Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm taking the morning off from Malcolm X and driving to Farmington to drink coffee with my friend Nate. Nate will tell me gossipy horror stories about applying to grad school, and perhaps we will toast the memory of Alex Chilton. Meanwhile, I leave you a Milly Jourdain poem to read. I'm sorry this is such a dull poem. I hesitated even to copy it out for you, but I've committed myself to taking the bad along with the good in Milly's work. Nonetheless, it's difficult to overlook the horrible metric bloopers in these stanzas.

I will try to cheer myself by thinking of it as the inverse of Malcolm X.


Milly Jourdain

In the sweet quiet of the early spring
When winds are blowing chill,
I wander, hearing all the songs of the birds
Which once were nearly still.

For then the dull pain had filled my mind, but now
The difference unseen!
The sweet sounds of the birds are sweeter for
The silence that has been.

Randomly chosen passage from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

If you've ever lindy-hopped, you'll know what I'm talking about. With most girls, you kind of work opposite them, circling, side-stepping, leading. Whichever arm you lead with is half-bent out there, your hands are giving that little pull, touching her waist, her shoulders, her arms, She's in, out, turning, whirling, wherever you guide her. With poor partners, you feel their weight. They're slow and heavy. But with really good partners, all you need is just the push-pull suggestion. They guide nearly effortlessly, even off the floor and into the air, and your little solo maneuver is done on the floor before they land, when they join you, whirling, right in step.

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