August 22nd, 2004

Immortality

We all want to leave something behind when we die- a name, a family, a book. For much of my life my ambition was to write at least one poem that would find its way into the anthologies.
I realize now that this is unlikely to happen.

"To invoke posterity is to weep on one's own grave." It's ridiculous to want to live on after death, so what atavism is at work here? Is there some evolutionary imperative being served?

Bloomsbury

Talking about poems- O look, I've just written one. I don't know that I can explain it, but mainly it's a tribute to Virginia Woolf.

BLOOMSBURY

1
His wife’s thighs were badly scratched.
He said, “I don’t care that you sleep with Vita
But get her to take her earrings off.”

2
The whiteness of the terraces-
They march, they march- and the nestiness
Of the little gardens inside the squares.

Cameron girls with fierce, bold eyes
And limbs like pilasters and hair, hair,
Spread out, unwashed and smelling uncared for.
Who needs the grail when those girls are there?

Green apples in orchards and lights at sea-
Venus down low and the lamp above it,
The lighthouse lamp that brushes through bedrooms
And brushes the portraits of Cameron girls.

Vanessa, Virginia,

And O to be nothing
But light on pilasters. They march. They march.