Thursday, December 30, 2010

Shit Could Be A Whole Lot Righter

...Really I began the day
Not with a man's wish: may this day be different,
But with the birds' wish: May this day
Be the same day, the day of my life.
--Randall Jarrell, "A Man Meets a Woman in the Street"

Domino-like, one
"maybe" followed another
until...all fell down.
--Rachel Wetzsteon, from "Among the Neutrals"

Why didn't anybody tell me this shit was over? Couldn't someone have told me that I was climbing off one dying horse and onto another?

If you saw a man heaving one word after another into a casket wouldn't you have the courtesy or curiosity to ask him what the hell he thought he was doing?

No answers required.

No one blogs anymore, apparently. Or only old people do. I'm old, but I'm not that old, and God knows I'd hate to be quaint. There's still plenty of whippersnapper in me, but not enough to know what exactly the whippersnappers are doing now that they're not blogging.

At this point, however, I don't suppose I'm likely to find out.

I'm pretty damn sure, though, that the youngsters are not sitting around with their dogs listening to Bryan Ferry. Perhaps you'll agree with me that no straight man should ever listen to Bryan Ferry unless a woman is present. But there you have it: I am listening to Bryan Ferry. There is no woman present.

It's not the way I drew it up in the playbook all those years ago, but it is what it is.

Bryan Ferry is 65 years old. He probably has a blog.

Look, I'm not expecting a telegram anymore. Hell, I no longer even expect mail. I expect something, though. It doesn't look like the world can beat that out of me. I probably couldn't claim to have great expectations anymore, but I am still --I think-- expectant.

Actually, I can't say. I can't say, and I don't know, and I'm not sure.

Maybe you exist. Maybe you're actually out there, and this is some sort of connection. I'm grateful if you do, and if you are, and if this is.

I am, I can assure you, at least happy to imagine, and it is my one fierce hope that I will remain so, even if this shit is over. Which it appears to be.

If, in fact, you're real, I imagine you are good people, and I thank you and encourage you to persist in being good people. Hold your heads up high when you walk down the street. Say hello to the neighbors. Ignore the actuary and the clicking of his abacus. Seize every opportunity to defy gravity and amortization. And please find someone to dance with, hold them close, and speak some of your very best and most sincere words directly into their ear. Don't ever lie to the one you dance with.


May you be seen and heard.

May you be known.

And may you never, ever be destroyed.

Sweet dreams.


  1. The epigraph from that Wetzsteon poem is one of my favorite passages from "The Inferno":

    'And I -- my head oppressed by horror -- said:
    "Master, what is that I hear? Who are
    those people so defeated by their pain?"
    And he said to me: "This miserable way
    is taken by the sorry souls of those
    who lived without disgrace and without praise.
    They now commingle with the coward angels,
    the company of those who were not rebels
    nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
    The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
    have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them--
    even the wicked cannot glory in them."'

  2. Anyone who listens to Bryan Ferry will go straight to heaven on the basis that they've suffered enough.

  3. Thankyou, to you and your faithful hound.

  4. Thank you once again.

  5. i'm old and i kinda blog. more like i list.

    and i read books too.

  6. Don't undersell yourself, Steve; Riley Dog's one of the best daily one-stops on the planet. I depend on it. Thanks a million, and keep it coming.

    And thanks to the rest of you as well.

  7. this person here still reads this here blog...with gratitude