By Michael Heffernan
A considerate and stylish assortment from entire puppy Michael Heffernan.
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Extra info for At the Bureau of Divine Music
There is a sugar maple by your grave, and a pond across the path that winds around beside a plot they call Garden of Love. An old man in a black coat has his back turned. 32 What Should We Do? Gratefully, I acknowledged that my doubts had kept me from going all aswim in contentment over such givenness as prevailed everywhere one turned. M A RCEL T O UL ET Since everything had gotten so much worse, I tried to take in at least some one thing to make out how we came to where we were, with the result that, on my walk that morning, which I take solemnly every day, over toward the creek that rises beyond the highway then disappears into the forest behind us, to reemerge two or three blocks away in tiny cataracts beside a yellow house with a gazebo, I resourcefully recollected that the French for garbage can sounds like a word for a tiny blue iris a couple might name their daughter after, so that when I tried to articulate that moment in my semiyearly letter to my friend Marcel, who lives near Montbourbier in the Dordogne, with its otherworldly river and black cliffside, I could not imagine how I would convey with any force in his own vivacious tongue that we had tumbled into the garbage can of history— nous sommes tombés dans la poubelle de l’histoire simply would not do—so I wrote instead how my wife and I welcomed the news that our plan to come over to search for leases with options to buy would coincide with the birth of a new grandchild who might look back on these as times of triumph, with or without tumbrels rumbling in order to have it.
She took to her duchy of dung to build more cottages among its brooding hills. The rain she made reminded her townspeople of the merciless amenities. Dissimulations on that point proved brutally useless. I had walked back in from the garden without a clue to the heartrending bluebird’s whereabouts. As for you, I surrendered your memory to the goodwives of Kittythorpe, hugging their elbows at picket gates by banks of bloodwort, henbane, dogtooth, wormwood, scraps of you twisting into the rain. 23 Eclogue The ﬁeld across the road was beautiful.
The –dh– in the middle is the trick. It’s the voiced guttural spirant used in English for the common death rattle and little else. You have to try to gargle between the a’s or cough the l around and past the r, being careful not to spit up something foul while trying to caress a certain place with the tip of the tongue. I’m happy to do that and say nothing about it—to keep my peace and let the white bird light between two branches, 24 while the one with brown wings circles out of sight above the ﬁeld next to the river where I sit helping you free your blouse from your elbows.
At the Bureau of Divine Music by Michael Heffernan