on the cusp of January: approaching the new year in Izmir 2015

with trepidation
remembering
my mother
whose taste
for January
was less
than palatable
sour
in one’s mouth
fear
mixed with
anxiety
too many
deaths
in this month
a realization
later come by
and as I stand
facing the end
of one year
the beginning
of another
honor those ghosts
who stand
with me
this night
and drink
enough whiskey
to forget
my name
so as to
sally forth
blameless
from darkness
into the light

where I come from

is not
where
I’m going
a place
of departure
like a train
station
track 2
all aboard
for points
west
east
north south
no matter
footsteps
in the hall
doors
open close
another day
here
in the city
where I live
but not
where I’m from
biding time
till the whıstle
blows

See a Friend Off to Wu by Tu Hsun-ho

I see you to Ku-su.
Homes there, sleeping by the stream.
Ancient palace, few abandoned spots.
And by the harbor, many little bridges.
In the night market, lotus, fruit and roots.
On the spring barges, satins and gauze.
Know, far off, the moon still watches.
Think of me there, in the fisherman’s song.

translated by J.P. Seaton

from Writing As Reading by Susan Sontag

Reading usually precedes writing. And the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer. And, long after you’ve become a writer, reading books others write–and rereading the beloved books of the past–constitutes an irresistible distraction from writing. Distraction. Consolation. Torment. And yes, inspiration.