Saturday, September 29, 2007

I, wild, ruinous

I thought of you this morning, Sasha. I was randomly reading poetry, whiling my hours as recklessly as I do, and after a whole carafe of hot-down-to-cool coffee, I found an old gem submerged. It was Atwood. Remember how sorry you were for me that I'd gone that far through life without reading her? That made me love you. Where are you and yours now?

Well here is Atwood again in any case, now a touchstone.

This poem is brilliant brilliant cynical cruel and, as my Great Aunt Etty once said when I noted that this one gray could only be found in Galway waters, "spot-on, dear."

Siren Song

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.