By Estill Pollock
Our lives go by to nowhere,
quick as hawk-stoop
or a shunted current earthed, yet
how can I forget the slink of pulse
orbiting downy temples?
We live with ash, cold absence
stoking grey December afternoons.
The plainsong day, the pig iron melt of days,
reminds me of the names we answered to
and this need we learn to live without.
The urn of acids,
inky salts of animals, the mineral spangled all
press to prove the alchemy
of the tongue's quicksilver,
this ingot clutch of thigh.
Sunk in gravity
as stars wink out, sinking to
a headlock freight beyond its core,
it finishes, thus, a map of winter sky
above you as you walk away.
Uncertain, fragile, life begins
in semen trails, and requires
no further motive. Where is today,
tomorrow? Time, dainty to the death,
nimbles through these registers.
We looked out as snow was falling.
We opened blinds to the slop
of half-made crystals and the clouds
dull with solstice sun. A sleeker weather
called us, pilgrims to a south that warmed.
We built this climate as a house is made.
Sky trowelled to winter textures, timber
planed to pen-stroke grain:
drought and the slake of rain, burnt days
and wet run through the sap.
We cast each coin for luck,
tumbler nuance caught cold and called.
Love rules or blinds
through appetite or chance,
and only certain souls are saved.
Love me now and stay, or leave
still loving as the light dissolves.
We exist in lives apart from time
amended to the physical, where love redeems
and is remembered.
The world will end, with sucking gills
or loops of voicemail
scratchy as the power fails.
Articulate what rarity remains, a little love
beyond the burning rain.
I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone that it was a horrendous news day. In addition to the horrific situation in Japan, Libya's fighter jets were bombing Qadaffi's opposition, and the Maryland House of Delegates demonstrated mind-blowing cowardice by sending a gay marriage bill that had already passed the Senate back to committee, meaning it won't be considered again until next year at the earliest. I was tired and cranky a lot of the day, some of which is because my stomach was mad at me in the morning for reasons unknown -- it felt better after I took a walk, since the weather, at least, was quite pleasant, if overcast -- and some of which was stress from the news alternately warning of massacre in Zawiyah and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima.
I finished my all-over-the-place review of Star Trek: Generations, which I must confess I enjoyed quite a bit this time around, though it still has some serious flaws as a film. I feel the same way about The Matrix: Reloaded, which everyone in the family wanted to watch after seeing The Matrix last night (for the first time, for the kids) -- the effects and the freeway sequence haven't dated at all. Before that, we had dinner with my parents and cake for my mom's birthday, which was earlier this week, so that was nice. We are bummed that Maryland lost to Duke and the Terps' basketball season is likely over but we can't pretend to be surprised. Here are some tiny frogs at the National Aquarium in Baltimore: