CLOCKWORK ANGEL, p. 387

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

It was cold today in Banff. Self feels like she is coming down with a serious head cold. Never mind! She has Cassandra Clare to keep her company. Everlasting gratitude to her niece Karina for recommending The Infernal Devices trilogy. Holy holy moly. Only two words fill her vocabulary at this moment:

WILL. HERONDALE.

Cassandra Clare, you are genius.

On p. 387, it is the night of the full moon and the Clave has gone to strike the vampires led by de Quincey (who formed an uncommon attachment to Will’s neck when he was pretending to be a subjugate at the party at which Tessa Gray was channeling a vampire named Charlotte and if that is too much for you just buy the book for heaven’s sake!)

Will and Jem, a flighty girl named Jessamine, two servant girls and Tessa Gray are left alone in the Institute. Suddenly, they receive a very unexpected visit from a mundane named Mortmain (and every nerve in self’s body is screaming, Don’t you put any credence in what this shifty mundane tells you, Will Herondale!)

The following conversation ensues:

Will’s blue eyes were dark and thoughtful. “Thank you for the information,” he said, “but de Quincey will soon be no more of a threat to us, or his mechanical monsters, either.”

Mortmain’s eyes widened. “Is the Clave to move against the Magister? Tonight?”

“Goodness,” said Will. “You really do know all the terms, don’t you. It’s very disconcerting in a mundane.” He smiled pleasantly.

So blah blah blah ensues and Will and Jem decide  to go check out Mortmain’s story. Tessa Gray wants to accompany them but Will tells her she can’t. At which point the following conversation ensues:

She turned her gaze back to Will. “But what about Boadicea?”

For a moment she thought he’d forgotten what he’d said to her in the library. Then the glimmer of a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, as if he’d tried to fight it and couldn’t. “You will be Boadicea someday, Tessa,” he said, “but not tonight.”

And then, chapter ends on a cliff-y!

And the next chapter begins with a quote from Robert Browning, his poem “The Lost Leader”:

Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more
One task more declin’d, one more footpath untrod,
One more devil’s triumph and sorrow for angels

Dying, dying, dying.

Stay tuned.

Sentence & Poem of the Day (Trigger Warning: Dark Subject Matter)

“He laughed like a serial killer, but that was my best friend for you.”

Self realizes this is rather an odd choice of sentence for Mother’s Day, but it’s gold. Pure gold. And it’s from fan fiction.

The poetry excerpt is by Kevin Flynn, from his poem “Thoughts on Easter While Digging a Grave,” (Aaaargh, why? Self realizes this title is almost as dark as the sentence above) from Bluestem‘s Spring 2015 issue:

Once there were so many buffalo rumbling
on the Great Plains, they darkened the landscape
like a storm, so many that trains full of men,
armed with carbines, would fly through the West
shooting the animals dead, stopping only long
enough to load up the skins, boxcar after boxcar
of bloody fun, leaving behind pyramids of skulls
at every station.

Fully loaded, lovely, oblivious
and muscular, three neighbor boys, with skull
plates thin as a dime, and the Southern sun settled
hissing in the bog behind their eyes, have tacked
sixteen new raccoon skins to their learning barn
wall this Spring. At 4 am, with cats afuzz in the
walls, they tree a young coon one hundred feet
from our bedroom window, and shake him out
to the dogs.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sunday: Tomas Transtromer Again

In lieu of a really good cup of coffee — self too lazy to change out of her pajamas — this

(That’s the beauty of being a writer. One can indeed “live vicariously” — lol!):

ESPRESSO (an excerpt)

The black coffee they serve outdoors
among tables and chairs gaudy as insects.

Precious distillations
filled with the same strength as Yes and No.

It’s carried out from the gloomy kitchen
and looks into the sun without blinking.

In the daylight a dot of beneficent black
that quickly flows into a pale customer.

Self is the pale customer. She is so pale because she has been holed up in her room for approx. one week!

Stay tuned.

Poetry Tuesday: Two Excerpts from Tomas Transtromer

Thank you to poet Angela Narciso Torres, who introduced self to Tomas Transtromer last November in Venice Beach, California.

She has a copy of The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton.

Here’s an excerpt from his poem “Morning Birds”:

It grows, it takes my place,
It pushes me aside.
It throws me out of the nest.
The poem is ready.

And here’s an excerpt from his poem “Song”:

The gathering of white birds grew: gulls
dressed in canvas from the sails of foundered ships
but stained by vapors from forbidden shores.

Transtromer was born in Stockholm in 1931. He spent many years working as a psychologist in Vasterlas, which has established a Transtromer Prize in his honor.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Sunday

This one’s from the March/ April 2015 issue of  Boston Review. They were handing free copies out at the Book Fair yesterday.

Building a Joke (an excerpt)

 by David Hernandez

In the season before trees begin
their ritual of swapping green for rust,
a DC-9 airliner and Cessna
collided over the city where I grew up.
This isn’t funny, but comedians will tell you
laughter is possible with any tragedy
if one waits long enough, time
and timing are key. It’s been 27 years
since I stood alone in the backyard
Read the rest of this entry »

Bluestem, Spring 2015

Yay, Bluestem! They launched the spring issue at AWP 2015!

Here is the lovely Poetry Editor, Charlotte Pence, holding up a copy of the issue.

Self’s story of climate change, “The Freeze,” is in this issue. She just picked up her author’s copy today.

Exciting!

Charlotte Pence, Poetry Editor of Bluestem. Her poetry collection, MANY SMALL FIRES, was just published by Europa Press.

Charlotte Pence, Poetry Editor of Bluestem. Her poetry collection, MANY SMALL FIRES, was just published by Europa Press.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Thaw” by Luisa A. Igloria

Surprise, surprise, it snowed! In the late afternoon. Self was supposed to go to a reading, but with the snow and all, she chickened out.

Self is rooming with Luisa A. Igloria again. (We were roommates also last year at AWP Seattle) Luisa is very good at attending panels, which is great, because self has been holed up in her hotel room just reading, and if not for Luisa’s recaps she would be in a great blizzard of Know-Nothing.

Self totally bombed about attending the Karen Russell reading this evening. Luisa loved it.

Here’s a poem from Night Willow (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing) one of two books Luisa had published in 2014 (The other is Ode to the Heart Smaller Than a Pencil Eraser)

Thaw

Warmer days. Light that fades later and later. Finally we can fling the
windows open. The clasps grate and rasp, like throats gargling salt
water first thing in the morning. Rooms crammed with more than
winter’s fat; eaves with bits of leaf and twig, blinds lined with ledgers
of dust. The drawers groan with socks and scarves, the pantry
shelves with unopened cans of beans. I want to scrub all the corners,
scour the tiles in the bathroom with bleach — even the stripes of
grout between each one. I want a pot of yellow strawflowers, a bowl
of blood-red tulips, nothing else but the mellow gleam of wood in
the middle of the room. I read about ascetics and what they chose
to renounce. Sometimes I think I want that. Sometimes I want to
be both the mountains emerging from their heavy robes of ice and
snow, and the streams they feed below, rushing and teeming with
color and new life. Sometimes I want to be the clear unflavored
envelope of agar, other times the small mouthful of sweet azuki bean
entombed like a heart in the center.

Luisa A. Igloria is the author of twelve books of poetry and numerous awards, including the 2014 May Swenson Poetry Prize and 2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize.

ANNAGHMAKERRIG: Rosita Boland

Flight Paths

The eighteenth century Swedish naturalist,
Carolus Linnaeus,
like Aristotle long before him,
was convinced
that swallows wintered underwater
in the riverbeds they nested on.

The truth is no less strange
small birds flying south to Africa
navigating only by the Pole Star;
a displacement of the elements either way —
like love, when it arrives overnight
and seemingly from nowhere.

Each time we waved the other off
at airports, we had to believe
what was traveling far
would survive to return by instinct
and seem again to have always been there,
swooping and soaring above our joyous heads.

Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

Before self left the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, last May, they gave her a hardbound copy of a book called, simply, Annaghmakerrig. A compilation of the best of Irish literature, by writers who had all done residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.

She brought the book with her to Mendocino, and this evening she finally gets a chance to crack it open. She lets her fingers land on a random page, and finds a poem by Rita Ann Higgins:

Anything Is Better than Emptying Bins

 I work at the Post Office.
I hate my job,
but my father said
there was no way
I could empty bins
and stay under his roof.

So naturally,
I took a ten week
extra-mural course
on effective stamp-licking;
entitled
‘More lip and less tongue.’

I was mostly unpleasant,
but always under forty
for young girls
who bought stamps with hearts
for Valentine’s Day.

One day a woman asked me
could she borrow a paper-clip,
she said something about
sending a few poems away
and how a paper-clip
would make everything so much neater.

But I’ve met the make-my-poems-neater type before;
give in to her once,
and she’ll be back in a week asking,
‘Have you got any stamps left over?’

Well I told her where to get off.
‘Mrs. Neater-poems,’ I said,
‘this is a Post Office
not a friggin’ card shop,
and if you want paper-clips
you’ll get a whole box full
across the street for twenty-pence.’
Later when I told my father,
he replied,
‘Son, it’s not how I’d have handled it,
but anything is better than emptying bins.’

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poem-In-Progress Self Wrote on Twitter

Self has no idea what #PoemCrawl is. But in no way, shape or form did this prevent her from tweeting a nondescript poem last night. It goes:

An island. Notes written on an island.

An island big enough for games.

Where the death of Jesus sounds like today’s headlines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,563 other followers