Getting tossed around by a lot of bad news, aren’t we. But it’s Friday, let’s not go there. Let’s read, as Ezra Pound would say, a pome.
First, this guy recalls an interesting disagreement with John Updike which I guess he thinks he won. Dude, “unclench your philosophy” (see below).
As I’ve already mentioned, I think Updike’s reputation will only rise. And not just for the novels. There are stories galore. There’s a ton of criticism and some memoir. He didn’t like computers, so I wonder if there are letters and/or journals. He wrote poetry too, though it will always frame the fiction. Here’s a good one I managed to steal:
Tossing and Turning
The spirit has infinite facets, but the body
confiningly few sides.
There is the left,
the right, the back, the belly, and tempting
in-betweens, northeasts and northwests,
that tip the heart and soon pinch circulation
in one or another arm.
Yet we turn each time
with fresh hope, believing that sleep
will visit us here, descending like an angel
down the angle our flesh’s sextant sets,
tilted toward that unreachable star
hung in the night between our eyebrows, whence
dreams and good luck flow.
your ankles. Unclench your philosophy.
This bed was invented by others; know we go
to sleep less to rest than to participate
in the twists of another world.
This churning is our journey.
can only end, around a corner
we do not know
we are turning.
Well, there’s plenty to lose sleep over; that’s for sure. But also plenty of beauty, often “invented by others.” And, like the Buddha said, things are always turning.