sara of the woods

(no subject)



Is it winter again, is it cold again,
didn’t Frank just slip on the ice,
didn’t he heal, weren’t the spring seeds planted

didn’t the night end,
didn’t the melting ice
flood the narrow gutters

wasn’t my body
rescued, wasn’t it safe

didn’t the scar form, invisible
above the injury

terror and cold,
didn’t they just end, wasn’t the back garden
harrowed and planted–

I remember how the earth felt, red and dense,
in stiff rows, weren’t the seeds planted,
didn’t vines climb the south wall

I can’t hear your voice
for the wind’s cries, whistling over the bare ground

I no longer care
what sound it makes

when I was silenced, when did it first seem
pointless to describe that sound

what it sounds like can’t change what it is–

didn’t the night end, wasn’t the earth
safe when it was planted

didn’t we plant the seeds,
weren’t we necessary to the earth,

the vines, were they harvested?


Summer after summer has ended,
balm after violence:
it does me no good
to be good to me now;
violence has changed me.

Daybreak. The low hills shine
ochre and fire, even the fields shine.
I know what I see; sun that could be
the August sun, returning
everything that was taken away –

You hear this voice? This is my mind’s voice;
you can’t touch my body now.
It has changed once, it has hardened,
don’t ask it to respond again.

A day like a day in summer.
Exceptionally still. The long shadows of the maples
nearly mauve on the gravel paths.
And in the evening, warmth. Night like a night in summer.

It does me no good; violence has changed me.
My body has grown cold like the stripped fields;
now there is only my mind, cautious and wary,
with the sense it is being tested.

Once more, the sun rises as it rose in summer;
bounty, balm after violence.
Balm after the leaves have changed, after the fields
have been harvested and turned.

Tell me this is the future,
I won’t believe you.
Tell me I’m living,
I won’t believe you.


Snow had fallen. I remember
music from an open window.

Come to me, said the world.
This is not to say
it spoke in exact sentences
but that I perceived beauty in this manner.

Sunrise. A film of moisture
on each living thing. Pools of cold light
formed in the gutters.

I stood
at the doorway,
ridiculous as it now seems.

What others found in art,
I found in nature. What others found
in human love, I found in nature.
Very simple. But there was no voice there.

Winter was over. In the thawed dirt,
bits of green were showing.

Come to me, said the world. I was standing
in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal –
I can finally say
long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure. Beauty
the healer, the teacher –

death cannot harm me
more than you have harmed me,
my beloved life.


The light has changed;
middle C is tuned darker now.
And the songs of morning sound over-rehearsed. –

This is the light of autumn, not the light of spring.
The light of autumn: you will not be spared.

The songs have changed; the unspeakable
has entered them.

This is the light of autumn, not the light that says
I am reborn.

Not the spring dawn: I strained, I suffered, I was delivered.
This is the present, an allegory of waste.

So much has changed. And still, you are fortunate:
the ideal burns in you like a fever.
Or not like a fever, like a second heart.

The songs have changed, but really they are still quite beautiful.
They have been concentrated in a smaller space, the space of the mind.
They are dark, now, with desolation and anguish.

And yet the notes recur. They hover oddly
in anticipation of silence.
The ear gets used to them.
The eye gets used to disappearances.

You will not be spared, nor will what you love be spared.

A wind has come and gone, taking apart the mind;
it has left in its wake a strange lucidity.

How priviledged you are, to be passionately
clinging to what you love;
the forfeit of hope has not destroyed you.

Maestro, doloroso:

This is the light of autumn; it has turned on us.
Surely it is a privilege to approach the end
still believing in something.


It is true that there is not enough beauty in the world.
It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.
Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.

I am
at work, though I am silent.

The bland

misery of the world
bounds us on either side, an alley

lined with trees; we are

companions here, not speaking,
each with his own thoughts;

behind the trees, iron
gates of the private houses,
the shuttered rooms

somehow deserted, abandoned,

as though it were the artist’s
duty to create
hope, but out of what? what?

the word itself
false, a device to refute
perception — At the intersection,

ornamental lights of the season.

