||[May. 21st, 2017|07:44 pm]
I fell asleep without closing the windows, then didn't wake up until early afternoon, so the morning's heat invaded the house. But since the afternoon was much hotter, it's still cooler in here now than it is outdoors, even this late in the day. I don't know how late it will be before I can open the windows tonight. The house will probably keep getting warmer even as the outdoor temperature drops,as there is all that heat stored in the attic that will be radiating down until the attic cools, and that cooling will require some wind to turn the venting turbine (there's no electric venting fan anymore.) |
Unfortunately this is to be the warmest night yet this year, so it's unlikely I'll be able to capture much cool air in advance of tomorrow's heat, or that the attic will get very cool at all, which means tomorrow the house will be an even more uncomfortable place to be than it's been today. Tuesday night is supposed to be in the low sixties, though, so maybe the house can recover by Wednesday. That is, if I don't fall asleep with the windows open as the day heats up again.
The sultriness was quite astonishing after such a chilly winter. I knew this was coming but it was still a shock. The lawns are noticeably less green today than they were yesterday, and the back back yard is barely green at all, so it must have been a shock to the grass and wildflowers as well. This heat wave is going to suck all the life out of the place very quickly. I hope the frogs can survive. They'll fall silent eventually, to be sure, but this is too soon. At least I'll still have the crickets chirping, though. They seem to love the heat.
California poet Chana Bloch died on May 19, the day after Soundgarden's Chris Cornell committed suicide. I wish Cornell had read this poem by Bloch.
by Chana Bloch
Apprehended and held without trial,
our friend was sentenced:
brain tumor, malignant.
Condemned each day to wake
Overnight, a wall sprang up around him,
leaving the rest of us
Death passed over us this time.
We’re still at large. We’re free
to get out of bed, start the coffee,
open the blinds.
The first of the human freedoms.
If he’s guilty
we must be guilty; we’re all made of
the same cup of dust—
It’s a blessing, isn’t it? To be able,
days at a time,
to forget what we are.
These numbered days
have a concentrated sweetness
that’s pressed from us,
the dying man most of all.
Today we eat brunch at Chester’s,
poached egg on toast,
orange juice foaming in frosted glasses.
He remembers the summer he packed blood oranges,
stripped to the waist,
drinking the fresh-squeezed juice in the factory
straight from the tap.
He cups his left hand under his chin
as if to a faucet, laughing.
He is scooping sweetness from the belly of death
—honey from the lion’s carcass.
We sit with our friend
and brood on the riddle he sets before us:
What is it, this blood honey?
A shadow is eating the sun.
It can blind you
but he’s looking right at it,
he won't turn away.
Already his gaze is marked
by such hard looking,
though just now he asked,
plaintive as a child,
Why won’t it go away?
Day after day breaks
and gives him
back to us
Soon the husk of his knowing
won’t know even that.
A man lies alone in his body in a world
he can still desire.
Another slice of pie? he asks.
As long as he’s hungry
he’s still one of us.
Oh Lord, not yet.
He drums out a jazz beat on the bedrail
with his one good hand
when the words stumble.
See? he says. I can trick the tumor.
He can still taste and see.
The world is good.
He hauls himself up in bed,
squinting his one good eye at the kingdom
through a keyhole
that keeps getting smaller
It is good. It is very good.