The haloed little figure on one shoulder and the little horned figure on the other shoulder, each whispering, is an old trope. Today I feel as if I have various small voice boxes all over me, with all sorts of things to say. Some have birds’ wings, some breathe cigarette smoke, and some are stone. Mixed messages.
How can any decent person think about a blog today, this week, as if it’s important. Creativity, seriously?/How can any decent person not stand up to every type of violence, the empty noise, the knowledge their attention is a product for sale? THIS week, how can anyone not do some human, Creative thing in the face of all this scratching at our skin?
I should have rolled out, not just been awake, before dawn, and taken a walk before I got to my writing. I should heed my priorities because no one else will./I should be gentle and patient with this person who had chaotic, rough dreams and bad sleep, enjoy the quiet time, and not treat my “schedule” like the chariot that needs to pull the sun./I shouldn’t use the word “should” on myself at all, especially when it pushes “need to” out of the way. Why are the “shoulds” so much easier to articulate than the “need tos”? See above: violence, noise, attention as product.
I want to blog./I want to read./I want to look at the yellow leaves out the window sifting the sun, and I want to do all of them all day.
I want to understand the difference between a sense of purpose and a sense of responsibility./There’s no difference./There’s EVERY difference./Isn’t there?
Every poem can be analyzed, played with, followed forever. It’s never done: there will be no sign./Put your poem on your blog and get some more coffee and do the laundry.
Dreams Another dream: late to teach, streets stretch, destination retreating. My half-run feeds on panic never questioned. Spaghetti-like stations, unfair, shape-shifting routes of trains, unchallenged because the stamina demanded I deliver without a thought. Finally the door, students hanging around like a shop full of clocks, space used up in clatter, time disassembled. In some versions, also farm animals. Or snow. Downstream of chaos, waking cramped. Some books rest near the weary lamp. Somewhere I read that eras ago, the unexhausted slept night’s first hours, then rose a little while, to rustle embers, sit, turn pages, listen to the hidden river of the trees. Or to love, bodies safe from daylight’s flying shards, grind-spin of metal on stone. Or just to look at whatever indoor shapes cast shadows. Who first found out that even sleep needs pausing, found out it would submit? Is there a foxed treatise, spell of the old words however desired? Or did they simply pull chairs closer around a remark at table on the moon that eased clearly through oak leaves, like a shell flown by tides, after invisible rain? Didn’t they discover what each had witnessed alone? Didn’t they nod and smile over the hill of rinds, the crags of bread, the sea of salty meat? Didn’t that moment of empty mouths, that pause, become so quiet that, before another wave of conversation, the candles stood amazed to burn that true air, that silence? The photo, by me, is of two pieces in the Kindness Rocks Project, seen on The Mall, Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, on Easter weekend, 2020.