cf. video by Coverr-Free-Footage via Pixabay (detail) (edit)
Donna, donna, dark, Stooping in indigo gown And cloudy constellations, Conceal yourself or disclose Fewest things to the lover — A hand that bears a thick-leaved fruit, A pungent bloom against your shade.
— Wallace Stevens, O Florida, Venereal Soil (excerpt)
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California (excerpt)
Tookapic, “Woman Wearing Jacket Sitting On Concrete During Night Time” (via pexels.com)
Hyperion arose, and on the stars Lifted his curved lids, and kept them wide Until it ceas’d; and still he kept them wide: And still they were the same bright, patient stars. Then with a slow incline of his broad breast, Like to a diver in the pearly seas, Forward he stoop’d over the airy shore, And plung’d all noiseless into the deep night.
What thoughts I have of you tonight Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon…
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
–Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California (excerpt)
cf. Jody Claborn, “Lover of Light…” (2016 ) and Robb Hannawacker, “NW Storm” (2014)
“Well, we must wait for the future to show,” said Mr. Bankes, coming in from the terrace. “It’s almost too dark to see,” said Andrew, coming up from the beach. “One can hardly tell which is the sea and which is the land,” said Prue. “Do we leave that light burning?” said Lily as they took their coats off indoors. “No,” said Prue, “not if every one’s in.” “Andrew,” she called back, “just put out the light in the hall.” One by one the lamps were all extinguished, except that Mr. Carmichael, who liked to lie awake a little reading Virgil, kept his candle burning rather longer than the rest.
So with the lamps all put out, the moon sunk, and a thin rain drumming on the roof a downpouring of immense darkness began. Nothing, it seemed, could survive the flood, the profusion of darkness which, creeping in at keyholes and crevices, stole round window blinds, came into bedrooms, swallowed up here a jug and basin, there a bowl of red and yellow dahlias, there the sharp edges and firm bulk of a chest of drawers. Not only was furniture confounded; there was scarcely anything left of body or mind by which one could say, “This is he” or “This is she.” Sometimes a hand was raised as if to clutch something or ward off something, or somebody groaned, or somebody laughed aloud as if sharing a joke with nothingness.
Talking of constitutional melancholy, he observed, “A man so afflicted, Sir, must divert distressing thoughts, and not combat with them.” BOSWELL: “May not he think them down, Sir?” JOHNSON: “No, Sir. To attempt to THINK THEM DOWN is madness. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed-chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed, take a book, and read, and compose himself to rest…”
—Boswell’s Life Of Johnson
James McNeill Whistler, Reading in Bed (The Slipper) (1858)
I think I’ll just call up my wife and tell her I’m here—so far—and starting on again. I’ll call her softly so that if she’s wise And gone to sleep, she needn’t wake to answer.” Three times he barely stirred the bell, then listened. “Why, Lett, still up? Lett, I’m at Cole’s. I’m late. I called you up to say Good-night from here Before I went to say Good-morning there.— I thought I would.— I know, but, Lett—I know— I could, but what’s the sense? The rest won’t be So bad.— Give me an hour for it.— Ho, ho, Three hours to here! But that was all up hill; The rest is down.— Why no, no, not a wallow: They kept their heads and took their time to it Like darlings, both of them. They’re in the barn.— My dear, I’m coming just the same. I didn’t Call you to ask you to invite me home.—” He lingered for some word she wouldn’t say, Said it at last himself, “Good-night,” and then, Getting no answer, closed the telephone. The three stood in the lamplight round the table With lowered eyes a moment till he said, “I’ll just see how the horses are.”