The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and Great Falls

By Mary Ruefle

for James Schuyler

Pink dandruff of some tree
afloat on the swimming pool.
What's that bird?
I'm not from around here.
My mail will probably be forwarded
as quietly as this pink fluff
or a question or morphine
or impatience or a mistake
or the infinite method
established by experience
but never in this world.
I've always wanted to use
malarkey and henna in a poem
and now I have.
Oh Jimmy, all you ever wanted
was to see the new century
but no such luck.
You never saw a century plant
either, or you would have
taken another drink.
They grow for one hundred years,
bloom in their centenary spring
then die forevermore.
The stalk is ten feet tall
(you'd be jealous) rising
out of a clump of cactus leaves
(think yucca) then busting into
creamy ovoids flaming
on the candelabrum.
I was in an air-conditioned car
when I saw it but still felt
the heat of its beauty,
I wanted to stop and talk to it
but we sped on, so tonight
I'll xanax myself to sleep
with the sweet thought that
today and every day is a
century plant of its own
seeded awful long beginning
blooming in drive-by yelps
of love and helplessness
and you saw plenty of them,
spectacular and sad as
a head of hennaed hair,
a lot of malarkey
if you ask anybody
other than us.


"I was reading the Collected Poems of James Schuyler and sitting next to a swimming pool in Texas and the poem is more or less a letter I wrote to him, whom I love," Ruefle told Her book Trances of the Blast is out this fall.

We had more post-trip chores to do on Sunday (shopping for son, laundry, CVS) but since it was a nice day, we also took a walk at Great Falls. We saw several turtles, herons, and other animals in the canal and lots of sunlight on the water. There were many bikers and hikers but it wasn't as crowded as it sometimes gets on nice days.

Adam went out to dinner for a friend's birthday at The Melting Pot; the rest of us had white pizza from Jerry's, since we had a coupon for a freebie, and watched the first episode of Low Winter Sun, which despite Mark Strong is much too violent for me, so I doubt I'll be watching the second episode -- I'm not even caught up on The Borgias.

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