Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark | Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Congratulations to Mary Ruefle; her amazing poem, Glory, has won the 2011 William Carlos Williams Award. I'm proud to know Ruefle from my time at Vermont College. Give yourself the gift of reading Glory, below.


The autumn aster, those lavender ones,

and the dark-blooming sedum

are beginning to bloom in the rainy earth

with the remote intensity of a dream. These thing

stake over. I am a glorifier, not very high up

on the vocational chart, and I glorify everything I see,

everything I can think of. I want ordinary men and women,

brushing their teeth, to feel the ocean in their mouth.

I am going to glorify the sink with toothpaste spat in it.

I am going to say it's a stretch of beach where the foam

rolls back and leaves little shells. Ordinary people

with a fear of worldly things, illness, pain, accidents,

poverty, of dark, of being alone, of misfortune.

The fears of everyday life. People who quietly and secretly

bear their dread, who do not speak freely of it to others.

People who have difficulty separating themselves

from the world around them, like a spider hanging

off the spike of a spider mum, in an inland autumn,

away from the sea, away from that most unfortunate nation

where people are butterballs dying of meat and drink.

I want to glorify the even tinier spiders in the belly of the spider

and in the closed knot of the mum's corolla, so this is likely

to go on into winter. Didn't I say we were speaking of autumn

with the remote intensity of a dream? The deckle edge of a cloud:

blood seeping through a bandage. Three bleached beech leaves

hanging on a twig. A pair of ruined mushrooms. The incumbent

snow. The very air. The imported light. All autumn struggling

to be gay, as people do in the midst of their woe.

I met a psychic who told me my position in the universe

but could not find the candy she hid from her grandkids.

The ordinary fear of losing one's mind. You rinse the sink,

walk out into the October sunshine, and look for it

by beginning to think. That's when I saw the autumn aster,

the sedum blooming in a purple field. The psychic said

I must see the word glory emblazoned on my chest. Secretly

I was hoping for a better word. I would have chosen for myself

an ordinary one like orchid or paw.

Something that would have no meaning in the astral realm.

One doesn't want to glorify everything. What might I actually say

when confronted with the view from K2? I'm not sure

I would say anything? What's your opinion?

You're a man with a corona in your mouth,

a woman with a cottonball in her purse,

what's your conception of the world?

No comments:

Post a Comment