From a Notebook, Early 1980’s, Helsinki

 

I wonder what Ronald Reagan’s hair does when he’s sleeping? Does it have a traveling life like Gogol’s “nose” and if so, does it revert to a natural gray? Does it turn up wagging at a strangers door?

**

Pentti Saarikoski:

“Kaikki minkä valveilla

näen on kuolemaa,

kaikki minkä nukkuessani, unta.”

 

Everything behind us

Is death I see,

Everything slept, dream.

—Cafe Strindberg, Helsinki, coffee steam on windows…

**

Eyes so wild he can’t flirt. But what if flirting is boring?

**

Now and then I have to whisper to myself as if a train station is a library.

**

Dear Mother:

Again I have failed. This time in the Punjab. Please send train tickets and a little tin of biscuits with the Queen’s face on the lid.

**

Reagan’s “Star Wars”—like selling toasters really. He learned everything at General Electric. At an embassy party last night I saw all the young Georgetown men yapping that it’s real. Smiling, glassy eyed schmucks.