Monday, July 25, 2005

sunflowers in a field

To: girlie
Date: Jul 22 at 9:29 PM
Subject: sunflowers in a field (oh. i didn't write it.)


i hope all is well and prosperous in the various places that you inhabit. i leave you with a poem and wish you all sorts of surprising moments of delight, those both large and small.

Sunflowers in a field.
Goldfinches everywhere.
They gorge on seed. They rise
To rest along the power line, then fall
Like drizzled lemon drops, like lozenges
Of candied yellow light.
Two weeks a year, goldfinches
Gather on sunflowers here.
These evenings after supper,
You see them in the honey-soft glow
As if they'd trapped and somehow stored
The rapture of September's sun.
You see goldfinches flicker
Among sunflower lanes,
Through mortal tides of light,
Through streams of apricot and chardonnay,
And you resolve to live
Your life with greater sympathy.
Sunflowers bowing their char black dials,
Their petals twist and writhe
Like fires, like silk coronas blazing west.
How inconceivable, then,
The pewter cold-front clouds,
The shabby settlement of crow and wren.
Though no one hears the oath,
You shall, you tell yourself,
Forgo deceit, increase the tithe.
Atone. Forgive. Embrace. You watch
Goldfinches and sunflowers both
Begin to fade. By subtle green degrees
They shed that bullion luster of the sun
Until the finches ricochet
Like flints among the drowsing flower heads.
Perhaps, as I have done,
You'll pace the darkling half mile home,
Intent on picking up the telephone
To reconcile with long-lost friends.
You will apologize, concede.
You'll vow to never, ever, ever let
Such distance grow again.
But then you reach your door and find
The day diminished to a thin blue rind
Of light above the township silhouette.
How nice a hot bath sounds.
Dessert. An herbal tea.
Perhaps you'll read the Arts
And Leisure pages of The Daily News.
With every stair you climb
Sleep settles just a little more behind
The knees, beneath the shoulder blades.
The calls, you tell yourself,
Perhaps some other time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

a gift, to see who these men might fall in love with...

To: girlie
Date: Jul 13 at 6:37 PM
Subject: a gift, to see who these men might fall in love with...


i realize that i'm not going to receive very many cool points for admitting this, (actually, it could be that you don't award cool points, or that you don't recognize them, or that they don't even actually exist), but i've been involved in a fantasy baseball league for about ten years. it's a sports pool.

last night we had our annual "all-star break" meeting at the [------] by the canal. girlie, it was very hot in there. very fucking hot. a sweat box. i think my glasses might have steamed up when i walked into that humid, motionless room. i have digressed. and swore. i have started this letter by admitting a geeky past time, and then i swore and then started to complain about the weather. me. one. class. act.

my point is that i don't know the men who participate in the pool. i see them twice a year. i don't know anything about their lives. when i see them, we only talk about baseball. i don't know if they're married. i don't know what they do for a living. i don't know what sort of car they dream of driving. and the truth is that i've always imagined that i've lived a very different life than these men, these men who are all older than me, these men with bellies and t-shirts they bought from stadium rock concerts, these men who seem to know quite a bit about golf, but who knows, who knows...

it's a funny thing, this type of male relationship. by no stretch of the imagination are we friends, but we still depend on one another in a way. it's a safe zone. coded speech. you just talk about baseball, the clutter of our lives pushed to the side, no past or future or judgment, just baseball. a feeling of belonging that requires no effort. a default setting.

anyway, i really enjoy finding out about these men whenever i have the opportunity. to see them from a different angle. last night there was a woman. she was sitting beside jeff. she was wearing a yellow dress and had enormous breasts. she was drinking a glass or red wine and fanning herself with a coaster. ( did i mention that it was hot in there?) as far as i could tell, nobody introduced her to anyone. she was just sitting there amongst the wash of baseball chatter.

i began to speak with her. she had been to see zz top. she said that they were getting old. she was married to jeff. i had no idea jeff was married. i did not imagine that he was married. i was startled to find out that he was married to a red head with enormous breasts who looked ten years older than he did. stunned, girlie. suddenly, the baseball jeff i never knew (always thought he had a fine baseball mind) was changing, was becoming complex. they were going to niagara falls and toronto next week. they own a condo in [-----]. she was a numerologist. does life mapping for a living. wow. that is who he is in love with. wow. neat-o.

i'm not expressing myself very well, and i'm probably boring you, but it was just fascinating. this voice, the face of baseball jeff that i'd been seeing for the last ten years, was suddenly given a context, a home.

last year some of the baseball tribe got together to watch the world series. the red sox won, breaking a very long and tortuous tradition of not winning. paul, the larger guy who is vain about his long, curly hair, was elated. he turned to me, "i'm going to the highlander! i'm going to ask out that waitress, if the red sox can win the series, then anything can happen!" and then he was gone.

last night i shared a cab with him. he asked me to drop him off at the highlander. i don't think that he ever asked out that waitress. i think that he attends every baseball function, i think that he's lonely and really enjoys finding a default setting, finding companionship in its simplest flavours.

busy girlie, why don't you tell me something about some of the people you spend time with?