Did you know that davite is a variety of native sulphate of alumina? Lambent is emitting, or suffused with, a soft clear light, softly radiant in the night. All we know of tamarine now is that in 1691 a sentence in a London paper was: “A Piece of Ashcoloured woolly Tamarine striped with black.” It is thought to be some kind of cloth, but where is it now except in tamarine, a word like throstle which is a thrush or a mavis if you like. And the thready throat thrashes, thrilling the threshold of the thrice thrusted throng, threatening the thrift of the throne with thraldom. Join the Book of the Month Club to receive The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, twelve volumes reduced to the silent page of a two volume, densely thicketed set, buy the three books that you have to over the one year to fulfill that obligation, drop your membership, and you will possess the words of the language on your desk. I do not want to go to law school and am thus at a loss to define my future occupation. Any ideas? I’ll be confused for a while, but better confused than headed down the wrong road. Thought a lot about Italy today want to wander there for a long time, travel, traverse the transom of the laminar flow that dallies on the surface of Italian rivers and remain in Woodstock one bus longer, with the pints and poetry and the whitewashed wall. It is so damned upsetting that time flows like it does, that it is so painful to remember the greatest days, that so much distance separates such good friends like us, and that we will die, that there is a limit weighing down upon us since we are born, smashing us with the signal that we must keep walking, right into the darkness. I would become a drunken and poor poet if I could spend my days with adequate food and shelter with friends like you having fun. What a cement drag the dictations of weary adults hit us with, and the worst part is, their direction is in our chest for some reason, and we are becoming them. What examples can we turn to, where tedious work and money has not traced its dusty and poisonous finger, pointing to the grave which we all furtively avoid, but which you and I know is the rich bed of wildflowers, even in the night by that church in stony but often green Oxford. Now I think that money is death, and the avenue of death, and that fun splays clean in cool wind on punts, and when we cannot fully enjoy we should wait, and remember, in the dusk and the stillness, surrounded by native trees even with our promises, and the claims which we have allowed. How much can we demand of this existence we did not ask for? We know the superior tread down the pebbly path and the grass on the edge with Corin reclined, yet we left in the night and her breasts continue to tremble, boldly in a country across an ocean, on the other side of midAtlantic ridges and brine and seagulls. Noone claims more than I that there is beauty there, and that we were a part of it, no matter how difficult time or its flow may be, unless it be you, who also seem to know what the vacant spaces between the stars mean. When on the beach, there are only stones and emotion, between lunacy and the moon, and the unusual aspect of weather and crow flight increases and disposes you toward tears and the sea, know that I have considered you long and well, and that I would be with you if I could. Summer is getting larger in the distance and the same old storms contend with us, driving what they can of our minds to the merge of the multitude. Money. Job. Future. Career. Responsibility. Plans. Who ropes another possibility? Which days dazzle with fun? Where is the best pizza?
Undated from November/December 1983:
“Bare lists of words are found suggestive to an imaginative and excited mind” (Emerson).
“For the voice which loves it every word is virginal” (Galway Kinnell).
Light falls warm
And the children
It’s afternoon; I’m thirsty and
We can’t get out of bed but
You are wonderful.
The silent blanket is wrapping
The spread of sleep with wishes.
Blossoms of tremble and hold
Are falling into the day.
In the night we furnish
Moonlight with kisses,
Blend giving with receiving.
The tape needs rewinding but
We are smooth with wish and warm again–
On the swirls
With each other