Good Morning Blues, Heraclitus in My Bread….

Stephen Kuusisto, Letters to Borges

How can the river continue

Without Heraclitus?


Note to self—

Build a nest

With pages from libraries

Splintered by war


I don’t know what I’m about

Mornings are cruel this way

“If I could tell you I would let you know…”


There are moments of clarity.

When I was 21 & first read Derrida

I thought: “nihilism is the only available academic future.”


I like some elements of who I used to be.


I want my students to be under the spell of books all their days. I want them to pause on a street corner in New York ages hence and think of Maya Angelou’s lines:

Curtains forcing their will

against the wind,

children sleep,

exchanging dreams with

seraphim. The city

drags itself awake on

subway straps; and

I, an alarm, awake as a

rumor of war,

lie stretching into dawn,

unasked and unheeded.


History is a Child Building a Sandcastle by the Sea…

There are weeks, whole months, when I read only the ancients.

There’s a cut off: Paracelsus is modern—he believes in the future.

I mean the dark one, the river compulsive,

A man who made clocks from string…

Time is a game played beautifully by children.

Lately this is all I can think of.

When I was very small I lived by the sea.

Nobody loved me and I wasn’t confused.


The morning is brightening steadily

But I typed “stepidly”

Which on balance is much better…


Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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