Swan made of felt.

Posted in Flotsam by George Slade on January 9, 2010

Hey, Les.

I’m feeling old and feeble. The choices and decisions I actually make are ineffective; the things I fail to do, or do unconsciously, piss people off. I found a quote tonight that sums it up, and gives at least some consolation that these feelings have been linked to our Y-cursed gender by a great poet (Pablo Neruda, from his piece “Walking Around”):

It so happens I am sick of being a man./And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses/dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt/steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs./The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool./The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,/no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens I am sick of my feet and my nails/and my hair and my shadow./It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Yes, it so happens, tonight I’m really sick of this fate. But what to be done about it? On with the march…



5 Responses

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  1. Lester B. said, on January 10, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Oh Sage Gelder, I feel your felt. Last night I took the cubs to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Have you seen it? Not to get all Iron Johnny, but I couldn’t help but think the movie was about men. The lead character, Father Fox, promises his wife he’ll give up hunting chickens. But after a number of years of living underground as a newspaper columnist, he grows frustrated. “Honey, I am seven fox years old. My father died at seven and a half. I don’t want to live in a hole anymore, and I’m going to do something about it.”

    Mr. Fox leaves the hole to live in a treehouse on a hill (they might as well call it Lost Boy Mountain). Eventually he starts going out hunting on the sly. When he gets caught and says to his wife, “Honey, I’m a wild animal” he might have well said, “honey, I’m a man.”

    This morning I found this article describing the shed where Ronald Dahl wrote The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    I can’t help but think of Dahl as Mr. Fox, holed up in his little shed writing stories about being out on the hunt.

    So when the smell of barbershops makes you break into sobs, maybe its time to go into the cave and write about an adventure.



  2. osagegelder said, on January 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    The Fox flick–it’s a comedy, right? I have it on a list of films I hope would cheer me up. Was it a lifter, or a downer?

    Lester, those caves you’ve collected–some very awesome real estate. The pot cave is especially amusing. Do you know who narrated and shot it? Wanna hire him to visit me.


    p.s. Hands off my felt, you perv.

  3. Lester B. said, on January 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    For me The Fantastic Mr. Fox was a lifter. And beautifully done. And I really enjoyed Terry Gross’s long interview with Wes Anderson:

  4. zellar said, on January 11, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Mr. Osage Elder –whether he’s sampling P. Neruda or simply spilling his own Boggle cup of, uh…wisdom, I’m gonna call it– speaks to me. Or perhaps for me. He speaks, at any rate, and I do believe I hear him and like the cut of his jib. Great granddaddy of mine was an Osage elder (a different sort of thing), so maybe it’s got something to do with that. My gratitude, is what I guess I’m trying to get around to. I could always stand to hear more from him.

  5. osagegelder said, on January 11, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Dear Zellar:

    Thanks for sounding off, checking in, and conveying your appreciation. Respect for one’s elders, whether Osage or of another tribe, is crucial, and I mean to keep at it, speaking whatever wisdom (thanks?) and truths I can shake out of that cup. I’m honored that you hear something of yourself in me.

    Yrs 2. OG.

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