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   w h y    i    h a v e    t h e    r a d i o    o n

--- G R E G O R Y   D J A N I K I A N


The family has gone off for a week
and Iíve stayed back to do
significant work which might crank
the century a couple of notches forward,
something with the wild odor
of the unsayable in it

and what Iíve done so far is walk from room to room remembering how a few hours ago my daughter was chattering away on the phone, and my son was listening to some heavy metal delirium,

and wasnít it just this morning that I sat with my wife on the porch talking of solitude as balm for the soul? Did I actually say soul and could I have meant something less imposing, like "nerves"?

What Iím trying to do is resist the kitchen clock which is ticking unforgivingly. And the house has suddenly become immense with too much light, not a word I say will contain it.

So I make myself tea and think of Li Po in his garden unfolding the delicate lotus of his poems

but Iím also hungry so I boil a hot dog till itís plump like the ones at Coney Island where Iíve never been

but I can imagine can't I? while I assuage the animal in me so it can burrow further into the dark pocket of itself to let me think think think.

But hereís the mailman now with letters...for everyone else -- so many unopened envelopes accruing on the table with news growing stale, news that might include something irresistible, maybe about me!

So much to get done and how is it that itís already evening and time for a drink and the anchorman, and maybe calling old friends

because itís hard trying to get through the hours, remembering the dog with its soulful eyes and my son bobbing up and down,

and the world lying just around the corner even with night coming on and my own face staring at me now from every darkened window.

© crossconnect 1995-2002 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |