With an eye toward summer break, we leave you with our final poem of the week selection for 2015-16.
When I was young, I lived for a summer
in an apartment with five other graduate students in a city called Here
and we had no shower, no dishwasher, no modesty, no will power, no
iron, no mop, no broom, no elevator, no view, no rigorous thinking, poor
sense, hot water at 2 p.m. for half an hour, certitude, and a cat named
and bad booze, and some sex, but not as much as everyone else seemed
to be having.
and we had a dryer and a refrigerator standing next to one another in a
room that our landlord called a kitchen.
We got high on myth: we were the myth.
We put the milk in the dryer and made a carton of cartoon clouds.
We put Rebecca’s wet green sweater in the freezer, and the next day the
sweater looked like a land mass, a vast tundra with two peninsulas upon
which caribou might gather. Or reindeer—who could guess what snorted
and munched in that frozen room all night, so dreamed.
And I read Kant, and I was tumbled.
That was the summer that hell was as hot as a dryer in hell.
What could we know? Our exuberance compensated for our panic; and
our fussiness was prophetic; we were acolytes, apprenticed to indifference
and appearance; and our lives were designed for use, for cold storage, for
the new machines that made music of memories; and we only vaguely
noted the associative properties of capital; and we lived with books as
icons, with services and without goods; and our doubt resounded in the
hollows of our style; and we believed in ideas as currency.
That was the summer I met me.
I put my soul in the dryer, and out came a poem.
I put my poem in the refrigerator, and out came a life.
~ Alan Michael Parker