18 July 2007
There's a trapdoor in the country where we can disappear. These giant evergreens are a promise redeemed.
The above photos are from this past weekend. The first two are of my friend Karen, who took the third photo. The rest are of my kids, Alissa and Dylan.
I'm also posting this Jack Gilbert poem for Karen. This is the one I was talking about during the drive to your house. The girl in the poetry group I was involved with called it nihilistic, but I think it's about solitude and the tension between human desires and the solidity (clarity?) of stones--after all, the speaker "hungers for what can be made of granite." I think it's clear that my interpretation--like my choice of framing for photos--is the precise perspective, don't you?
The monks petition to live the harder way,
in pits dug farther up the mountain,
but only the favored ones are permitted
that scraped life. The syrup-water and cakes
the abbot served me were far too sweet.
A simple misunderstanding of pleasure
because of inexperience. I pull water up
hand over hand from thirty feet of stone.
My kerosene lamp burns a mineral light.
The mind and its fierceness lives here in silence.
I dream of women and hunger in my valley
for what can be made of granite. Like the sun
hammering this earth into pomegranates
and grapes. Dryness giving way to the smell
of basil at night. Otherwise, the stone
feeds on stone, is reborn as rock,
and the heart wanes. Athena's owl calling
into the barrenness, and nothing answering.