Next, Please

January 2, 2006

So 2005 came and went and life is still the same. It’s as if a year of conscription never happened, and the last year I have spent in a slumber through which I magically learnt how to speak basic German. I wanted so much from it, like I usually do from life, but really, nothing has happened. Friends left, friends come back, friends will leave again, friends will drift apart. Work is same old, same old, and will always be same old no matter where you work or how much you earn or what you do. Lovers will break your heart and place in your wanting, prayerful hands the detritus that remains. The more things change…

Leafing through old files and rereading the notes that I made (I was smart, I was fucking brilliant), I find the poem that I did for my Lit S paper, and it seems like a fitting way to start the new year.

Next, Please

Always too eager for the future, we
Pick up bad habits of expectancy.
Something is always approaching; every day
Till then we say,

Watching from a bluff the tiny, clear
Sparkling armada of promises draw near.
How slow they are! And how much time they waste,
Refusing to make haste!

Yet still they leave us holding wretched stalks
Of disappointment, for, though nothing balks
Each big approach, leaning with brasswork prinked,
Each rope distinct,

Flagged, and the figurehead wit golden tits
Arching our way, it never anchors; it’s
No sooner present than it turns to past.
Right to the last

We think each one will heave to and unload
All good into our lives, all we are owed
For waiting so devoutly and so long.
But we are wrong:

Only one ship is seeking us, a black-
Sailed unfamiliar, towing at her back
A huge and birdless silence. In her wake
No waters breed or break.

-Philip Larkin

Happy New Year, everyone.


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