Spaghetti is a nostalgic nod to my Salad Days as radical dandruff in the long hair of Harvard when I had a column in the Real Paper called “Spaghetti.” Here I hope to gas with old readers and others who believe we must maintain our senses of humor while we work for necessary changes: "A Plate of Vermicelli" vide infra, I will reprise a new poem each week from friends and familiars.
This week's poem by Betsy Hulick first appeared in The Southampton Review
Absence Cannot be Imagined,
The millisecond of postponement
in a dancer's descent, fish scales articulated in sunlight,
a distant music carried on air
turning the lock on the mind's prison, none of this will follow me there,
and yet, I picture myself alive
when dead, with memory still intact.
That is why hell and heaven persist in the iconography of the soul
as places, although who can deny it.
With Auschwitz, the template for hell
has been exhausted and Islam’s
view, privileging the erotic,
is thin soup for the hungry heart.
No touchstone, no talismanic good,
not even the thanks that I’ve lived
in my time, can penetrate there,
where none commit suicide, go mad,
or compose “Tristan and Isolde.”
Those for whom sleep is a refuge
and waking a punishment know well
this arrangement is for the best.
But my postcard to earth, had I one,
would simply say. "Wish you were here.”
On which I try to twist brain worms onto a fork of reason. If the sauce seems meager supply some of your own.
I found this skull on a trail in the Fells. Could any of you identify it for me? Or speculate on the cause of the puncture wounds and broken zygomas.
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