By Stanley Plumly
The spirit world the negative of this one,
soft outlines of soft whites against soft darks,
someone crossing Broadway at Cathedral, walking
toward the god taking the picture, but now,
inside the camera, suddenly still. Or the spirit
world the detail through the window, manifest
if stared at long enough, the shapes of this
or that, the lights left on, the lights turned off,
the spirits under arcs of sycamores the gray-gold
mists of migratory birds and spotted leaves recognize.
Autumnal evening chill, knife-edges of the avenues,
wind kicking up newspaper off the street,
those ghost peripheral moments you catch yourself
beside yourself going down a stair or through
a door—the spirit world surprising: those birds,
for instance, bursting from the trees and turning
into shadow, then nothing, like spirit birds
called back to life from memory or a book,
those shadows in my hands I held, surprised.
I found them interspersed among the posthumous pages
of a friend, some hundreds of saved poems: dun
sparrows and a few lyrical wrens in photocopied
profile perched in air, focused on an abstract
abrupt edge. Blurred, their natural color bled,
they'd passed from one world to another: the poems,
too, sung in the twilit middle of the night, loved,
half-typed, half-written-over, flawed, images
of images. He'd kept them to forget them.
And every twenty pages, in xerox ash-and-frost,
Gray Eastern, Gold Western, ranging across borders.
Stage one of The Flickr Upload of Doom is complete! Which is to say that 100,000+ photos have been uploaded, put in sets, tagged, and labeled. Currently they are mostly hidden so I can go through them and decide which should be public, starting with the big trips (the UK trips and a couple of others are already unlocked) and then various events, local sightseeing, etc. going back to 2000 (whether I want to scan any significant number of photos from before then -- now it's pretty much just our honeymoon, a few baby pictures of the kids, and some Star Trek conventions -- is a question for another day).
Apart from that, I got some writing done, the laundry got folded, the weather was gorgeous, I saw at least six deer while out walking (I say "at least" because I'm not sure whether I saw eight or whether two of them were the same deer who'd walked parallel to me in the woods). We watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang since I needed a laundry-folding movie; the acting was great and there was some truly hilarious moments, but overall it was too violent for me really to love it and the one person who deserved to die was spared. Then we watched Nashville, which I'm still enjoying though it's soapy. Have some Caprikorn Farm goats and cheese: