Everything dies, but nothing ever goes away

“The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he’s done.?
-Richard Hugo

Mid-afternoon. I’m back at my machine now, home from the briefest reverie, a waking nap in my absent neighbors’ hammock. I had walked over to spread cracked corn for their ducks (as I’d promised to do while they are gone to California); on the roadside on the way, I stop beside a plush wall of wild roses, their faces blossoming in half-dollar-sized frills of pink. Pulling one closer, I inspect it for bees, then thrust my nose into its cup. Immediately, I smell Granny’s old house in Jasper County, Mississippi, and see her broad wrinkled forehead, her squat body, her braided crown of hair—and tears begin to grow like wild roses in my eyes.

As I feed the ducks, the black shadow of a vulture’s wings draws a dark small cloud over my head and the rocks where I cast a rain of golden grain. Before returning home, I climb into the hammock behind their house and close my eyes. I can feel hot sun on my unshaded cheek, the sway of the hammock, the sweep of a breeze just above bare. I hear the hollow rattle of ravens, a sparrow’s high chir, the rough cough of crows, electric insects, robins blowing thin whistles from the top of low trees, sheep crying to each other across the pasture behind the barbed wire, and a distant plane’s angry drone.

I think of James Wright’s poem about lying in a hammock, his concluding line: “I have wasted my life,? and I know in my arms and my belly that I am going to die, but I cannot believe it in my head. It is a lie and doesn’t have even the truth of the roll of a raven’s high tongue.

I have to get out of this job or get this job out of me. The monster’s teeth tear at my stomach, my chest, my arm, the temples of my head and the temples of my heart.

What is wrong with me that I let such a trivial beast gnaw my vitals…and what is vital? I heard this morning: “Expect a rock to be a rock.” Now it is up to me to listen.


The Ascendency of the Poets

An episode in which Ryler Dustin, Malcolm Kenyon, and Anna Wolff are introduced; Adrienne captures their fugitive images as proof of their unblurred beings; plaster sifts from the ceiling at the timbre of their voices and stones are riven by their merest bidding; a plea is made to visit them and others at poetrynight.org; a good night is had by the pilgrims who follow their progress; and all who listen are invited to chew, yes chew, on some poetry. (Post poetry: An account was rendered of street urchins electrified, but you’ll have to tune in for a later episode to hear the details of this, as I am too busy at the moment combing the sodden streets of Philadelphia seaching for the shadow of the ghost of Benjamin Franklin for amplification on this topic. Adrienne and I also want to explore the question of why bikers, grown men and women leathered as cows and fringed as cedars, must cluster together in groups when they travel, like packs of middle school girls on their way to the bathroom.)

Radio Girl Charms Them All

Honeysuckle itself couldn’t be sweeter than the dulcet notes of Radio Girl’s words as they float out of the studio and across the airwaves. “I’ve got something for everyone,” she purrs, and fellows everywhere assure her that they’ve got something for her, too.

Radio Boy says Hi!

Radio Boy takes a moment’s respite from his busy day to say Hi! He longs for the time when every child in every land can put aside the cares of the world, settle down in front of a microphone, and plug in to a better way of life. “That’ll be a swell thing to be a part of,” he says, and you’d better believe us when we tell you that Radio Boy knows a swell thing when he sees it.