Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon's cleanliness.
Four o'clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There's something laughable about this,
The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)
High and preposterous and separate -
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,
One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare
Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can't come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.
Everything looks worse second time around except for Miyazaki maybe. I finally watched Howl in a decent copy, not pirated with crappy sound and surrreal subtitles. Followed it with a reread of the book. I like the Miyazaki better than before, naturally, but I'm surprised to find it edging the book out as well. Miyazaki's WTF interpolations- the war, the bird, that disconcertingly story-book disguised prince- who gave me the creeps BTW- are on balance no more WTF than Jones' own trademark and casual WTFs- like the dog man who's actually two people, that I still can't figure out precisely what happened to him where, and what was going on between Howl and the Witch and why, and all that stuff in the last quarter of the book that's just there, deal with it. There's a lot of thready loose-endedness in Jones, which is doubtless a change from the common run with every last blessed detail explicated into the dust, but it does annoy the tidy-minded, like me.
And of course Miyazaki has his landscapes, straight out of 1920's children's books with the colours intact. This is no fair because he's a master of landscapes and wins with them over just about anyone I can think of.