Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dear October,

Here you are already: I can feel you in the air and in the light and in the very taste of your name, the plosive consonants, in my mouth. Tonight we ate our dinner outside--while I was finishing in the kitchen, I could see the children playing on the grass, the sun sifting aslant through the leaves, but by the time we were outside, our plates in our laps, the light was dimming. Still light, but dimming.

You may be my favorite month of the year. I love the riot of flowers in May and June. And I love April, too, warmer and brighter. But I love the way less and less light makes the light more piercing. I love the way that the fading of flowers gives way to the brilliant, dying leaves. I love color and I love it the most in its last hurrah. I love the last fruit of the summer. I love the cool of morning and evening.

I have often thought of fall as the time when poems slip by me, practically in the air. I have nursed a little sulk about Halloween now for so many years, I almost forget why, but right now I think that these poems might be, in fact, little spirits that I should pay attention to. I was thinking about a poem I read awhile ago. (I used a little bit of it in my header.) It starts like this:
I heard a little cough
in the room, and turned
but no one was there

except the flowers
Sarah bought me
and my death’s head

glow in the dark key chain
that lights up and moans
when I press the button

on top of its skull
and the ghost
I shyly name Aglow.

Are you there Aglow
I said in my mind,
reader, exactly the way

you just heard it
in yours about four
poem time units ago

unless you have already
put down the paper directly
after the mention

of poetry or ghosts.

This poem makes me wonder: instead of being so resolute about hating Halloween, what if, maybe, this year I invoked it?  What if I just asked, are you there? and hoped to hear a thin voice answering me?

To this end, October, I am declaring this the month of open letters: my responses to those ghosts that seem to breathe past me, early and late.

I hope you like them.



  1. I love it! I want to post everyday or nearly every day in October. I miss so much if I don't write it down.

  2. I look forward to your month of open letters, HT. I'm sure October does too. :)

  3. I am sitting out here on my balcony waiting for October to begin. I didn't plan, too, but I thought I'd sit out here and write about October and this time of year . . . and you have said so much of it already! And hurray! hurray!! for a month of open letters!!

  4. "Poem time units" is one of the best things I've ever heard. 154

  5. So, so lovely in every way, Lisa B.



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