The Life and Opinions of Nels A. Nelson

Listen in while I talk to myself

Month: January, 2014

Some favorite bits from Anthony Madrid’s I Am Your Slave Now Do What I Say, so far

“THE unit of wine is the cup. Of LOVE, the unit is the kiss. That’s

In Hell, the units are the gallon and the fuck. In Paradise, the drop
   and the glance.”


“In this universe practically naked of reasons to get to know one
We need every excuse we can get…”


“And now, my work is finished, I am reaching for a match:
A match, which is a little rocket with no place to go…”


“A book is a dead thing. Take it to bed, you’re asleep in a minute.
Whereas, if a friend is lying next to you, talking—you stay up all
   the night.

That’s the way to write, MADRID! Be like a pillow-talking-friend—
A good friend, full of question and answer, head propped up on
   one hand.”


Let it be extravagant!

I was listening to the Poetry Foundation’s podcast, Poetry Off the Shelf, on my drive to work today, and heard this poem, by Jane Kenyon, read. The last sentence is just so lovely in the middle of our dark and dormant season.


Taking Down the Tree

By Jane Kenyon

“Give me some light!” cries Hamlet’s
uncle midway through the murder
of Gonzago. “Light! Light!” cry scattering
courtesans. Here, as in Denmark,
it’s dark at four, and even the moon
shines with only half a heart.

The ornaments go down into the box:
the silver spaniel, My Darling
on its collar, from Mother’s childhood
in Illinois; the balsa jumping jack
my brother and I fought over,
pulling limb from limb. Mother
drew it together again with thread
while I watched, feeling depraved
at the age of ten.

With something more than caution
I handle them, and the lights, with their
tin star-shaped reflectors, brought along
from house to house, their pasteboard
toy suitcases increasingly flimsy.
Tick, tick, the desiccated needles drop.

By suppertime all that remains is the scent
of balsam fir. If it’s darkness
we’re having, let it be extravagant.