Yes, they called him Little Tuk, but it was not his real name; he had called himself so before he could speak plainly, and he meant it for Charles. It was all very well for those who knew him, but not for strangers.
Once upon a time there was little girl, pretty and dainty. But in summer time she was obliged to go barefooted because she was poor, and in winter she had to wear large wooden shoes, so that her little instep grew quite red.
Each man shouldered his gun, kept his eyes well to the front, and wore the smartest red and blue uniform imaginable. The first thing they heard in their new world, when the lid was taken off the box, was a little boy clapping his hands and crying, "Soldiers, soldiers!"
But I was not comforted, for I knew the visit of the strange woman was not a dream; and I was awfully frightened.
Reading this novel renders one a fly on a digital wall, listening in as half-baked undergraduates urgently chat about everything from the role of repressed postwar frustration as a motivating factor for tentacle-rape manga porn to whether the word "beige" can signify the same thing to two people in two places. All of which, in less skilled treatment, could be unbearable, but Pelevin's secret is pacing.
This is the gift of the book, in the end, a balance between philosophy and poetry, helter-skelter wit and calm sensual pauses.
The third volume to emerge from the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and the first collection of its author's work, Famous is an assured and refreshingly self-possessed volume of poems, a rich offering of plain but musical language and understated irony
I knew all along that it would not last. Even in April I was saying that winter would soon be here. Yet somehow it had begun to seem possible lately that a miracle might happen, that summer might drift on and on through the months – a final upheaval to crown a wonderful year.
i guess i'm poor at the whittling, longish fingers make oak into sparrow, i tend to rub elm smooth & pretend forests & birdsongs when i should dig the knife in…
21 September 2006
she is good as dog is good,
winter making its small fist &
rattle. made complicit
with the cracked lamp…
12 October 2006
like the restless
rearrangement of radio static,
it leans shadows across the room…
15 October 2006
I remember the story: it was a hot day.
The hero disappeared behind enemy lines.
All this was long ago, but I do not forget
Our small white house, between the city and the farms;
Rest on my heart, deaf, cruel soul, adored
Tigress, and monster with the lazy air.
I long, in the black jungles of your hair,
To force each finger thrilling like a sword…
Soon into frozen shades, like leaves, we'll tumble.
Adieu, short summer's blaze, that shone to mock.
It seems to me sometimes my blood is bubbling out
As fountains do, in rhythmic sobs; I feel it spout
And lapse; I hear it plainly; it makes a murmuring sound;
But from what wound it wells, so far I have not found.
In a fat, greasy soil, that's full of snails,
I'll dig a grave deep down, where I may sleep
Spreading my bones at ease, to drowse in deep
Oblivion, as a shark within the wave.
Among the vermin, jackals, panthers, lice,
gorillas and tarantulas that suck
and snatch and scratch and defecate and fuck
in the disorderly circus of our vice,
there's one more ugly and abortive birth.
Mr. Fix-It, you're no passkey Schneider,
eager to put your key in my Julie.
Oh, but say the word, my big star lucky —
I'll curtsey like a love-hungry spider.
6 September 2006
Lets say a woman's heart
is like a windup bird.
The conservatory filled
with oranges and the cellar
She begins with tiny spoons and screws. Swallows safety pins and penny nails by the dozen. Paperclips, thumbtacks, saltshaker tops. The doctors say it's dire, prescribe lithium and fresh air. Her mother cries and brings cake.
15 September 2006
And I remember all these details, but only one by one,
as you recount them to me;
and I recognize the scenes, but only one by one,
as they appear before me.
2 October 2006
Even when the slapping northerlies subsided
Everything leaned away in visible pain.
Just Keep Moving, in Latin, across our coat of arms…
5 October 2006
My water-self opened our water-door
With a water-key, stepped across
The rippled threshold.
I loved him like salt.
Sometimes you feel you've a touch of the broken heart,
when the orchid of evening wilts into nighttime,
when the darkness is not yet deep.
When you are tipsy with the grief of his leaving…
20 November 2006
That was the year I thought
I was going insane. Help, I said plainly.
I am having a mild case of the heartbreak.
When I looked at the fissure, all was glass and mistaken.
17 November 2006
O holy terror of a night, this mad,
malicious night, a supine night, bright
as bile, but anyway, inauspicious.
Bedraggled night, delicious as doom.
A night over which no angel will swoon.
O moon, O eye of God, unblinking.
And, yes, I have been drinking.
19 October 2006
He thought with some precision
that marriages may be made elsewhere
but done here
in some unsolicited places.
22 October 2006
Two matrons at the railway ticket windows
reassured us very kindly
it is birth everywhere and no demise
and since everything comes in…
So that this will seem like words between
old friends, I'll say it was painless.
And quick. I'll say it was mercy
and behind my face where I put
things like The Truth and dreams…
The language of the daisy isn't dead
but one hundred seeds in a pack
are dormant in their dry dark, some
dirt and water all you'll need…
11 November 2006
In glorious black and white with the surge
of salt foam racing around the isle
of our twining bodies. Punctuated
by fireworks, by rain, by snow…
You were drinking water from the tap. As you spit into the basin, a woman came out of the stall. She pushed your head down, held it under the tap…
25 October 2006
It was not the beach pea that moved
but the bee that moved the flower,
they proved that.
Another, though slower was the vetch…