The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Thursday, Neighborhood Messes, Restoration


The Layers
By Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

--------

It was a weird Wednesday even forgetting the post-election blues (our district still does not have a congressman-elect, since it's so close they have to count the absentee and provisional ballots). Our landline had not been working for more than a day, so we set up an appointment with Verizon for Friday, but they were able to come Wednesday so apaulled came home at lunchtime to work from home for the rest of the day in case they had to get to the junction box behind the sump pump that I can't reach or anything like that (turned out the problem was not in our house or at our local junction box, but at the main junction box for the neighborhood). Plus a pipe broke across the street and there were lots of noisy trucks trying to stop the flow of water:














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We did get to have dinner at California Tortilla with artemis_prime and her husband, though we went so early because he had a class that we were home before 7. So we watched Restoration, the Robert Downey Jr.-Sam Neill royalty-and-plague movie with gorgeous sets and costumes, great performances, some odd scripting issues, definitely worth seeing. And we watched The 100, which has ongoing major scripting issues but a huge number of really awesome women who make up for it all -- most consistent Bechdel triumph of anything we watch! And I don't care whether Benedict Cumberbatch is getting married or not but given the frequent level of hysterical hyperbole on Tumblr, I was glad it was all about that and not about politics for once!
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