7) Louise Glück

The last night of our week of poetry.

I read a lot of Louise Glück in college. I think my advisor was obsessed with her, or something. She’s not exactly my favorite, but her autumnal moodiness reminds me of those beautiful college days, which is nice.

Speaking of decades past: Rachel in the post below mentions Poe’s song which mentions Gertrude Stein, which got me thinking about high school and college-era music, which is my excuse for now feeling all moody and watching YouTube videos of Ani DiFranco while obsessively slathering Lemony Flutter (full disclosure: it’s not vegan. But it was a present! OK….it was a present the first time I used it. The subsequent three times, I bought it. But I didn’t know about the beeswax until the time before the most recent time I bought it. [Chicken’s a vegetable, right?]) into my exhausted hands, when I meant to be watching this Judi Dench BBC Greatest Hits DVD thingie I stole from the Salvation Army and changing the buttons on a dress.

Some thoughts:

  • Does it count as stealing if you totally would have bought it if you had your wallet with you, but you were just there to drop off boxes of crappy cookbooks and it was on the ground on the porch next to where they told you to put the books? If it hasn’t actually entered the building, that is called “trading,” right?
  • Do people, like, start liking Ani these days? Or is her entire fan base 34-year-old feminazis comme moi feeling nostalgic for just a few minutes about olden days whilst they moisturize?
  • Did none of us (Ani?), realize how hideous our hair looked circa 1997? I’m sure at some point that year I had this exact same shade of pink happening, which was frightful when paired with my Mediterranean/Russian Jewy complexion. I’m sure of it because until last year I had a box of about 50 empty bottles of Manic Panic I was saving for “art projects” (Have I mentioned that I AM THIRTY FOUR? I am never going to make another collage.). However, my pink hair was at least my own and not a plastic weave culminating in a puff of fluff stolen from a Troll doll. Et tu, DiFranco?
  • Ani? Dar? Jewel? Bjork? Tori? Poe? Alanis? I know I’m not one to talk, but I don’t think I listened to anyone with a boring name in the whole of the 1990s.
  • No wait: Liz Phair. And Courtney Love. (I didn’t become a riot grrrl until way late, like 1998 or so. Sigh.)
  • I’d also like to state  that I didn’t even get a tax receipt for my donation.
  • Is it a general requirement to be really into Dar Williams when you’re also really into Ani, for the down times when you’re not so angsty? And, once you’re pretty into Dar, will you ever be able to get “The Christians and the Pagans” out of your head? Because I’ve been trying for maybe 16 years.
  • One thing I’ve always noticed about Ani is that her eyebrows are fucking LEGIT.
  • If you can ignore the horrible squelchy bass, some songs kinda hold up, don’t they? Or am I blinded?
  • Maybe I should make it a point to drive with my wallet in the car, since that is, after all, where my driver’s license lives.

Moving on.

Screened Porch

The stars were foolish, they were not worth waiting for.
The moon was shrouded, fragmentary.
Twilight like silt covered the hills.
The great drama of human life was nowhere evident—
but for that, you don’t go to nature.

The terrible harrowing story of a human life,
the wild triumph of love: they don’t belong
to the summer night, panorama of hills and stars.

We sat on our terraces, our screened porches,
as though we expected to gather, even now,
fresh information or sympathy. The stars
glittered a bit above the landscape, the hills
suffused still with a faint retroactive light.
Darkness. Luminous earth. We stared out, starved for knowledge,
and we felt, in its place, a substitute:
indifference that appeared benign.

Solace of the natural world. Panorama
of the eternal. The stars
were foolish, but somehow soothing. The moon
presented itself as a curved line.
And we continued to project onto the glowing hills
qualities we needed: fortitude, the potential
for spiritual advancement.

Immunity to time, to change. Sensation
of perfect safety, the sense of being
protected from what we loved—

And our intense need was absorbed by the night
and returned as sustenance.

6 Responses to “7) Louise Glück”

  1. alongthewaytj

    I’m 33 going on 34 this year and I HOPE I will still be making collages at some point in my future. Although maybe not with manic panic. I now am also having total college music flashbacks in a trippy but good way after reading this. Can’t believe you didn’t mention Indigo Girls? Or maybe that was just my college scene.

    • lagusta

      No, I made a CONSCIOUS DECISION not to mention them! ; ) And then fell asleep with “River” in my head.

      • alongthewaytj

        A more soothing holiday-themed song – much better choice for sleeping than “The Christians and The Pagans”!

      • lagusta

        Yeah! I know it’s not their song, but their version is my favorite.

  2. Meghan

    Tori, Poe, Liz yes, but I resisted Ani for reasons that probably had little to do with her and everything to do with being contrarian because I really didn’t like the people who were always trying to get me to like her.

    So then flash forward to this year and I hear a couple songs I like on the adult contemporary radio (the one with the painstakingly hip flavor which is a thing I listen to when stuck with radio in the car and which I blame on being 33) and one is Ani and one is Dar Williams and after all this time I give in and just really like them. All of which is to say, yes, starting to like Ani Difranco is a thing that happens still and no, it’s not all nostalgia, although there is probably some kind generational sensibility business going on, maybe.

  3. daveliepmann

    Dude, I just discovered Sleater-Kinney a couple months ago. If I can be that musically ignorant, then it stands to reason that young’uns are (re)discovering Ani every day.


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