Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Evening West Coast Re-Post

I don't know about you, but I am probably the most dissociated I've ever been from political goings-on. It's not that I don't care, but it honestly feels like a switch in my brain went off the moment it looked like Drumpf was being taken seriously by people I know. We've got a primary to vote in this week in California, and it all feels surreal. What the hell and heck and shitfire is going on?

In lieu of something new, I thought I'd post something from nearly three years ago. It seems apt today, too, a reinforcement of that old adage that brings me comfort: there is nothing new under the sun. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Stuff of Tragedy

When I drove by, I noticed a chorus of gods and goddesses outside of the Launderland Coin Laundry this morning, a couple of Renaissance men and a monk or two. They had come marching south, down Vermont Avenue, disgruntled by the dry air, the crackling wind, the voices discontent. Rich people lack empathy, a wise man noted. Not to mention their difficulty getting through the eye of a needle. David flexed his muscles, held on to his stone. Venus took her hand off her mons and flicked back her hair. Donuts were passed hand to hand. The cars rushed by, their inhabitants intent on misery.

Heroes. Victims. Gods and human beings.
All throwing shapes, every one of them
Convinced he's in the right, all of them glad
To repeat themselves and their every last mistake
No matter what.

People so deep into
Their own self-pity, self-pity buoys them up.
People so staunch and true, they're fixated,
Shining with self-regard like polished stones
And their whole life spent admiring themselves
For their own long-suffering.
Licking their wounds
And flashing them around like decorations.
I hate it, I always hated it, and I am
A part of it myself

-- the Chorus, from Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy, A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes


  1. you know, you have those other books you're working on, but you also have, in these posts, a book of sublime and thought provoking poetry. I wish I was a woman of means. I would spend my days scrolling through your posts and putting the book together, happily. It's here, already written. Your prose poem here is as powerful as Seamus Heaney's. In fact, I'm more powerfully drawn to your words. Ah.

  2. I remember some 80's/90's cop show where the briefing officer always said, just before they went out on their beats... watch out for each other, people - it's a jungle out there.

    And I also remember this post. I wondered if that was the laundromat I used to go to.
    Great poem, it's gotta make you laugh, a wry laugh, because it's so true.

  3. Wow. Yeah. Your beautiful reposted reflection, and then I'm blind-sided by that first stanza from the chorus. They're talking about me, I'm sure -- convinced I'm in the right. And yet ... compassion counts, right? I know compassion counts. And love. And mercy. And grace. And that's what I take away when I read your posts. Thank you, Elizabeth.

  4. My more apocalypse-minded friends keep telling me we're having an End-of-Empire experience with this election. We'll see! I do love that picture.



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