The rain is still falling most of the time, but the wind has died down enough that my back porch is no longer completely wet. Tonight the fierce wind is supposed to strike the coast, so maybe it won't be so impressive here as it was last night when the raindrops were blown fifteen feet under the patio roof to soak the mat by my back door. It was, as the kids might have said a few years back, hella dramatic, and I found it invigorating as well as frightening, but I'll be glad if it doesn't happen again any time soon.
Last night's power outage came on before I started cooking dinner, so I was fortunate not to have potatoes get ruined by sitting half-baked in the dead oven. I haven't decided whether I will give the potatoes another try tonight. It's pretty calm right now, but such storms are not entirely predictable. I might be cautious and settle for another meal heated on the gas range, as I was forced to do last night. A nephew has nailed the fallen fence back in place, and the feral cats have come out of hiding, seemingly none the worse for having endured the night's meteorological terrors.
I'm none the worse myself, though the leaning oak next door might easily have been brought down by such intense wind, given the sogginess of the soil in which it is rooted, and could have done considerable damage to the back room and porch over which it leans. I guess I've had a narrow escape, but I'm so pleased that I still have at least an intermittent Internets connection that I won't dwell on the arboreal hazard that still looms in the darkness. With luck, the winds won't be so bad tonight, the tree will remain upright, the roof will remain on the house and free of leaks, and I'll make it to my appointment with the chiropractor on Tuesday afternoon. And my Internets will remain connected long enough for me to post this entry.
by B. H. Fairchild
Elliot Ray Neiderland, home from college
one winter, hauling a load of Herefords
from Hogtown to Guymon with a pint of
Ezra Brooks and a copy of Rilke's Duineser
Elegien on the seat beside him, saw the ass-end
of his semi gliding around in the side mirror
as he hit ice and knew he would never live
to see graduation or the castle at Duino.
In the hospital, head wrapped like a gift
(the nurses had stuck a bow on top), he said
four flaming angels crouched on the hood, wings
spread so wide he couldn't see, and then
the world collapsed. We smiled and passed a flask
around. Little Bill and I sang Your Cheatin'
Heart and laughed, and then a sudden quiet
put a hard edge on the morning and we left.
Siehe, ich lebe, Look, I'm alive, he said,
leaping down the hospital steps. The nurses
waved, white dresses puffed out like pigeons
in the morning breeze. We roared off in my Dodge,
Behold, I come like a thief! he shouted to the town
and gave his life to poetry. He lives, now,
in the south of France. His poems arrive
by mail, and we read them and do not understand.