Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Now you don't

Alike to those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after a To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your reward is neither Here nor There!"

The present is not a minute because half the minute is past and half in the future, not a second for the same reason and not any interval. There is no present. Everything that is is already gone and everything we are is already over. But we sense that this is not the case, and the explanation must be that time doesn't flow, it grows. Our now is only the surface of a growing thing.

Either that or we are just blurring frames in a colossal media player. Or are we the playthings of cruel and mischievous gods?

CCTV record of the attack on the Pentagon

Being tired

As you get older the things you do tire you more. But there are some things you have to do. You have to sleep, get up, eat, drink, and clean yourself. Of course you have to breathe in and out, in, out, in, out...But one day even that will be too tiring. Then all that's left is sleep.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I heard Gwyneth Lewis say, in a television interview, that the trick of being a poet was knowing when not to write, when to shut up. There are a lot of people around who seem to think they can write a continuous stream of poetry, but these people are not Dantes or Shakespeares; they are modern McGonagles, dressing the banal in florid words. They persist in trying to say ordinary things in an extraordinary way, but isn't poetry just the opposite: extraordinary things said in an ordinary way? Perhaps it's extraordinary things said in an extraordinary way, yes that sounds better. To be prolific to that standard requires something more than pretend genius.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Time is leaking

Time is leaking out of us like blood from the wounded, and with it whatever strength we thought we had. At comically long intervals we remark how time flies. Less of us remains, less and less, till we completely evaporate. The nests we gathered round us will fall to bits and new noises will replace our songs, till everyone who could have remembered our singing is gone as well. And the saddest part of all, we will never get to know what happens to the world, how it all turns out.