"The Mocking Bird
Like an old Cobra broken with a stick,
As in the ward with other crocks I lay
(Flies on the roof their sole arithmetic
Which they must count to pass the time of day)--
Born of my wound, or out of Bosch remembered,
Or by my own delirium designed,
A strange blue bird, it seemed I knew the kind
And the fierce look with which his eyes were embered,
For they had been spectators of the Fall--
Perched on my foot, I knew his ringing call,
And 'Shoo!' I cried, 'you phantom, fade away!
For here are canyons forested with sleep,
The woods are silent, and the shades are deep,
While you intrude the colours of the day.
I flinch before your lit triumphal pinion,
Your bloodshot gaze, the memory of strife,
Your cry, the laughing mockery of Life,
So raucous here, where sleep should have dominion!'
But as he would have flown I rose to follow,
A will was born where all things else were hollow,
And through those caverns of ancestral cedar
Where all but downward streams had lost their way
His voice of mocking laughter was my leader--
The blue hallucination of a jay!"
"Had she [Christina Rossetti] not given up playing chess because of her 'inordinate pleasure in winning'? " --Thomas M Disch & Charles Naylor, Neighboring Lives (1981)
Car. (via Metafilter)
The Deora Story.
Memorial Reading for Dick Sevrens.