Anyway, as I was saying, lately I've felt like I'm hitting a wall in slow motion. Each day a little more crushing happens, and I have a little less energy to resist it. Still, the winter sunsets, brought on by ice crystals in the persistent thin evening clouds, have been nice of late, though I have to walk down the block and then look back to get a decent view of them. There aren't a lot of trees along this block, and the vivid pinks and mauves of the sky crowd down against the rooftops of the low buildings like mounds of colorful frosting piled atop the dullest of cakes.
I've not been sleeping very well, and have several times awoken with lingering images of dream sin which I have been walking aimlessly through empty rooms. The dream toms are numerous and large, unlike the rooms of this apartment, but I suspect that the lack of furniture in here has something to do with these dreams. The absence of cats probably has something to do with them, too, since I wake with the feeling that I've been looking for something and not finding it.
This apartment is quiet for the most part, though the dog who lives across the trail behind it is still barking at passersby all day, and my bedroom window opens on the parking area so that the early risers on their way to work disturb my sleep with their rumbling engines. That, and the passage of numerous aircraft every day and the sound of the diesel trains on the other side of town at night frequently disrupt the quiet. I'm sure I can live with these annoyances, but I'd rather not have to.
The landlords, who are actually flippers, have this complex up for sale and tomorrow morning there will be a walkthrough by a prospective buyer at 9:30. A bit early for me, but I'm sure the guy with the enormous SUV who lets it idle for five or so minutes every morning will make sure i wake in plenty of time. I just have to remember not to let myself go back to sleep after he leaves.
Dammit, it's midnight already. I'd have had this posted ten minutes ago if not for the crappy computer's misbehavior. Just have to post the verse. Among the books that burned one I will miss very much is the collected poems of Richard Wilbur. Luckily the peom I'm posting tonight is on the Internet so I can copy and paste it. It's one I've posted a few times before, once fairly recently if I recall, but it is suited to the time of year and seems quite apposite to me this year in particular. Enjoy? (If that's the right word.)
by Richard Wilbur
Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show,
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.
I've known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.
There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii
The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.
These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.