Sea Eff Ess

Writing and teaching somewhere in North-North America.


I can write the saddest things tonight.

For example: ‘The night has been smashed
and the stars left to shiver, far away, in the blue.’

The wind turns around in the night to confess.

I can write the saddest things tonight. 
I wanted her, and sometimes she wanted me.     

On nights like this I held her in my arms.
The times I kissed her under a certain sky .

She wanted me, and sometimes I wanted her too.   
Her eyes, fastening me. How to do anything but love her.    
So words catch on my heart. Dew gathers on grass. 
What it means that my love couldn’t keep her.      

The night is starry and she’s not with me. 
That’s it. Someone far away is singing. Away.
I am restless in her distance. My eyes cast the line to draw her in    
and though my heart reaches for her, she’s not here. 
The same night; the same trees whitened.   
Who we were, then—we’re no longer the same.      

I don’t want her any more, of course. But how much I wanted her. 
My words, ransacking everything, even the wind, just to be heard by her.     

Another. There will be another. Just as before. 
Her voice. Her body, alight. Her endless eyes. 
I know I don’t want her now, but sometimes I do. 
It’s so short, this thing love, and forgetting is so long.

It’s nights like this that I had her in my arms 
that  her absence seems to wrest my spirit from me. 
And even though this is the last loss she takes from me
though this, this is the last thing, I write her.     

—A translation of Pablo Neruda’s “Poema Veinte” by C. F. Sibley, originally published on Ink Node

Ink Node: C. F. Sibley, "xi (See parer)"

I’m excited and delighted to recount that is featuring my piece, “xi (see parer)” and their front-page work this week!

It’s an old one, but if you like it, there are lots of great poems by great poets within immediate click. And if you’re new to Ink Node, by all means browse!

The new pills make me forget things, like reminding the doctor about the refill, and then comes the weekend, which I’ve also forgotten. The child who works at the pharmacy admonishes me: Next time, you and your doctor need to call in ahead of time so this sort of thing doesn’t happen. This is a controlled substance. I ask her if the reason there are tissue boxes at each window is because people cry there. I pose this question instead of detailing the cause of my symptoms. The tissues are for germs. Freckled thing, don’t fuck with the psych patients. I would like to threaten her sanity, her grade point average, her place in the world. I could buckle her floor.

—Karen Green, Bough Down (via frombreakfasttomadness)

(Source: therapybubbles)

I just wanted to tell everyone who follows me

that I assigned the first episode of Sherlock as homework to one of my students. We subsequently discussed her essay on the matter—including whether it was provable that Sherlock was purposefully rebuffing Molly in the lipstick scene.

You see I want to be quite obstinate about insisting that we have no way of knowing—beyond that fundamental loyalty to the social code—what is “right” and what is “wrong,” what is “good” and what “evil.” I dwell so upon this because the most disturbing aspect of “morality” seems to me to be the frequency with which the word now appears; in the press, on television, in the most perfunctory kinds of conversation. Questions of straightforward power (or survival) politics, questions of quite indifferent public policy, questions of almost anything: they are all assigned these factitious moral burdens. There is something facile going on, some self‑indulgence at work. Of course we would all like to “believe” in something, like to assuage our private guilts in public causes, like to lose our tiresome selves; like, perhaps, to transform the white flag of defeat at home into the brave white banner of battle away from home. And of course it is all right to do that; that is how, immemorially, things have gotten done. But I think it is all right only so long as we do not delude ourselves about what we are doing and why. It is all right only so long as we remember that all the ad hoc committees, all the picket lines, all the brave signatures in The New York Times, all the tools of agitprop straight across the spectrum, do not confer upon anyone any ipso facto virtue. It is all right only so long as we recognize that the end may or may not be expedient, may or may not be a good idea, but in any case has nothing to do with “morality.” Because when we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something, not that it is a pragmatic necessity for us to have it, but that it is a moral imperative that we have it, then is when we join the fashionable madmen, and then is when the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble, And I suspect we are already there.

Joan Didion, from “On Morality”

C. F. Sibley, 'Brief Love'

C. F. Sibley, 'Good Boy'