Thursday, August 02, 2007


This morning I was listening to interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. As seems to always be the case, their thoughts, once past the logistics of escape, turn inevitably to the providence of fucked up events like this.

It's natural for humans to search for meaning, otherwise...

Well, it's very frightening, otherwise, isn't it, and let's just leave it at that for now. I have no desire to criticize anyone who walks away from shit like that and is seeking a little psychic comfort.

But this wonderful poem popped into my head, as I was listening to them, and I thought I might share it with you. It's really a wonderful poem. It's called "The Post-Rapture Diner," and it was written by Dorothy Barresi:

A thought you cannot call back
and empty shoes like
exclamation points
on every road from here to Tuscon.

Who will knock their boots against the doorjamb
and enter shyly?
Who will peel the vegetables?
Pie domes cloud over. Old sugar

makes a kind of weather in there—
webbed, waiting.
Tiers of doughnuts go woozy with collapse.

We deed and we will.
We bow to what providence we understand
and cede the rest: our lies and doubts, our human,
almost necessary
limitations. Probably I should have,

we whispered more than once, shaking our heads.
Probably. Now what’s left of the past
hangs in a walk-in freezer,
fat-shrouded, bluing,

and all we know of the present
is a spatula in a coffee can
on a cold grill, pointing to heaven.


'Bubbles' said...

I heard about this while reading JY's blog last night. When I came to the computer this morning there was JY's blog on the screen. Of course, I had dropped everything to see the news coverage.

Sadly, before long, the coverage turned to 'experts' blabbing on and on about what they didn't know and reporters speaking endlessly and saying nothing. Asking questions that just sound lame and dumb in such a crisis.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Beautiful poem.

Larry Jones said...

I like the poem. It's not too poem-y, but filled my head with pictures, especially that last phrase.

BTW, the Republican Minnesota governor has vetoed $5 billion in highway improvements and maintenance since the bridge was found to have "structural deficiencies" five years ago. This was presented as blocking a Democratic tax increase.

Larry Jones said...

Sorry -- I got the chronology wrong. The bridge was declared unsafe in 2005. The veto was last year.