Wednesday 23 January 2013

Rae Armantrout's Next Life (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), second selection

Some favourite passages....

A promise that can only be kept
by being made and made again

last lines of "Promise"

The dream--a froth
of syllables and lights.
A lost
girl, cross
section of a girl,
who floats on the surface
tension between bed
and rising.

last section of "In Part"

As planets and protons
invent themselves by spinning,

so a mind
turns on itself

in a body's dark space

last section of "Pronouncements"

And someone will here set down
a diner or gas station
at a desolate crossroads

and tried naming it
to evoke
the whole human situation

the impulse to do so

What that name will be
is the one thing we don't know

end of "Make It New"

We ought to be frightened
of the reconstituted

pronominal fizz
that invades us,

the waverly, weasely persistence

which, once we start to listen,
demands to be heard

end of "Again"

The present's chronic

which a poem

from "Yoohoo"

When we wish for anything,
we also wish

for time to pass.
From this

we can infer
that time and wish are one

or that we have caused them

to become enmeshed.

third section of "Propensity"

Monday 21 January 2013

Rae Armantrout's Next Life (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), first selection

Here are some favourite passages--indeed, I have so many, I need to break them up into two posts!

Not getting lost
but looping
then extending myself


reversing myself
as if turning
to face a partner

last section of "Reserved"

(Echo persuades us
everything we say
has been said at least once

* * * 

Is it the beginning or end
of real love
when we pity a person

because, in him,
we see ourselves?

from "Two, Three"

Now's hopeful

from "As (2)"

I have enough past
and future

to accompany me now.

from "Blur"

If each moment is in love
with its image
in the mirror of
adjacent moments

(as if matter stuttered),

then, of course, we're restless!

from "The Subject"

The very old man shuffles very slowly
not between
the white lines of a crosswalk
but down one of them.

Like a figure in a dream
his relation to meaning
is ominous

the last section of "Agreement"

Tuesday 15 January 2013

On the radio with Horace

I did this recording oh so long ago, I only I remember it vaguely. It's not Ode 111, but Ode 11 from Book 1 of Horace's Odes. It's my translation from my days as an early PhD student (1998?) at UC Irvine. 

Sunday 13 January 2013

i.m. Ronald Lillistone, 28 August 1934-13 January 2012

A bit silly, I know, but this is my favourite of the photos I have of Ron Lillistone. 

Here's a more traditional photo. The man with his sons, Trevor and Malcolm. He brightened when either came into a room. 

Sunday 6 January 2013

A child's letter home

Someone please tell me other kids are this bossy.... I think I was about ten years old.