The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

At Sea
By Simon Armitage

It is not through weeping,
but all evening the pale blue eye
on your most photogenic side has kept
its own unfathomable tide. Like the boy
at the dyke I have been there:

held out a huge finger,
lifted atoms of dust with the point
of a tissue and imagined slivers of hair
in the oil on the cornea. We are both
in the dark, but I go on

drawing the eyelid up by its lashes
folding it almost inside-out, then finding
and hiding every mirror in the house
as the iris, besieged with the ink
of blood rolls back

into its own orbit. Nothing
will help it. Through until dawn
you dream the true story of the boy
who hooked out his eye and ate it,
so by six in the morning

I am steadying the ointment
that will bite like an onion, piping
a line of cream while avoiding the pupil
and in no time it is glued shut
like a bad mussel.

Friends call round
and mean well. They wait
and whisper in the air-lock of the lobby
with patches, eyewash, the truth
about mascara.

Even the cats are on to it;
they bring in starlings, and because their feathers
are the colours of oil on water in sunlight
they are a sign of something.
In the long hours

beyond us, irritations heal
into arguments. For the eighteenth time
it comes to this: the length of your leg sliding out
from the covers, the ball of your foot
like a fist on the carpet

while downstairs
I cannot bring myself to hear it.
Words have been spoken; things that were bottled
have burst open and to walk in now
would be to walk in

on the ocean.


I have had a migraine crushing my brain since I got home Tuesday night, so I am going to keep this short. I didn't do much today besides research memory problems with T-Mobile's Wing phone and battery problems with the MDA. I am in tears because it sounds like I probably can't fix my old phone and the new one is not worth its price if it's going to keep crashing so often with no way to remove all the Windows Mobile crap that causes the memory problems. I need to stay on T-Mobile because feature for feature in terms of what I use regularly, it's so much better for the money than Verizon or AT&T.

A finished harpsichord built by the Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmakers' gallery.

Here is one under construction in the workshop... unfinished keyboard...

...and the body, with legs to the side.

This desk has many hidden compartments... this pull-out writing drawer...

...that can be taken apart to reveal the perfect place to hide chocolate. Er, that is, secret messages.

We watched Life After People on the History Channel, which has terrific effects of cities crumbling and cats taking over tall buildings. Plus I learned that the New York subway system would be full of water in less than a week without the pumps running -- so much for all the futuristic fiction in which vampires or sub-humans are living in tunnels under the city. Some animal and plant species would be better off without us but some would be extinct rather quickly. All in all, I vote for keeping us on the planet, if we don't find some way to blow ourselves off it. Not least because Three Mile Island will melt down without someone to keep an eye on it.

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