"Meditation on a Moth"

"Meditation on a Moth"

"Meditation on a Moth"

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A weekly poem, read by the author.
Jan. 18 2005 10:57 AM

"Meditation on a Moth"



How terrible yellow is!—Vincent Van Gogh

My poor eye. It has done so much looking—at the sky, at the dark-fretted gold of trumpets in frescoes at the Chrysler Building, at the opium dens of "High and Low,"where bodies sway like white flowers— amount due, amount due.
Is the blue the blue you think of when I tell you? Do ghosts have neuroses? What is the point of the haunting they do? Here—look. No, look. I am trying to rid myself of myself; to see past the familiar clouds. All evening drums rumble in the park. The mafia reconvenes when the cops leave. What goes down stays down, the street at three a.m. a fantastic absence of color. Outside the studio window the sound of a river sliding along its dulcimer bed, aquifers and accordions and Alcatraz. But you have to get up in the morning. The brute, blind glare of snow in sun. Look again, and up you may rise to something quite surprising in the distance. Listen to Meghan O'Rourke reading this poem.

Meghan O’Rourke is Slate’s culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at the New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother’s death, is now out in paperback.