Things Excellent And John Ashbery

Things excellent:

1. The Fiery One came by my work today to pick up keys so he could get into our apartment, and he happened to come right when I was leaving the office for lunch and stayed to eat with me. We had such a wonderful time just eating cheap stirfry together that I didn’t even think to make fun of him when he got red thai sauce all over his sleeve and he didn’t laugh at me when I spilled a small waterfall of orange crush (a crushfall?) all down the front of my dress pants.◊

◊ Actually, normally we would make fun of each other, and especially when we’re having a good time. This time, though, because of the inordinate amount of time he spent overseas recently, we were too busy looking at each other and probably both thinking things like “we should really be in bed together instead of eating stirfry” to work ourselves up about anything else.

2. I worked an extra two hours at my job today, and when I arrived home in the dark feeling kind of tired and down about the fact that I was completely underdressed for the event my work put on, the Fiery One met me at the door to the apartment with kisses and full body hugs and had supper ready for me and had also thought to bring home my favourite snack, tortilla chips and salsa. All my weariness and insecurity about my bad shirt disappeared instantly. If love is an illusion, I’m buying into it wholeheartedly.◊

◊ I don’t know why I threw in that “if love is an illusion” part, because I am not one to discount the existence of love as a powerful force, one that should not be lumped in with the flighty world of emotion.

3. I like my job. I really do. Since I moved to Cityville, I have had a string of really dissatisfying and confidence-wrecking jobs, and to find myself in an office full of people that I like and doing work that is not crushingly boring is fabulous. At my last job I was contemplating how many staples it would take to puncture myself enough to cause a tragic, slow, bleeding death, and my present job hasn’t caused me to succumb to morbid stapler fascination once.◊

◊ I have to admit that I have succumbed to morbid scissors fascination a couple of times, but it wasn’t due to any negative work stress. I have had a handful of nearly horrible scissors accidents in my life, two of which should have gotten me stitches, so I am occasionally kind of weirded out by scissors and the ease with which another painful incident could occur. Statistically speaking, though, I think that I have probably run out of the number of times that a person can seriously harm themselves by accident with scissors in their life, so I must be out of the woods by now.

4. I am loving The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. This will make two books in a row that I have enjoyed and could read through completely within a short time frame. Vive la literature!◊

◊ Suffering through The Tenant by Bernard Malamud began a terrible spate of trudging passionlessly through poorly chosen books for many months, and my new good fortune has reinvigorated my love of words.


Some Trees
John Ashbery, 1927 - ?

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented
Such comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Placed in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.


U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has quit the Bush cabinet.

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