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“Savannas are the tropical grasslands where the hippo roams, the miasmal mist is the mist from the rivers and marshes the hippo inhabits. Why does Eliot say that the hippo will ascend to Heaven while the Church takes his place in the animal mists?”

–study question from How Does A Poem Mean by John Ciardi, c. 1959 Add a Tooltip Text

film clip is from Trainspotting directed by Danny Boyle, 1996. Lionsgate Films.


She wanted a tennis court, he built her a backboard.
She wanted to ski out West in a kelly green snowsuit. He left her on a slope in West Virginia, sprawled across a patch of ice. Then he rode the lift up and waited at the top with the kids. She slid down on her ass. When she finally caught up to them, she was sobbing, and the kids were scared.

What am I going to do about that lump of something or other in my gut?
It’s like a small animal, a fuzzy puppeteer.
A hairball, but I can’t cough it up. Too far down.

Sometimes it gets out, though. A nasty growling thing. Crouches in the corner before I walk into the room. I don’t have to think it’s cute. I don’t have to love it. I just have to talk to it. And listen when it talks to me. Or else.

Shrek makes candles out of his ear wax. He does it without thinking.