Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Memorizing W.C. Williams

I've never been a great memorizer. Speeches were something of an exception to this, so the art was not lost to me, just hidden more often than not. Maybe I just never made the time to do it. I've spent the last three days committing this to memory. I have typed it here from memory, and I think it is right.

This is from W.C. Williams Paterson, speaking of the falls on the Passaic River:

"Jostled, as are the waters approaching
the brink ; his thoughts
interlace, repel, and cut under,

Rise rock-thwarted and turn back
but forever strain forward - or strike
an eddy and whirl ; marked by a
leaf or curdy spume ; seeming
to forget.

Retake later the advance and
are replaced by the succeeding hordes
pushing forward ; they coalesce now,
glass-smooth with their swiftness,
quiet, or seem to quiet as at the close
they leap to the conclusion and
fall! fall in air, as if
floating, relieved of their weight
split-apart, ribbons ; dazed, drunk
on the catastrophe of the descent
floating unsupported
to hit the rocks ; to a thunder,
as if lightning had struck"

Just something to make me use my mind in a different way.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Eggs in the Light

A pair of jeans lay next to the door to his closet, where they had been left when he climbed into bed last night, and retrieving them he walked through the doorway toward the kitchen. Midway through the living room he slid his legs into the pants. He had them zipped and buttoned by the time he reached the fridge.

He poured the old coffee from the pot down the drain. If he had plants he would have used the coffee to water the plants, diluted with some water, supposedly as a way to help them grow, but he had no plants. He dumped the old grinds into the trash and prepared a fresh pot.

Cracking some eggs into a frying pan where a pat of melted butter was sizzling quietly, he put two slices of bread in the toaster. He flipped the eggs, breaking the yoke of one, swirled the pan to spread the sticky yellow goo around, and turned off the gas let them firm up. He pulled a plastic container of tuna salad from the fridge and spread a layer of it across the warm bread. He pulled a square, plastic plate from the cupboard next to his head, and set the developing sandwich upon it. He pulled a slice of cheese from the package on the door, finally slid the eggs from the pan onto the whole mess. He pulled a glass from the shelf, noted that he might want to dust, and poured himself a glass of orange juice.

He looked down at the sandwich. Heat from the eggs pouring invisibly around the edges of the cheese poking out from around the crusts.

It wasn’t really cheese, cheese food if you read the label properly. Food or product, the effect of the heat was its softening, a lightening of color, and the breakdown of rigidity and solidity, if you can call cheese solid. All of that sounded right, but Matt wasn’t sure if his lingo was solid. He was a lax consumerist.

He punched the sandwich.