This Is What We Will Be Doing Next Week

by Hannah

comments by:

Heather I Mike

Lordy, lordy.  You said on the phone that you wanted
To be with someone unpatriotic for the Fourth, I can oblige,
Friend, I can oblige.  I've missed you, the chime of your voice
Preserved in thin British against the lack of maples in my upstate.
I'll be home, friend, I'll be home starting 9:47 Saturday night,
When the evening settles into the thin thrall I sensed growing up,
Knowing I should be out, I should be making a fuss, causing a ruckus,
But I sat in, holding my breath against the classical NPR,
Reading something which gave me an intellectual thrill,
Something self-stroked: Jane Eyre, or when I was feeling                       
Particularly trashy, Emma.  This is what we will be doing next week:
Walking along the algaed canal, watching wrappers float
In the sick, sweet green.  I am prepared to offer you
A dinner at the greek place up the road (I am always ready
For the expenditure.  Anything instead of paying the veterinary bill.)
This is what we will be doing next week:  remembering one real night
Where you and I and that other boy sat, potentialed, on a picnic table
In the mindless sweet green of the library grass, and didn't fuck up.
This is what I will be doing next week:  escaping the opera of falling,
The sickness of my sickness.  Just a few days, friend, just a few days.
This is what you will be doing next week:  displaying your scars,
The crust of healing, the potential of rip gone from the wounds.
Envy, friend, envy falls along the roadside as we inevitably wrinkle.
I am looking forward to the sun, the rungs of history, any flat future.        

Accourding to Heather Starr:

From: (Heather Starr)
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 13:54:27 -0400 (EDT)

Wow, Hannah, really enjoyed reading this.

Enjoyed the questioning of -How To Be- on the Fourth of July, and love the
line "Where you and I and that other boy sat, potentialed, on a picnic

At the end it feels like there's so much more you're on the tip of getting
into.  "Envy, friend, envy" and I wonder about all that you might be
alluding to.

Thanks for sharing it.   

Accourding to Mike Magee:

From: (Michael Magee)
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 14:47:03 -0400 (EDT)

Hannah, in this poem, and in the one you sent previously, your ear for
lavishly piled phrases is enticing - I like the density, the music.
There's a few places I get caught up which I thought I'd mention for what
they're worth (and, while I'm at it: though I liked the1st poem generally,
the use of "friend" came off as a bit mannered to me and, in any event, I
wouldn't use quite so many.)  So: while I'm not generally bothered by
pathetic fallacies - which I think can be useful, interesting, funny, etc,
"the blue sky laughed..." seems to too-unconsciously ascribe that action
to the sky without any sense of detail: this is one of those cases when
a modernist skepticism like Pound's can be pretty useful, and one can hear
Pound saying, HOW did the sky laugh? DOES the sky LAUGH? On another front,    
I wonder about the symbolism involved in "ancient dark wetness" and "slave
colonies of protozoa" - is the speaker involving her/himself in a kind of
primitivism here?  If so, to what end and at what cost?  Those would be
things that would concern me if it was my poem.  Once you have "slave
colonies," even as metaphor (or, *especially* as metaphor) you have a
whole political subtext that needs addressin'.  The line

"(All is dropped before thought passes the dura-mater.)"

seems potentially very interesting in this regard.  Can we take it as the
speaker disavowing the metaphor-making which has taken place previously?
I like that possibility and might try to somehow get further into its
fabric.  I'm also struck by the halting use of colons which works very
nicely and might be integrated more specifically in terms of this issue
of politics/metaphor, personal-description/symbolic-responsibility, that
type of thing.  Anyway, hope this makes a smidgeon of sense.  Liked the
poems.      -m.