Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring is here. Why doesn't my heart go dancing?


This Arnold Schnabel sonnet first saw light in the May 18, 1963 number of the “Olney Times”. By this point one wonders if the editors of that august and generally upbeat paper were even bothering to read Arnold’s increasingly disturbing poems before running them. But we can only be thankful that print them they did. (Poem republished by permission of the good people of the Arnold Schnabel Society.)



“The Day of the Worm”
When I was a lad, so many years before my fall,
I feared strange moist days like today,
Days of spring, after rain, a sky of steel grey,
When it seemed that no one was outside at all,
Or if they were, they were always several blocks away;
And on such days whilst walking aimlessly around,
I would notice a plethora of worms arising from the ground
And wriggling across the wet concrete pathway,
Millions of them, rising up, implacable and blind;
What did they want, and why were they here?
I wanted only to be home, and to leave behind
Their vileness, their inexorable legions, and my fear.
And, now, from the damp loam of my soul what new creatures
Arise, silent, smiling, and with my own features?

(Check the right hand side of this page for a listing of other classic poems by Arnold Schnabel. You might also enjoy our ongoing serialization of his unexpurgated memoirs, Railroad Train to Heaven.)

11 comments:

Jake said...

Okay, I'm used to scary Arnold Schnabel poems, but, man, this shit is rough. You know what I'm sayin'?

Hurley said...

Hey, Jake, I feel you, dude. I like poetry as much as the next motherfucker, but this shit is cold.

Yo, Dan, why not let Arnold take a break and give us some more hook-ups on the old TV shows? I found a dealer in Japan who's got the six aired epsiodes of "Dane Clark Presents" and I am so looking forward to them. Supposedly they've got Japanese subs, but who gives a shit.

Becker said...

Hey, I hate to join the pile-on here, but I'm with Jake and Hurley. After dealing with every conceivable variety of maniac all frigging day at my office, about the last thing I wanta do when I get home is read the poetical ravings of some other poor lunatic, and I don't give a damn if he is the bastard son of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Let's have some more of those old shows!

Reggie said...

I wish all of you guys would just quit your whining. None of you would know a good poem if it came up and bit you on your ass.

Dan, keep the Schnabels coming.

Dan Leo said...

All right, gang, here's a bottle of chill-pills, now calm the fuck down and pass 'em around. The good Lord willing we're gonna have enough Schnabels and old TV shows for everybody. Speaking of which: Becker, drop me an e-mail; I got a line on those old "Johnny Staccato" episodes you were interested in.

Linda said...

I think Arnold sounds kinda cute. I would go out with him. If I had a time machine. And knew how to work it.

Margaret said...

Linda, girl, you don't need a time machine, what you need is a brand new Gaydar Gun.

Linda said...

What do I need a Gaydar Gun for?

Margaret said...

Because, child, that man Arnold Schnabel was as gay as you are clueless!

Linda said...

Oh. I didn't know that. I guess that's why his poems are so sensitive. But it's okay anyway, Margaret, 'cause I don't have a time machine anyway. And even if I did have one I wouldn't know how to work it. Like, what if I accidentally set if for thirty years in the future. Then I would be OLD.

Margaret said...

But not any wiser, sweetheart.