sailsflyseaward:

A Lonely Year | Listen
I set out your coffee today (sugar in the raw and a drizzle of cream—it’s good, but we both know that the bodega around the corner does it far better); I haven’t done that in four months. But I keep my hand curled around it until it cools all the same.
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. 

Winter Song / The Head and the HeartHello My Old Heart / The Oh Hello’sDraw Your Swords / Angus & Julia StoneLove Fell Down / Gavin CreelThe Noble Art of Letting Go / Rebecca KarijordWe Were Made Out of Lightning / Right Away, Great Captain!Remember Me as a Time of Day / Explosions in the SkyClose Your Eyes / Jump Little ChildrenThis Is The Last Time / The NationalWe Might Be Dead By Tomorrow / SokoI Have Made Mistakes / The Oh Hello’sMended / The Autumn Film

sailsflyseaward:

A Lonely Year | Listen

I set out your coffee today (sugar in the raw and a drizzle of cream—it’s good, but we both know that the bodega around the corner does it far better); I haven’t done that in four months. But I keep my hand curled around it until it cools all the same.

I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. 

Winter Song / The Head and the Heart
Hello My Old Heart / The Oh Hello’s
Draw Your Swords / Angus & Julia Stone
Love Fell Down / Gavin Creel
The Noble Art of Letting Go / Rebecca Karijord
We Were Made Out of Lightning / Right Away, Great Captain!
Remember Me as a Time of Day / Explosions in the Sky
Close Your Eyes / Jump Little Children
This Is The Last Time / The National
We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow / Soko
I Have Made Mistakes / The Oh Hello’s
Mended / The Autumn Film

Countdown

i. 

I read today that most creatures
will live around a billion heartbeats.

Isn’t that strange? To think 
there are people out there 
counting the heartbeats of
a hummingbird. A man with 
two gloved fingers laid gently over
a little white-gold feathered throat,
saying, “Be still now. It’s almost done.”
Nine hundred and ninety eight million.

Later the man takes off his white coat,
hangs it up, takes the train home. 
Over dinner, his wife asks about work.
He thinks of the hummingbird, pinned.
He takes a bite, thinks, nine hundred and 
ninety eight million and one,
says, “It was good”, loses count. 
Drops it in the soup, rather. 

ii. 

Sleep is easy. In sleep 
the rhythm steadies, 
forty-nine beats a minute, 
the continent a mass 
of syncopated rhythms,
crackling stars.
The dilemma is upon waking. 

Is it raining? Take two beats away 
if it is lightly tapping at the window; 
add six if it demands to dance.
Have leaves started to fall? 
Subtract four because we remember
we are shedding too. In winter, 
remain still at forty-six unless
drinking hot chocolate. Save ten for
the moment the cherry blossoms open.
Spend recklessly in warm weather, 
counting off five beats per dive 
into the ocean from the highest cliff, 
one extra if you open your eyes 
before you hit 
the water.

iii. 

Children will stop
at their games, fretting
that they’ve lost count.
Their mothers, who have held
every pulse since the first 
throb of their aching bellies,
set them back on track. 
Middle schoolers do the math 
when no one is looking, 
but fail to understand 
what the answers mean.
In Japan, schoolgirls decide that
soulmates, if they exist,
have the same heart rates.
They start stitching their loneliness
into their skirts. Boys start looking.

Certain men will be frugal. 
On dating websites they write
about visits to art museums
and walks on the beach when
the tide is out. 
Others will want to run. A billion 
seems so far, the world so wide. 
On occasion one slips. His lover, 
who had only just started the difficulty 
of counting two heartbeats,
will think about all the time 
they could have had, and realize
a billion is not so much after all.

In retirement homes, nurses 
become experts at subtraction. 
The residents have lost track
of their own numbers. They think
in fractions, calculating
a figure for each person 
they’ll love and leave.

iv.

Back to the hummingbird.

The man thinks of swings and
art exhibits. Of sewing needles and 
cragged cliffs. Do hummingbirds 
build nests on the shore? If so, 
do the little eggs (off-white, 
the size of his fingernails)
ever get swept away by the tide?

He realizes he’s never seen
a hummingbird nest before. 
He realizes it would be stupid 
to build nests on the shore.
He realizes how stupid it is
that he’s counting the heartbeats 
of a hummingbird. This helpless,
little thing trapped beneath his palm. 
As if it knows what a billion means.
As if any of us do. 

