Sentences Sidereal

September 1, 2011

The blinds open, the curtain’s gone, the serial
Replayed each year, the TV images
So brief, the seep of seawater, relief
That only  one hurricane, lonely, fearful,
Can kill the gulls holed-up against the wind
Inside Duffy’s (semi-abandoned) Inn,
And not feel fears that Lancelot the Ghost
Will wreck the coast, for we have sinned.             .

Duffy’s mom, since her fall, can hardly walk.
Bathroom to bedroom to card table chair
To stare at the sea, its seasons. It’s spurious,
The sea, furious at being spurned again.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not with our stars.
The blinds are open, the curtain’s on Mars.


3 Responses to “Sentences Sidereal”

  1. John Stevens Says:

    Yes, I like “Bathroom to bedroom to card table chair” (it flows, and the image is tangible) and I like the slant rhyme & alliteration in the continuation: “To stare at the sea, its seasons.”
    Incidentally, I noticed that you use the word curtain rather than the American ‘drapes’. That suggests a different kind of object, one that’s a barrier. We can’t do that in British English.

  2. extrasimile Says:

    Irene rolled right over us here on Long Island. There was a lot of devastation—trees down, power off, flooding—but, given none of those trees hit me or my loved ones, it was kind of fun. But you’re right, this is my hurricane poem (along with the picture). There is a great deal of beauty in the overpowering force of nature—the sublime, in the old sense—yes?
    I did have fun with the sounds and the –shall I say, ‘blowing’ sentence structure?—To stare at the sea, its seasons. It’s spurious—and I am rather fond of—Bathroom to bedroom to card table chair—could be the best line I’ve ever done (he says modestly).
    Now, to ‘sidereal’: first, there’s a good dose of self mockery here. I’m making fun of a tendency I have to get—shall we say—very abstract? I mean, at base, this is a poem about a woman stuck in an old motel when the hurricane hits, and here we are looking at it from the stars. You’re not left feeling sorry for her, are you?
    Of course the self-mockery is my business. The poem’s business is—I’m not sure ‘abstraction’ is the right word—is it ‘alienation’?—but whatever it is, I’m going to go with it for the immediate future. (Of course I mean ‘abstract’ as Wallace Stevens used the term and ‘alienation’ as Brecht thought of it. We’ll keep this literary.)
    Old Mrs. Duffy would not want your sympathy. She’s a tough old bird. Let’s see what comes of it.
    Do I reject superstition in favor of natural causes? Yes, I guess so. The actual quote from Shakespeare is The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
    The poem does subscribe to that…but—what a difference it is to say ‘in our stars’ rather that ‘with our stars’. Would you be committed to say ‘with ourselves’?
    Well, as you point out, the blinds are open… but…you know, the curtain has gone to Mars.

  3. John Stevens Says:

    There are many beautiful sounds here in the rhythm, the internal rhymes and the repetitions.
    Do I detect relief that Hurricane Irene has gone? I hope you were not caught.
    I think you had fun playing with the title (sentences has 2 meanings here). But sidereal? Then we read of fears for we have sinned – and the fault is not with our stars – sea gods & the Ides of March: I’m very ready to infer a rejection of ancient superstitions and an acceptance of natural causes. “The blinds” as you say “are open”.

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