“I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.” ~ Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet

Milton Avery Moon Path 1957 watercolor on paper

“Moon Path” (1957, watercolor on paper)
by Milton Avery


“My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony.” ~ Fernando Pessoa, from The Book of Disquiet

Fernando Pessoa, writing as Bernardo Soares in The Book of Disquiet:

I am, in large measure, the selfsame prose I write . . . I’ve made myself into the character of a book, a life one reads. Whatever I feel is felt (against my will) so that I can write that I felt it. Whatever I think is promptly put into words, mixed with images that undo it, cast into rhythms that are something else altogether. From so much self-revising, I’ve destroyed myself. From so much self-thinking, I’m now my thoughts and not I. I plumbed myself and dropped the plumb; I spend my life wondering if I’m deep or not, with no remaining plumb except my gaze that shows me blackly vivid in the mirror at the bottom of the well—my own face that observes me observing it.
(Text 193, dated 2 September 1931)

Music by Sufjan Stevens, “All the Trees of the Field will Clap their Hands . . .”

” . . . if there are distances that shine | they shine like the eyes of pain.” ~ Peter Everwine, from “At the Playground, Singing for Psychiatric Outpatients”

Felice Casorati Notturno 1912-13 oil on canvas

“Notturno” (1912-13, oil on canva)
by Felice Casorati


Two for Tuesday: Peter Everwine

Felice Casorati, Il sogno del melograno The Dream of the Pomegranate 1912 oil on canvas

“Il Sogno del Melograno” (1912, oil on canvas)
by Felice Casorati

Back from the Fields

Until nightfall my son ran in the fields,
looking for God knows what.
Flowers, perhaps. Odd birds on the wing.
Something to fill an empty spot.
Maybe a luminous angel
or a country girl with a secret dark.
He came back empty-handed,
or so I thought.

Now I find them:
thistles, goatheads,
the barbed weeds
all those with hooks or horns
the snaggle-toothed, the grinning ones
those wearing lantern jaws,
old ones in beards, leapers
in silk leggings, the multiple
pocked moons and spiny satellites, all those
with juices and saps
like the fingers of thieves
nation after nation of grasses
that dig in, that burrow, that hug winds
and grab handholds
in whatever lean place.

                   

Felice Casorati Dante, Purgatorio XXVII, 113 1917

“Per sé e suo ciel concepe e figlia (Dal Purgatorio XXVIII, 113 di Dante)” (1917, tempera on canvas)
by Felice Casorati

Another Spring

Another spring.
In a corner under the eaves
of the porch, a nesting dove—
the same returning dove—tosses
a few dry weeds, willy-nilly,
into the prevailing wind, then waits
for them to fall in place. Some do.

*

Because I mean her no harm
she allows me to draw close
to her precarious balcony.
I bid her good morning,
she cocks her head at me and blinks—
two old familiars who share
a moment of dappled light falling
on the peaceable kingdom
of the front porch.

*

This morning, a light drift
of feathers on the lawn
and the day’s expectations sour.
Each spring this dumb show of events
repeats itself: a nest abandoned, another
plundered by crow or jay, eggs
spilled from their thatch, an inch
of blue flesh, like a maimed thumb,
drying in the sun.

*

Does the dove, in its season,
despite its plaintive moan, learn nothing?
And I, in mine? I fetch the paper
from the lawn, people drive by
to another day of work.
Nothing is brought to completion.
Later I’ll sweep away the nest—empty,
again, of everything but a blind
belief in the possible.

                   

Music by Kill it Kid, “Caroline”