How to Love Poetry: Teacher’s Edition

Tell them it’s sweet. That it sinks into 
the tongue like snow – untraceable
but for the finest hint of change 
in the bloodstream. That it goes well
scraped across their morning toast or
drizzled into their tea. That they might
even spoon it straight into their mouths 
and let it clot in the back of the throat
so their next words can carry just 
a few glistening strands of it. 

Tell them it’s fire. That they should not
fear the sloughing of skin that was only ever
a barrier between their nerves and the world.  
That the pieces that fall away never mattered.
That they only have to lie back and let it wash over them
like they are the forest and they are waiting
for the blaze to turn the underbrush into 
white ash that dissolves in the wind. 

Tell them it’s to remember. That
so much has already been lost, 
sent away with the worn out toys,
the chipped vases, the diaries with 
only the first few pages written in. 
The things we loved once, and then
forgot why.  

But most of all tell them that
it is essential. That if not for blood
it would be the pulse of each line 
break through our bodies. That 
they will say the words and yet
never say anything if not
for this, this smear of language
across an unwilling mouth, this
lingering hiss of ash, this memory
languishing in the attic, waiting 
for someone to look in the right place.

“After his mother forbids him to marry Psyche, Cupid puts down his bow and all living things on earth stop mating.
First the fruit flies fell around the fruit bowl and the air was still,
the figs and apples ripened and then were gone. The end of bees
means the end of plums and roses, the end of rye and amaranth.
Soon, no mice: we noticed their silence after the years of traps
and scratching in the ceilings, no droppings in the flour, no footprints
in the butter. I found an owl dead in a glade. Takes less
time than you might think for horsefeed to look like food
if there is no food. There are our orchards, there are
our fields, empty of hum and buzzing, empty of peaches
and wheat. The male swan left the lake, just flew away,
and his mate made widening circles over town,
honking her grief until we shot her down.
The goats stripped every bush of leaves but bore no kids,
no cats birthed kittens, no kits for the foxes, no goslings,
no grubs, no nymphs, no infants. My son now prefers the empty
woods to the dancing girls—it’s true that they’ve grown bony,
and though I go to watch them they don’t stir me. I’m hungry.
At the town council we address the issue: how long can we survive
on leaves and boiled bark? Two months, if we eat our seed corn
and slaughter our horses. One month if we save some corn,
save some horses to try to plant in the spring. My wife
once rode that horse fifty miles just to see me
for an afternoon. Once she rode over a river in winter,
the ice spackled with rabbit tracks
and filled with unlucky fish, just to marry me.
Once we made love in the garden, under the bean trellis;
in our bed we made a child. I make a list
of her good qualities. I try to find my love for her
in things, wearing the clothes she gave me, reading
notations she left in my books. Re-reading her letters
I think, I’m so hungry I could let you starve.
It’s hard to know yourself anymore
when you can think a thing like that.
Some things might outlast this. Tortoises, maybe.
But look at them: each grooved to fit smoothly with the other,
built to heave those heavy bodies together and lock in.
See how his belly is arched
to cradle her shell.
I keep thinking: I don’t need her.
I keep opening the cupboard to find nothing.”

Jenneva Scholz

THE FAMINE OF LOVE

(via ibecamethesun)

“My mother taught me well so I rebel.”
— Saul Williams (via thatkindofwoman)
“Glassware (skin). Silverware (stitch). A crepe-thin blanket and your body disembodied beneath. A white picnic. And you slowly rousing, strangely light, singular from this other sleep. Blousy drips of iodine. Elemental Rust streaking your cheek. You recall a girl’s name from your life before: Fannie (Fentanyl). Lori, Pam (Lorezapam). A girlhood ago. Girl in a gown. A dressing. Cast. Someone wound in clinical linen. Pupa. Spider’s catch. White ribbons a woman might wear to hide her weeping face. A hole where absence pools. Lakes. Her lost eye in a somewhere sea, seeing nothing.”
— Hadara Bar-Nadav, “Ruin is Formal” (via fables-of-the-reconstruction)

Fantastic look at gender and what it means. I may be a little in love with Ruby Rose now. (And also I want to cut my hair?)