(Ed. Note: An earlier version of this post had a long meditation on Connor Diemand-Yauman and the popular reality TV show, The Amazing Race, which was a tad long for your weekly round-up. This rambling will be re-formatted and included in a new forthcoming post later today. Fun!)
Top of the agenda: This past weekend your uncle Sam got you drunk and made the sky explode with falling light. When it was over he handed you a sparkle-stick and it was like the same thing (the sky-falling, not the uncle-drunking) but smaller. It was pretty, too, but all of a sudden you felt empty and unsure. You coughed and held the sparkler down away from your face. What was the point of it all, the trails of light fading to tails of smoke? What was the use? And why was everybody around you dressed the same, matching reds and whites and blues? Seriously ugly color combo, but still – they all looked so happy. What did those people know that you didn’t? Your uncle Sam said you just needed another drink. Fine, you replied, but make sure it’s a real beer and not that awful low-carb stuff. He came back with the goods and you chugged it. Then you doubled over and booted.
And then someone wrote a poem about it.
The star in my
Hand is falling
All the uniforms know what’s no use
May I bow to Necessity not
To her hirelings.
- Congratulations, you’ve just read something by W.S. Merwin ‘48, America’s next poet laureate (and, in case you haven’t get gotten hip to what the ’48 means ‘round these here parts – welcome freshmen! – a Princeton graduate from the Class of 1948). According to the New York Times, Merwin, whose appointment was announced last week, is “an undisputed master” and enjoys composing his poems on paper napkins.
In my home state of Delaware there’s a man who sits in the Wilmington McDonalds and draws Mickey Mouse cartoons on napkin after napkin with a Sharpie. He’s nice, albeit unlikely to ever hold a ceremonial post in the Obama administration. I miss Delaware and I miss McDonalds. Delaware I knew I’d have to leave behind once I went off to college, but McDonalds I figured would always be there. Guess not. Thanks a lot, Princeton Borough.