The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday, Prince Tribute, Connecticut 2001

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.


Not much worth reporting happened on Tuesday. It was lovely and sunny, then it rained for a while, then it was lovely and breezy and we took a walk to enjoy it. We got yet another delivery from Target with a snack bag exploded open in the box -- this time it was Cheetos instead of potato chips as if they'd been used as packing peanuts for the cat food in the same order. My computer tried to misbehave and I tried turning it off and on, which was not a satisfactory solution.

We didn't realize the CW had new episodes on until it was too late, so instead we watched the second episode of Run, which I'm not sure I'll stick with -- I don't really like the main characters or their problems of privilege, and if they turn out to be seriously mentally ill, it will just be sad -- then we watched Let's Go Crazy, the Grammy tribute to Prince, which was great. Here are some photos of my sons visiting their paternal grandparents in Connecticut 19 years ago:








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