Saturday, June 3, 2017

Jack Scott writes

I Sleep Through Spring Sometimes

I sleep through spring sometimes 

prolonging hibernation, 
overwhelmed by winter,  
stung by frozen hell 
remembered oh too well. 

Echo is acquaintance, 

shadow my oldest friend, 
phantom mirror of my self 
showing what I am 
by the size and shape I cast 
in contorted silhouette.

In winter I am long and low, 

at my highest risk 
of being buried under snow, 
appearing too thin and frail 
to dig myself from under it. 

During those longest nights 

I must be careful what I read. 
A book can be a blanket 
of either wool or snow. 
Jack London’s on my no-no list, 
also Dostoyevsky. 
Nothing of Siberia, 
Alaska or the Poles, 
or Hypothermia!

From DVDs and movies 

I banish icebergs from my mind: 
such as Fargo and The Shining, 
Winter’s Bone, The Thing 
and Smilla’s Sense of Snow.

Imagination’s wolves 
pursue me, gnashing at my heels
across frozen, icy landscapes, 

with no refuge anywhere, 
no cabin or campfire, 
not even any tree to climb. 
How long can this go on? 
Until I wake up,
or they catch up with me. 
My bedroom is warm enough, 
to warm my toes and nose 
and everything between 
through winter nights. 
(But what about the days?) 
Those thoughts are rational, 
but reason‘s not enough 
to penetrate 
my mental permafrost.

I sometimes dream my covers gone, 

snatched away by Arctic gales, 
but when I kick and scream and shout - 
my enemy calls in his kin 
and then Antarctica joins in, 
another saw blade 
shredding frozen air, 
my voice within it.

The chill and dread 

of my unheated prison, 
this freezer I inhabit 
stocked with frozen voice 
leaving no survivor 
to tell my tale to rescuer
in time for vernal CPR,      

go deeper than my bones.

In summer we’re united.

When the sun is overhead 
my shadow’s under me, 
as one, we play and frolic 
irresponsibly -
of the two of us I am the one 
who can have a heat stroke.

I must censor what I read 

while basking on the beach. 
Nothing from the Equator, 
or deserts anywhere 
which leaves a lot of tropical 
authors high and dry 
‘til I’ll need their torrid passages 
as radiators come next polar season.

While ruefully aware 

of the year’s four seasons: 
and my brief season, Spring, 
it takes an effort to recall 
the blessing of seasonal amnesia. 
Summer’s blackboard is erased 
of all chalk marks of winter. 
You can add more clothes in winter, 
but there’s a time in every summer 
when you can’t take any more off 
and your most comforting dreams 
are of a winter wonderland.

Spring and fall are compromise, 

changings of the guard,

My silhouette 
is either on its way to hug me 

or to coldly turn away.

I'll plan another spring next fall, 

when I set my clock to wake for it, 
but, alas, this year 
I’ve picked and smelled no flowers. 
By the time I say “It’s spring”, 
it’s over.

The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons -- Léon Frédéric


  1. Jack London, a pioneer in the field of commercial magazine fiction, was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his writing alone. He was the son of Flora Wellman (a music teacher and medium who channelled the Sauk chief Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak [Black Hawk]) and astrologer William Chaney but was raised by Virginia Prentiss, a former slave, until his mother married John London, a disabled Civil War veteran. at 21 he joined the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon area of northwestern Canada; as a result he developed scurvy, swollen gums and the loss of his four front teeth, a constant gnawing pain in his hip and leg muscles, and a permanently marked physiognomy. After a year he returned to his native California and began to write. The Klondike was the setting for some of his most successful works, including the novels "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" and short stories such as "An Odyssey of the North," "All Gold Canyon," "The Law of Life," "Love of Life," "To the Man on Trail," and "To Build a Fire."

    After being subjected to a mock execution, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky served four years of exile with hard labour at a katorga prison camp in Omsk, Siberia,with his hands and feet shackled until his release, followed by a term of compulsory military service. In addition to his lifelong bout with seizures, he developed hemorrhoids, lost weight and was "burned by some fever, trembling and feeling too hot or too cold every night." After his release he wrote "The House of the Dead," based on his experience in prison, and went on to produce such acclaimed novels as "Notes from Underground," "Crime and Punishment," "The Idiot," and "The Brothers Karamazov."

  2. Fargo, founded as Centralia in 1871 on the Red River of the North floodplain, is the most populous city in North Dakota, USA. With the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad it was renamed in honor of the company's director William Fargo, who had founded the American Express Company and Wells Fargo. In 1996 the city was the subject of "Fargo," a black comedy crime thriller written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Palme d'Or (Joel won the Prix de la mise en scène [Best Director Award]). It also received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture; the Coens won in the Best Original Screenplay category, and Joel's wife Frances McDormand won the Best Actress Oscar. In 2013 the Coens developed a TV series loosely based on their film, though each season is set in a different era with a different story, cast, and set of characters. Noah Hawley was the show's co-creator and primary writer. Of 133 major award nominations, including Emmies, Golden Globes, Pebodies, and Critics' Choice, Screen Actors Guild, American Film Institute, Producers Guild of America, and Writers Guild of America Awards, it has won 32.

    "The Shining" was the only one of Stanley Kubrick's last nine films to receive no Oscar or Golden Globe nominations. The 1980 movie, based on Stephen King's 1977 novel, was co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, had exterior shots filmed at Saint Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park, Montana.

    Written and directed by Debra Granik, "Winter's Bone" was a 2010 adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 novel. It received Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and seven nominations at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress, and it won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film and the Best Screenplay Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Best Feature and Best Ensemble Performance at the Gotham Awards, the awards for Best Film and Best Actress at the Stockholm International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) Prize, and two awards at the Berlin Film Festival.

    "The Thing" was a 1982 American science-fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster about a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that infiltrates an Antarctic research station. It was based on John W. Campbell, Jr.'s novella "Who Goes There?," which had been loosely adapted by Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby as the 1951 film "The Thing from Another World."

    "Smilla's Sense of Snow" was a 1997 film directed by Bille August, based on Peter Høeg's 1992 novel "Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne" (Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow).


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