the smallest fire flickers, once.

1 03 2004

little to nothing about the work i do, or am supposed to do, speaks to me anymore.

‘The Icelandic Language’

In this language, no industrial revolution;
no pasteurized milk; no oxygen, no telephone;
only sheep, fish, horses, water falling.
The middle class can hardly speak it.

In this language, no flush toilet; you stumble
through dark and rain with a handful of rags.
The door groans; the old smell comes
up from under the earth to meet you.

But this language believes in ghosts;
chairs rock by themselves under the lamp; horses
neigh inside an empty gully, nothing
at the bottom but moonlight and black rocks.

The woman with marble hands whispers
this language to you in your sleep; faces
come to the window and sing rhymes; old ladies
wind long hair, hum, tat, fold jam inside pancakes.

In this language, you can’t chit-chat
holding a highball in your hand, can’t
even be polite. Once the sentence starts its course,
all your grief and failure come clear at last.

Old inflections move from case to case,
gender to gender, softening consonants, darkening
vowels, till they sound like the sea moving
icebergs back and forth in its mouth.

— Bill Holm

(of course, i found it trawling minstrels instead of reading for the classes i no longer care about or understand…)




4 responses

1 03 2004

This moment brought to you by cute procrastinators of america (CPA) šŸ˜‰

1 03 2004

that’s cool. šŸ™‚

2 03 2004

Hang in there, sweetheart. Spring is on its way, and all the things you’re swamped with are of a temporary nature (I know, that doesn’t help at all now, but it’s true: do what you can and it all goes away in a month or two). I’m glad the minstrels make you smile from time to time- they do me, too. till they sound like the sea moving icebergs back and forth in its mouth šŸ™‚

2 03 2004

if what you do Continues to no longer speak to you at all, and its not just that youre overwhelmed and burnt out, you need to get out of there. there are other ways to acheive your dreams. but dont you give up yet….

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