Sunday, October 16, 2005


There's a whiff of something decaying, these days. I step out onto the front porch and stop a moment. Is it the ghost of a skunk, struck on the road a mile south of here? A breath from the garbage cans out back? No telling. Inside the car, a suggestion of sour milk. A hint of molding leaves lingers in my jacket.

A permanent slight fluster has crept into my hands. I hesitate with my language or poetry books -- leave them aside. Take up the paper and work the sudoku. Time to kill. Time at the wrong time, unwieldy blocks of time, useless time. Time, it turns out, is a tough bugger. Not that easy to kill.

I sit, and exhale my consciousness like a lungful of smoke -- the room goes oddly bright and dark, and high-pitched engines whine in my ears. Furnace fans, refrigerator motors, electric lights, they all make noise, all the time. Most of the day I don't hear them -- but when I sit, I do.

My eyes cross and uncross. Sleep wanders briefly into my mindstream, and back out before I can even nod.

A month ago I wrote about the rains setting in. I was wrong. It's been dry. The yellow maple leaves cover the lawn. A forlorn Autumn, just like the ones they have in New England or Old England -- dry, quiet and sad. Still gray air. And, this year, tainted.

Something is decaying. Me, maybe.

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