A quiet day at the Culture office, and, boy did I have a hangover. I decided to get over it by to having a Dorothy Parker day. I stood outside the Culture office and smoked a cigarette whilst considering the nature of my inner Parker (Dorothy, that is, not the butler/chauffeur - that would be weird. Really).
The thing about Dorothy was her uncomfortably keen sense of observation on human behaviour; her strength in brazening out the darker moments of the human condition, especially her own, looking theose moments square in the eye, and then writing them down. And making them funny and tragic and true, just like real life. If you haven't read any of Parker's short stories, grab them from your local library over the holidays.
The Universe rewarded my bravery in the face of such chemically-induced madness ('And on a Sunday!' said Parker with a dry gasp, as she exhaled a heavy cloud of cigarette smoke, 'Have you no shame!?'). I spoke to many of my close friends (and every member of the Coven!) today, in one way or another, by both chance and circumstance, and at the tired end of the day, I feel a little lost, and a lot cared for.
Miss Sally has been unfortunately detained in the Big Cheese, which has ended our Grease outing. I could have gone alone, but no one can match me glass for glass in wine like Miss Sally, so I decided to stay home with the Parker and the Stone Roses, and just a little hair of the dog.
With Parker so heavy on my mind, it is no wonder she is my choice for today's Poem Du Jour, or more...
Pictures in the Smoke
Oh, gallant was the first love, and glittering and fine;
The second love was water, in a clear white cup;
The third love was his, and the fourth was mine;
And after that, I always get them all mixed up.
My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet's the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.
And if my heart be scarred and burned,
The safer, I, for all I learned;
The calmer, I, to see it true
That ways of love are never new -
The love that sets you daft and dazed
Is every love that ever blazed;
The happier, I, to fathom this:
A kiss is every other kiss.
The reckless vow, the lovely name,
When Helen walked, were spoke the same;
The weighted breast, the grinding woe,
When Phaon fled, were ever so.
Oh, it is sure as it is sad
That any lad is every lad,
And what's a girl to dare implore
Her dear be hers forevermore?
Though he be tried and he be bold,
And swearing death should he be cold,
He'll run the path the others went...
But you, my sweet, are different.
Today's Beautiful Things
1. The best ships
2. The Ministry of Culture as a calm sanctuary
3. Still small voice of calm: love