A big dinner finished the day, though it was long delayed and I still haven't gotten around to cleaning up the mess. I hope to get that done before I go to sleep, as I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen, but since I didn't take a nap Saturday I might not be able to stay awake long enough. My energy level remains appallingly low.
Everything I try to remember gets more vague. My mind has become a negative pole to my life and pushes it away. Maybe I'll forget I'm me, and think I'm watching this happen to someone else.
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 the ground:
then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.
Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the properties 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.