The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

The Lesson of the Moth
By Don Marquis

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself



Snicked from dharma_slut months ago and I kept forgetting to post it. We had a moth outside tonight driving the cats crazy, and that made me think of it.

Had an unexpectedly nice morning getting lost while taking Daisy to get her spay sutures out -- the clinic is way out in the woods near Seneca, where the trees are beginning to change and where there were deer a few feet off the road in the trees. We were the only visitors at the clinic at the time -- my usual vet often keeps us waiting 30-45 minutes -- and there were several rescue animals there, including an adorable little dog and two tabby kittens (anyone in the MD-DC-VA area looking to adopt, Daisy has siblings too -- write me). The sutures came out with no problem but Daisy had to have a feline leukemia booster which made her kind of cranky and sleepy for a couple of hours in the afternoon, though now she has recovered and is pawing a Lego until it pops into the air, then leaping on it and mewling as if she has no idea why it's attacking her.

Attack cat problems!

Computer problems!

Food dish problems!

Pesker string problems!

Couch problems!

Laundry folding problems!

Keeping eyes open problems!

I discovered that the Shutterfly coupon I thought expired next week expires this week, so I worked a bunch on holiday gifts and a book about our first trip to England (have done books on the last two), wrote an article about George Takei getting an asteroid named after him, lost an hour to fighting with one of the printers because Adam had taken an online music test whose results he was supposed to print out, only to have the results (a 96%) refuse to print, then ended up going to California Tortilla because Daniel's late bus couldn't stop at the usual stop due to a major accident on the road near that school, so we picked him up in front of the local high school instead when he finally got there. Still have had no direct communication with Adam's science teacher but apparently she is not penalizing his grade (considering he's at 98/100 right now, this is a good thing).

Watched Pushing Daisies and Bionic Woman, like them both but am ambivalent about them both,'s the story of a girl who's alive by virtue of a long-ago sweetheart's magic powers, the other's the story of a girl who's alive because her fiance apparently manipulated her for months if not years, both women in positions where they're awfully willing to go along with whatever nastiness the men in their lives demand of them, and I know Pushing Daisies is really supposed to be about the reaper's existential angst and Bionic Woman's supposed to be Jaime Somers for the La Femme Nikita age, but I'm not really trusting either show to go anywhere I want to follow. Shall see how I feel next week, which is pretty much how I am taking Journeyman and this season's SGA, too.

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