Saturday, December 03, 2005

Winter and Franz Wright

It is cold. Cold and dark and intermittently sleeting; the furnace keeps kicking on with that distinctive clunk/ka-ching! noise recognized everywhere as money going up in literal oily smoke. Fortunately, I sold some family heirlooms on Wednesday and so have money to burn: my mantel is denuded, but my pockets are full. Anyway, these weren't the serious family heirlooms. I can't sell those until I'm running for a train with Nazis after me, which may, of course, happen any time given the current political situation. If I do have to run for a train, today's definitely the day for it: it looks like a 40s film out there, grey and streaked and occasionally kind of buzzing to a halt. Or maybe that's me.

I spent yesterday in bed re-reading Maia, Richard Adams' semi pornographic and extremely lengthy fantasy novel from the 70s. I remembered it as being really pornographic but apparently I was much more easily shocked as a teenager, or standards were different, or something, because the sex scenes are kind of pitiful, really. Bummer, because there isn't much else there to keep your interest. It's one of those actually fairly creepy visions of teenage girl sexuality as interpreted by a man over 65 and an old school fantasy novel, which means the names were apparently created by randomly drawing letters from a Scrabble bag with the help of liberal hyphen usage. Still, it whiled away yesterday's hangover. I have to stop drinking like that.

It would be one thing if I went out and got plastered and went dancing (which I did, on Thursday night, and had fun, too, and danced like a maniac to the music of my youth) and then came home and crashed out, but no, I have to come home and make a fool of myself on the computer. I remember every gruesome little detail, too, and it makes my skin crawl with anxiety. But it's okay, because I read the new New Yorker from cover to cover this morning, and in the middle of it there is a lengthy poem by Franz Wright. I hardly ever read poetry, but I read Franz Wright. There's a poem of his on my refrigerator which has been there for several years; it is called Year One and goes like this:

I was still standing
on a northern corner--

Moonlit winter clouds the color of the desperation of wolves.

of your existence? There is nothing

And here I am, in the lovely coldth of my kitchen, looking at clouds the color of, perhaps, the puzzlement or the melancholy of wolves, and the proof of my existence is a blush inducing memory of rather a long, hungry soliloquy on IRC about diner crockery that then became a brief argument with a net acquaintance about the merits of Neal Stephenson, which ended when he pointed out that I was too drunk to type, which, clearly, I was.

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