Happy New Year

It was only an accident that I was awake for the actual moment of the new year's arrival. Neither Carole nor I have been awake for the turning of the year in many years and last night we went to bed, as usual, around eleven o'clock, but one of the terriers woke me up jumping on or off the bed at about five to twelve. I can't read an alarm clock without my glasses, so we have one of those old-fogie jobs that projects the time on the ceiling. The dog settled back down and I lay there watching the red numbers tick away to midnight. Very peaceful. This morning we drank black coffee & ate steel-cut oats with dried cherries, pecans, and brown sugar. I put half & half in my cereal; Carole virtuously put buttermilk in hers. So anyway, every once in a while my friend (and frequent commenter on this blog) Ed Mycue sends me a sheaf of poems, which I read and put in a folder. Yesterday as I was trying to organize some manuscripts and drafts in a file drawer, I pulled out a stack of Ed's poems. This one was on top -- I think it may have arrive around this time last year -- and I thought it would make a good New Year statement. Tempus fugit & all that.

Wellness Report

i press on slogging through the daily shit with a silly smile on my lips possibly. up to my ankles in new ideas and dead friends. you can't stay mad at life although madness is a condition with a long tail. and has a zoom lens. the labyrinth snakes through dreams switching evolutions and exchanging stigmas. ah me, said the iceland singer as she took another swing at the australian paparazzi.

That pretty much sums it up, I think. I've put out fresh suet and scattered seeds for the winter birds -- it was ten below this morning when we woke up, but the sun is shining & we have a roaring fire going in the wood stove

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year”

  1. Liked the poem and I think every poet should have some mad episodes of fitful insanity to remember if only to torment them toward finding a better way.
    Best wishes for the New Year

  2. what happens to smells when it is freezing out?
    you hear of folk talking of going to where it is stinking hot, but is there in the cold no stink?
    if stink comes from rotting and festering matter than i can see that. but even in my icebox’s freezer there is or becomes a smell that isn’t nice and so might be described as a stink, though not a real stinker of a stink. do polar bears smell out their prey? insanity is or has been associated with horrible smells and these smells are sometimes linked to a bombardment of disgusting combinations of colors. when i said ‘slogging through the daily shit’ however i wasn’t aware of associated bad smells. perhaps madness isn’t the same as insanity. does madness seem to have focus while insanity does not? what do you think? if there are differences between madness and insanity, might smell be one of them? edward mycue

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