I was young here. Riding
the subway with my small book
as though to defend myself against

the same world:

you are not alone,
the poem said,
in the dark tunnel.


The brightness of the day becomes
the brightness of the night;
the fire becomes the mirror.

My friend the earth is bitter; I think
sunlight has failed her.
Bitter or weary, it is hard to say.

Between herself and the sun,
something has ended.
She wants, now, to be left alone;
I think we must give up
turning to her for affirmation.

Above the fields,
above the roofs of the village houses,
the brilliance that made all life possible
becomes the cold stars.

Lie still and watch:
they give nothing but ask nothing.

From within the earth’s
bitter disgrace, coldness and barrenness

my friend the moon rises:
she is beautiful tonight, but when is she not beautiful?

--Louise Gluck
X said

(no subject)

What the fuck is this, you ask?

Yup, Motherfucking Menninger has a blog. A blog that is filled with stunning amounts of bullshit that bears no resemblance to the experience of being a patient locked up there.

This post in particular forced me to leave the room directly after reading it because I was afraid I'd stab something through my computer screen--and for once this is not me being melodramatic.

I wrote a long comment in response to it, only to discover that they apparently have to approve comments before they're posted. Great job at ensuring there's real, unbalanced information about Menninger, assholes. I had, however, anticipated this and copy-pastaed it before I hit post.

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sara of the woods

(no subject)

So, Dr. Sharma was dumb enough to ask me for a reading list, which I'm going to give her tomorrow. I decided not to do a list of classic novels or whatever, since I'm pretty sure you could just google that. So my list is writing that, for whatever reason, made an impression on me. Let's not talk about how much of my list is sci-fi/and or dystopian.

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sara of the woods

(no subject)

Ach, Webs, why do you tempt me with e-mails full of pretty yarns I want to buyyyyyyyy? I've already reached SABLE: Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy.

It's a good thing I don't have my replacement debit card yet.
sara of the woods

(no subject)

Looked in my laptop, what did I see?
A flashin' message said today therapy.
Rather walk through fire than converse with my shrink,
But I'm getting better, that's what some people think.

Talk about denial and dysfunctional things.
Head's like a bell; some days it dongs and it dings.
Brain's playin' tricks on me; it likes to shift gears.
Spend lots of money, but I'm tacklin' my fears.

Had a dream last night took a time travelin' ride
Back to my childhood, where those monsters reside
They snack on innocence and dine on self-esteem,
But I like to be in touch with what makes me scream.

So many dragons lurking out in the fog,
So many crazy people mumblin' monologues.
It's not the tales of Stephen King that I've read.
I need protection from the things in my head.

--from "Vampires, Mummies, and the Holy Ghost," Jimmy Buffett

The song itself comes off as kind of silly, but then so much of it isn't silly, if you think about it.
sara of the woods

I thought I had suffered enough.


Why did you move away?

I walked out of the fire alive;
how can that be?

How much was lost?

Nothing was lost: it was all
destroyed. Destruction
is the result of action.

Was there a real fire?

I remember going back into the house twenty years ago,
trying to save what we could.
Porcelain and so on. The smell of smoke
on everything.

In my dream, I built a funeral pyre.
For myself, you understand.
I thought I had suffered enough.

I thought this was the end of my body: fire
seemed the right end for hunger;
they were the same thing.

And yet you didn't die?

It was a dream; I thought I was going home.
I remember telling myself
it wouldn't work; I remember thinking
my soul was too stubborn to die.
I thought soul was the same as consciousness--
probably everyone thinks that.

Why did you move away?

I woke up in another world.
As simple as that.

Why did you move away?

The world changed. I walked out of the fire
into a different world--maybe
the world of the dead, for all I know.
Not the end of need but need
raised to the highest power.