At this point one not familiar with me might think I might make a resolution for the New Year to correct my behavior, but those who are familiar with me will know that those not familiar with me are to be disappointed. I make no resolutions I'm unlikely to keep, and thus I make no resolutions. Next year is apt to be the same as this year. That which has been is what shall be, as Thucydides might say, were Thucydides alive and prone to paying attention to my trivial maunderings. But even I pay little attention to those, so I'm quite sure he wouldn't.
Nevertheless, though Thucydides would not be a fan I feel obliged to write something down, regardless of its unimportence in the grander scheme of things. It will neither cause cities nor Internets to fall nor prevent them from falling, but this unimportance is what I call life, so here it is. Another day has passed and I've done nothing. What, you who are not familiar with me were expecting profundity? So sue me. I've wasted your time. Those familiar with me are unsurprised. They most likely have learned to use my posts as a soporific to help them get to sleep. There are worse things on the Internets. Learn to let it go. I have.
A Martian Sends a Postcard Home
by Craig Raine
Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings -
they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.
I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.
Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on ground:
then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.
Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the property of making colours darker.
Model T is a room with the lock inside -
a key is turned to free the world
for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.
But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.
In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.
If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep
with sounds. And yet they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.
Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room
with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises
alone. No one is exempt
and everyone's pain has a different smell.
At night when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs
and read about themselves -
in colour, with their eyelids shut.