favorite:: stephen dunn–
When it became clear aliens were working here
with their dead-giveaway, perfectly cut Armani suits,
excessive politeness, and those ray guns
disguised as cell phones tucked into their belts,
I decided we had two choices: cocktail party
to befriend them, or massive air strikes ( I joked
at the Board meeting) on what might be a hospital
for children with rare diseases, but could
as easily be where these aliens spawned and lived.
Cocktail party it was, and they came
with their gorgeous women dressed like replicas
of gorgeous women, and though they sipped
their martinis as if they’d graduated
from some finishing school between their world
and ours, I must admit they were good company,
talking ball scores and GNP, even movies,
and how bright and inviting the stars seemed
from my porch. I found myself almost
having sympathy for what certain people will o
to fit in, until I remembered they might want
to take over, maybe even blow things up.
And when the dog barked from the other room,
the way she does when some creature is nearby,
about to cross an invisible line, I was sure
I couldn’t afford to trust appearances ever again.
Then it was time to leave, and they left,
saying at the door what a good evening they’d had.
Each of them used the same words,
like people who’ve been trained in sales,
and as they moved to their Miatas and Audis
I noted the bare shoulders of their women
were the barest shoulders I’d ever seen,
as if they needed only the night as a shawl.