Measured Extravagance

20 September 2003 - 11:39 p.m.

Ampersand Project: "This place is not my place,/ these ways are not my ways." - Dennis Lee (from "Blue Psalm") (this can be interpreted any way you like)

Talcum Psalms


Dust powdering the hinges
of memory's makeshift mansions -
sugar of roadside liplocks
and salt of schoolyard quarrels,
flour of family fables
and pepper of petrified oaths -

although the bolts be changed,
the doors cannot be closed.
The heat will seep through their panes
while thunderstorms scratch at the screens.
From inside the frame, sweet tea and cake
beckon, pretty as an heirloom pitcher,
crumbs and decay and electrocuted moths
scumbled into the recessed corners.


Taste, she said, but I feared my tongue
would be seared by knowledge
and swamped with craving -

touch, she said, her skin so fine,
powdered with her mother's scent.
A grainy ghost whirled back into bloom -
her smile so bright it stung my eyes.

[Just playing, but possibly also eventually part of a series. . .]

I am also liking Lee's Deeper: "Deeper. This is not it. You must go deeper." Missing Stratford. Craving lobster. Peeking at the latest La Scena Musicale. Remembering the honeymoon, which included stops in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and St.-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha! (nine years ago as of this week).

Speaking of Stratford, when I saw Pride and Prejudice there some years ago, it was with my friend Lisa and online acquaintance Rebecca, who recently opined: "I wish the Christian publishing industry would get this figured out, and stop trying to hammer nails with a cucumber, as it were."


The agar ended up not quite sweet enough, so I'll need to balance it with sweet milk- or almond-based gelatin cubes and/or fruit cocktail. I was telling marymary last night that I was feeling the urge to indulge in some baking therapy, and have gone as far as peering at the lemon-anise biscotti recipe in one of the Moosewood compendia - but it was hotter today, so the urge dissipated after a pan of nachos and a roasted head of cauliflower. But later this week, perhaps - there's a bit of rain predicted, and I've still a sermon to write. . .

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