Until the Frost Hit

I.

indian medicines were made
from roots and herbs
boneset
which the creeks called angelica
was used for a purgative
and likewise button snakeroot
used for the same purpose
dogwood root and butterfly root
including goldenrod were used
as you would use quinine to break a
fever
frost root
and a root they called doctor
dick root was used as a medicine

in eighteen eighty one
there was a smallpox epidemic
at okmulgee indian territory
and it came near wiping out the
entire population of this village

II.

i have seen grass so tall here
that you could ride through it
on a horse and it would be
over your head in places
when they made hay on some farms
they would cut until the frost hit
this was certainly fine land
for cattle ranches

we raised a little corn and cotton
we had horses that
did not know what corn was
in fact they would not eat it
we pastured some cattle
for years and at one time my husband
helped handle seven thousand head
for mister brown

in nineteen o seven
oil was discovered near morris
the first well was drilled
north of here

(From interviews with Muscogee (Creek) Indians, 1937-38. Source: Indian-Pioneer Papers, University of Oklahoma. Submitted by James Treat)

In the Shadow of Selene

There’s a thing about being alone
and
there’s a thing about being lonely
and
they’re two different things.

I was alone
—but—
I was not lonely.
I was very used to being by myself.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Far from feeling lonely
or abandoned
I feel very much a part of what is taking place
(I don’t mean to deny
a feeling of solitude.)

It is there,

reinforced by the fact … I am alone now
and absolutely isolated
from any (known) life.

If a count were taken,
the score would be:
three billion (plus two)
over on the other side
and
One (plus
God knows what else…)
on this side.

That was the best part of the flight.

(From Al Worden: ‘The loneliest human being’ and Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins. Submitted by Daniel Galef)

What I’m drinking

Last month, I was invigorated
by an 11 a.m. restorative Vieux Carre
at the Courosel Bar
in New Orleans.
Fill a shaker with ice and add
a dash each of Benedictine,
Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters
and a shot each of rye whiskey,
cognac and Punt e Mes. Shake,
then strain into a glass
filled with fresh ice and garnish
with an Amarena cherry —
then let the late-morning voodoo
do its work.

Taken from an interview with Mario Batali in The New York Times Magazine, December 1, 2013. Submitted by J. R. Solonche.

The Heart Doctor

I enjoy my life
I enjoy my children now
particularly they’re grown up and
not squawking
I love being with them all
perhaps not at the same time

I’m fairly hopeless grandmother
I like them when they grow up
You don’t leave small children with me!
I’d always got, as my oldest son said, ‘staff’
someone who looked after their nonsenses

I don’t like this repetitive
‘Please do this’
‘Please don’t be rude’
I can’t be dealing with all that!
Actually I tell them
I like the dog best

Transcribed from an interview with Jane Somerville, cardiologist, on Desert Island Discs, Friday 12th July 2013. Submitted by Grace Andreacchi.

They’re not grateful any more

It used to be a very unique and
blessed experience to be able to
experience theatre and to go to
see it and only the most highest-class
people in Shakespearean times would be
let into the theatre and everyone
else would have to watch it in the square.
Nobody feels that way any more. It’s
so easily accessible on the
Internet it’s treated like McDonald’s,
it’s treated like trash…

I’m not a French fry,
I’m foie gras.

Taken from the transcription of an interview with Lady Gaga posted on How Upsetting, 2nd September 2013. Submitted by Marika.