Actually, the heat is surprisingly survivable — not just because of the A/C, though it is necessary, but because after a while you just get used to it. It’s 96 now, but just a few minutes ago I was commenting on how much cooler it is tonight than it was last night. A few nights ago I had to get into a hot tub (it was 97 at the time) because the pool was too chilly. It’s funny.
The landscape here is a tinderbox, arid forest stretched thin over the skin of the rolling Texan hill country — quite beautiful, but with a strange air of fragility. The property I’m on — the Wizard Academy — is breathtaking. It has been built with a remarkable attention to and depth of detail. Check out the pictures.
Anyway, the founder — Roy Williams — was talking about poetry to Poem and I (well, more to Poem — I tried getting my toe in the door a couple of times with no luck) about whether or not her name had conditioned her to live or occupy a certain identity, and whether some of that identity may be based on a misunderstanding of what poetry can or should be. He recited an abominably fatalistic Frost poem which prompted me, in a few spare moments, to look up a few poems I used to love and whose titled happened, through some fluke of neurochemical luck, to stick. Here’s the one that leapt out at me:
Stoneby Charles SimicGo inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.Good stuff. I need more.