The last day of the year
is not the last day of time.
Other days will come
and new thighs and wombs will share the warmth of life with you.
You will kiss mouths, you will tear up documents,
you will travel and enjoy so many celebrations
of birthdays, graduations, promotions, glory, sweet death with symphony and chorale,
that your days will be full and you will not hear the outcry,
the irreparable howls
of the wolf, in solitude.
The last day of time
is not the last day of everything.
Always a fringe of life remains
where two men sit down.
A man and his opposite,
a woman and her foot,
a body and its memory,
an eye and its brilliance,
a voice and its echo,
and who knows? -- maybe God also?
Accept with simplicity this gift of chance.
You deserve to live another year.
You wish you could live forever and drain the centuries to their dregs.
Your father died, your grandfather died.
Many things in you are already dead, and others squint at death,
but you are alive. Once again you are alive,
and glass in hand
you wait in the dawn.
The comfort of getting drunk.
The comfort of dancing and shouting,
the comfort of the bright red ball,
the comfort of Kant and poetry,
all of them . . . and none is a solution.
And now -- the morning of a new year.
Things are clean, orderly.
The tired body freshens up with lather.
All the alert senses are functioning.
The mouth is eating life.
The mouth is choked with life.
Life streams from the mouth,
smears the hands, the sidewalk.
Life is fat, oily, deadly, unauthorized.
--Carlos Drummond de Andrade,
translated from the Portuguese by John Nist
for Robert Harris
It's New Year's Eve, of 1968, & a time
I don't like Engelbert Humperdink.
I love the incredible String Band.
The War goes on
& war is Shit.
I'll sing you a December song.
It's 5 below zero in Iowa City tonight.
This year I found a warm room
That I could go to
be alone in
& never have to fight.
I didn't live in it.
I thought a lot about dying
But I said Fuck it.
Peaches and Bats #9 will be out in late January 2012, with new works by Chris Ashby, Laynie Browne, Allen Edwin Butt, John Coletti, Andrew Hughes, Sarah Kelly, Maryrose Larkin, Glenn Mott, Sheila E. Murphy, Nate Orton, Eléna Rivera, Linda Russo, Cindy St. John, and James Yeary. See you soon.