Winter solstice, December 21, 2013
Oolong’s second infusion tastes much smoother than the first,
the best Arabica needs a bit of robusta to give it body
and half decaffeinated mixed in is better for the heart,
and poured through is not nearly as good as French-pressed —
potassium-rich figs boiled with lemon makes a great breakfast
and freshly squeezed lemon juice with cayenne cures
a morning headache.
Smaller portions is the key to sustained weight management,
and cinnamon is good for the soul and the blood chemistry
black cumin seed oil aids in regularity though it tastes
almost as bad as castor oil, and there really is no need
to watch the bridges we are burning, and you can skip to the video
in 4 seconds, and Bernadette Mayer is the Homer of our time.
another winter solstice poem
new books arrived in the laundry room
(I do laundry more often since I retired)
German novels, African American history,
Native American languages, British plays –
I thumb through all the new additions,
while the whites wash and the colors dry.
An eclectic collection, well kept (I can tell) and
carefully read by a conscientious reader,
perhaps a tenant, now departed, her books
abandoned, left behind to testify
on her (or his) behalf. And launderers
like me now benefit from such largesse.
I thumb through them all,
and wonder will my volumes end up here.
When I’m surrounded by obligations,
by debts calling my name and haunting me,
I pull away and read good poetry.
This week I’m reading Bernadette Mayer’s
Midwinter Day – the solstice is upon
us, the year’s shortest day, its longest night,
& I need protection from the evil
that lurks between, within those lines, those notes,
those moments of waking, paralyzing
thoughts. There is always something overdue,
some rhyme that’s needed near the end of it
all. It’s freezing cold outside – my eyes weep
tears that lubricate their pain, overflow
the walls, fall like icicles to the ground.