Downstairs, on the radio, Donald Trump is pretending that he slightly cares that the Saudis slaughtered a journalist in their own consulate. Outside, pebbles of sleety snow dot the roofs and cars and stoops. And now Tom has switched off the radio in disgust, and I can hear the washing machine motor making a new horrible noise that does not bode well for a long and happy life.
On the bright side, the house is warm; the lamps are bright; the books are on the shelves.
Yesterday afternoon I lit a fire in the woodstove and then started a new poem, a sort of fairy tale about an apprentice composer who is writing letters to God. I had no premonitions about this story; it just emerged from my fingers after I randomly chose four words from a child's biography of Beethoven: asked, atmosphere, music, concert. It seems, for the moment, to want to unfurl as a long narrative, and I am wondering what will happen to the young man, where he will walk along the canals, how God might answer him, and what his landlady will do with the butt-end of her dead husband's musket.