Novels have hurt me. Stories have punctured my skeptical skin. Essays have made me rethink the world. But a melancholic poem shatters me.
A well-placed poem can remind us that our existences are, cosmically, equally as brief as these 15 lines.
"There is truth in all these criticisms. Like all ambitious, voluminous work — like an epic novel — there is bagginess, missteps. But also like a great novel, each viewer is grabbed by something different: a particular through-line keeps her watching, crowds out the shortcomings; a specific narrative or emotional thread compels devotion.”
Now we drive, hermetically sealed in sleek,
engines silent as stealth,
traveling through the world like something preserved
in glass jars,
shutting out the sounds and smells of summer –
the drone of cicadas and lawnmowers,
the musk of new-mown grass.
If Mad Men is itself a kind of advertisement — a reflection and dramatization of our deepest desires, the ones we didn’t know we had — then its message is both timeless and markedly modern: family is everything; we are hungry for family; your ‘real’ family are, simply, the people who actually know you.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, or maybe he didn’t, but either way vast ribbons of peat came to rest under what became the foothills of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, and in time the peat became coal, and later the railroads arrived, along with mines and coke ovens, and near one lazy arc of the Tennessee River workers built homes to return to after their long days of burrowing and burning, and the homes became a town, and the town was called Dayton.