My son Born in water and blood Becoming flesh Not easy for you Becoming father Not easy for me But darling Just look at us now
You have the gentle curiosity Of a boy unfolding Cautiously in the world Playfully at home You remind me of myself If I had grown up in a safe and loving home
My son I give you what I did not receive And you give me so much more than I ever imagined Possible Love and wholeness and reasons for living A son is a supple and oh-so-delicate thing
You have a quiet thoughtfulness A surprising ridiculousness A delightful tender-heartedness And when you slide yourself beneath my arm When we sit on the couch together I know that everything in my life that brought me here Absolutely everything Was worth it
I read somewhat more books in 2021 than in previous years. The pandemic was certainly a factor. Be that as it may, I read 156 books, watched 44 films, and watched an additional 41 documentaries. Here, then, is my list of the best of the best, the worst of the worst, and everything else in between.
The rain sounds differently On hemlock pine and spruce The wind speaks with a distinct voice In maple elm and cedar The dryads can tell you with their eyes closed Which is which
The river sings when she is full and rushing Playfully joyously Glad to be alive The naiads dance just below the surface On moonless nights They hold their breath and Leap
My American friend Tells me he can identify A Glock 22 a Smith & Wesson Model 340 a SIG Sauer a Ruger Blackhawk Just by the way they sound when fired He can blindfolded assemble an AR-15 In 40 seconds or less Something he tells me With obvious pride
I go home Pray to all the gods I don’t believe in Kiss my children And count my dead
This city is an open grave Filled to overflowing with the present absence Of all my dead friends
This city is a slaughterhouse And nobody is criminally Responsible Just fiscally Fiscally responsible
This city is a ghostland Hey there’s Timo I think to myself Hey there’s Cam I say Before I remember They’re all dead
This city rewards the greedy And destroys the kind This city is in other words A secure investment Rejoice You bankers Take heart You real estate developers All your properties Will appreciate in value And all your enemies Will be dead
Telling you about what I have experienced, the things I have witnessed, has no use. There is no point of application. Relating these things comes with no take away lesson. There is no message or meaning to them. There is no comfort for me in sharing them and no hope for you in bearing second-hand witness to them. They cannot be unseen, unread, unheard. All they can do, as Maria Stepanova observes (drawing on the work of Varlam Shalamov), is “destroy you from the inside out.”
Discussed in this post: 21 Books (Virtue Hoards; The Revenge of the Real; Undoing the Demos; Capital Rules; A World Without Police; How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Object-Choice; The Hero’s Way; Sync; On Time and Water; Cyclonopedia; The Society of Reluctant Dreamers; Belladonna; The Case Worker; The Death of Vivek Oji; A Touch of Jen; While the Earth Sleeps We Travel; Selected Poems of Langston Hughes; Romanian Poems; Austerity Measures; and Voodoo Hypothesis); 2 Movies (Pig; and The Green Knight); and 2 Documentaries (Framing Britney Spears; and McMillion$).
I am still a month behind with this. Nevertheless. Discussed in this post: 15 books (How to Change Your Mind; The New Way of the World; Never-Ending Nightmare; Family Values; On Violence and On Violence Against Women; Culture Warlords; Lectures on Russian Literature; Extinction; An Untouched House; Pastoralia; The Encyclopedia of the Dead; Dancing in Odessa; Letters in a Bruised Cosmos; Becoming Unbecoming; and They Called Us Enemy); 2 movies (Fugue; and Nosferatu the Vampyre); and 3 documentaries (Heimat is a Space in Time; Perfect Bid; and All Light, Everywhere).