here is little Effie’s head – ee cummings

here is little Effie’s head

whose brains are made of gingerbread

when the judgment day comes

God will find six crumbs

stooping by the coffinlid

waiting for something to rise

as the other somethings did–

you imagine His surprise

bellowing through the general noise

Where is Effie who was dead?

–to God in a tiny voice,

i am may the first crumb said

whereupon its fellow five

crumbs chuckled as if they were alive

and number two took up the song,

might i’m called and did no wrong

cried the third crumb, i am should

and this is my little sister could

with our big brother who is would

don’t punish us for we were good;

and the last crumb with some shame

whispered unto God, my name

is must and with the others i’ve

been Effie who isn’t alive

just imagine it I say

God amid a monstrous din

watch your step and follow me

stooping by Effie’s little, in

(want a match or can you see?)

which the six subjunctive crumbs

twitch like mutilated thumbs:

picture His peering biggest whey

coloured face on which a frown

puzzles, but I know the way–

(nervously Whose eyes approve

the blessed while His ears are crammed

with the strenuous music of

the innumerable capering damned)

–staring wildly up and down

the here we are now judgment day

cross the threshold have no dread

lift the sheet back in this way.

here is little Effie’s head

whose brains are made of gingerbread

(1925)

The desert and beyond

Raven and I are going on a trip next week. We’ve both been looking forward to this for a long time. It was her graduation present, but we had to wait until the weather was a bit more hospitable. We’re heading to Arizona, where we’ll get a car and head up to Utah. We have a vague sort of idea what direction we’re headed and some of the things we want to see, but plans are completely flexible and it depends on a lot of factors. I went to the Southwest once before and found it very peaceful. All that open space and dramatic landscapes give you a sense of freedom that can be intoxicating. I truly hope that Raven lets go of all the things bothering her and is able to just live in the moment while we’re out there. I’ve banned her cell phone while we’re out there and I think that will help. She can check her mail at night when we get back to the room or whatever, but I told her, if she’s busy looking at that damn screen, she’s going to miss everything. I wish this whole generation would realize that. It should be mandatory for them to go without any internet or cell phone for a couple of weeks every so often. It’s good to unplug and live life in person rather than virtually. You wouldn’t think you’d have to say that, or that it would be so difficult. In most ways, I have stayed young, but in this way I guess I’m old fashioned. I spend a fair amount of time online, but thankfully, I don’t obsessively check tumblr on my phone, or feel the need to update social media with photos of meals and tweets about my day.

Anyway, I hope we have a fantastic time and have adventures and see beautiful things. We hope to go through the Superstition mountains, then up to Route 66, on up through Navajo country and into Utah. There we have a string of national parks we’d like to visit, and then looping back down, hit some ghost towns and if we have time, see more of the southern desert. Of course, I had big plans last time I went and I barely got over the Utah border. 🙂 There is just so much to see.

I’m currently reading “The Windup Girl” and enjoying it so far. It’s been a while since I’ve read a good sci-fi book. Brian is at a conference and Raven is holed up in her room on the damn internet. I believe my foot is broken, which is shitty timing with the upcoming trip, but we’ll find out tomorrow. At least if I have a cast on it, it shouldn’t hurt so much. The cats are sleeping and the dog is outside barking. This time of night I always get lonely.

They will not sing to me.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

By T. S. Eliot

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
               So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
               And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
               And should I then presume?
               And how should I begin?
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head
               Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
               That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
               “That is not it at all,
               That is not what I meant, at all.”
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.