Saturday, October 11, 2014

Yes, we have it on tap; Composition; Jacky Terrasson; Xanadu at the train; Catastrophe


then as my mother played it on her organ console:



We used to call it the boob tube,
but I guess they don't use tubes anymore.
Whatever, it serves a small purpose after waking
and before falling asleep. Today's news—
but is there such a thing as news,
or even oral history? Yes, when you want to go back
after a while and appraise the accumulation
of leaves, say in a sandbox.
The rest is rented depression,
available only in season
and the season is always next month,
a pure but troubled time.

That's why I don't go out much, though
staying at home never seemed much of an option.
And speaking of nutty concepts, surely "home"
is way up there on the list. I feel more certain about "now"
and "then," because they are close to me,
like lovers, though apparently not in love with me,
as I am with them. I like to call to them,
and sometimes they reply, out of the deep business of some dream.

"Composition" by John Ashbery from Where Shall I Wander. © Ecco Press, 2005


Jacky Terrasson



at the train station


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.



How many times must one say no
To a cat begging to go out
After hours

My reckoning of how many
Times I’ve leaned down to advise her

My disposition;  for heaven’s sake
Do you want to hear those mighty descending wings
From the nocturnal sky?  She glowers,

Having no imagination, I guess
And continues her pitiful begging to go out
And take her chances during the darkened hours

An owl will, believe me, WILL swoop down
And pick you, you tasty morsel, as if
You were nothing heftier than one of our flowers

Growing outside the door, in whose midst you slink and creep.
These owls are big with talons sinking deep,
They’ll carry you to a treetop;  disembowelers

These owls are;  your nemeses;
You don’t want to find yourself with great ease flying upward
By surprise, my pussy, to be sliced, diced, and devoured!

Like talking to a catter -wall;
At night a different creature;
She persists!  “ Mee-ow,  Mee-OW, MEE-OW!”  Hers

To learn the hard beak way, but not on this watch!
Her bones and parts shant be reduced to pellets, trophies
Dropped under the Tamarack’s peacable bowers!

No is NO, my furry friend, reckon thyself lucky;
Yea, and compose and confine thyself;
Not to be an owl’s, your howls and bowels are ours!

[David Dix 6-9-2002]