Monday, July 8, 2013


I was dreaming of a dusky room and my aunt, and a looming event--now I remember; it was a poetry reading, and I had forgotten all of my books and had chosen all of the wrong poems, but I was calm, even resigned, though I had parked my car in front of a pair of tiny gateposts and would never be able to get out of the space, but I wasn't worried about that now, what I was thinking was "Yes, this is the exact word that sums up all of the poems," and I was so confident of the supremacy of this word that even when I said to myself, "Wake up now and write it down," I told myself, "How silly. Who could forget such a basic fact?" but of course I did forget it, and now all I can recall is that the word began with t and I'm thinking that it was either twitch or tether, probably tether, because I've talked myself into imagining that I can remember two syllables, and now the problem is: how do I reconcile all of the poems with twitch or tether, and don't ask me, "What exactly do you mean by 'all of the poems'?" because I was hoping you'd be able to help me out with that since my dream never gave me any clue, and all I remember is that I was practice-reading a poem for my aunt and she told me I should choose a better one which was a surprise because as far as I know she's never had any sort of opinion about any poem at all and would be embarrassed to be in the same room with an orated poem unless she was at a funeral, when poets leap out of the woodwork and everyone is kind to them and no one suggests that they should choose a better poem (and I thought of putting a period here and ending this sentence but I still haven't gotten anywhere with tether and twitch): for I can see how one might draw tedious connotative squiggles around tether but the idea that twitch could sum up all of the poems is startling, as if the messenger's "Anglo-Saxon attitudes" had come to life in prosody (see quotation from Alice below), and, damn it, if only twitch had two syllables! because I am positive that the dream-word had two syllables, and do you think I could have dreamt twitching?

All this was lost on Alice, who was still looking intently along the road, shading her eyes with one hand. "I see somebody now!" she exclaimed at last. "But he's coming very slowly--and what curious attitudes he goes into!" (For the messenger kept skipping up and down, and wriggling like an eel, as he came along, with his great hands spread out like fans on each side.)

"Not at all," said the King. "He's an Anglo-Saxon Messenger-- and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only does them when he's happy. His name is Haigha." (He pronounced it so as to rhyme with "mayor.")

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