You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
it’s true my first thought
was it could have been me
I thought I could transform
it the horror and not know it like
the Palace Hotel and Goldie’s
and six-inch yellow heels
(I loved those shoes)
but finally there isn’t anything left
to say really to do only that it slips
through the knowing
like a knife and at least each time
I’m a little less surprised
at how cold
I’ve been thinking lately about my writing dreams, and the steps I’ll have to take to realize them (the steps themselves are dreams). Dreams: meaning “good luck with that!” At least that’s the sarcasm I hear in my head. The obstacles are many. Not the least of which is I’m running out of fucking time. And, I need to get a fucking boundary
Last April I felt really on track. In the zone. Things seemed possible (though maybe not probable). My trajectory was true. Then I got derailed, for the nth time. You can read about that, and about my throwing my laptop out the window here.
Now I’m feeling hopeful again. Sort of back on track after grieving losing all the momentum and flow I’d built up. And I’m trying to find out this: Am I acting like I’m a victim of interruptions? Or am I not just not doing my part to keep out the distractions and interruptions. Are they the same thing? My thought, even though it pains me, is that I want people to like me. I want to be “nice.” When really, to get anything done, I truly need to be to militant.
And, shit, I’ve underestimated how big a part being militant is, and how maybe that’s the bulk of what makes writing real work: paring down commitments, and availability; junking the junk mail; setting a time limit on how much I read others’ writing (everything is a give and take). I’ve never so keenly felt, known, how the decisions I make today decide my tomorrow (I forget where I read that). And if not now, when? When does it get to be my time?
(I’ve been interrupted half a dozen times since I began this post. Reading it, it feels erratic – I’d planned to write it straight through).
It’s not in my nature, maybe because I’m a woman, to be hard-core-leave-me-the-fuck-alone. And see? I don’t even know how to say it nicely. I know two extremes: Sure, I can do that, and Leave me the fuck alone. There must be a balance somewhere. But maybe at first I need to shout, the only alternative to being run over, used, my needs ignored. Maybe later, I’ll be able to make my way back to the middle.
I don’t love this post. But I’m going to publish it. Even though my voice sounds stilted. But I’m out of time. Today, this is simply what it is.
For my mother, who never once
turned around, picked up the rock,
and threw it back
I understood my Mother today,
at least an aspect of her,
her happiness, her determination
which for many years I watched,
hot, gnawing my bones,
jackal-like and slit-eyed,
from a distance.
How could she?
This: she refused,
like each living thing,
was simply incapable
of walking towards sure
defeat, of perishing
I’ve tried tonight to think of a title and tagline that would better represent me and my blog (my blog and I?) but I can’t. I just can’t. I’ve had this blog since April 2014, granted with most of the time off but still; I gave a lot of thought to naming it back then, and I like it the way it is. I do wish I could change the address, though. It’s defunct.
The address is a little too ambitious today. Back when, I had in mind a six-month program of study whereby I would get my feet under me enough to be able to do some freelance work. Start getting a few advertising gigs. But life got in the way. And I was flattened with disappointment: if you look around my blog you’ll see my post about throwing my laptop off my balcony (which wasn’t funny at the time).
I’m still too scared, and wary, and in some ways still in grief, to try to launch that mangled-ass dream again so, really, the web address, with “freelancewriter” in it, doesn’t fit. I don’t want to go through the hassle of changing that right now, though, so really, I just shrug.
I do, though, have another name, for a blog I’ve set up the bare-bones on, while waiting for the upcoming poetry class: make me a real boy.
I like it.