Good morning. It is Thursday. The Lake Geneva book, set in Switzerland (for the most-part) now called “Instructions for Jumping From a Speeding Train,” is for sale. And, I continue to work on the Elephant book, which is set in Prague (for the most part). A question I often ask myself is, Why don’t you write about where you live? My answer is, I’m slowly working up to it. Places become only minor characters for me, unless it’s the mountains. The Columbus book had to be set in Spain. The Instructions for Jumping book had to be set in Switzerland. Doubting Yourself to the Bone had to be Field, BC. The 52nd Poem, was all mountains with a little Edmonton. This is All a Lie (COMING TO A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU IN THE FALL 2017!!!) is nowhere — it’s a city with tall buildings. Anyway, I am aware of setting. It’s just, I am never limited by the fact I haven’t been to a place.
This image of a balancing elephant, just because it made me smile.
Here’s last week’s sorbet, for your reading pleasure…(for the record, I write a piece about losing touch with poetry and make poetry into a real, farting woman, and two subscribers unsubscribed. Sigh)
Poetry leaves me
There is no poetry in me and I do not find this disturbing. Not really. It’s fine that poetry has taken its leave of me. I wake up as she rolls carefully, quietly, stealthily out of bed at 4 a.m. and tiptoes across the floor. I hear the door to the bathroom, and the toilet flush. I hear her pass gas – as she always does, and immediately think of the poet Charles Bukowski, and how he would love that about her.
It’s not as if I wasn’t expecting her to leave. I have been working on novels, in which narratives are stretched long over hundreds of pages and words are luxurious and have time to arrive. Urgency in a novel is not the same as urgency in a poem. Where poems are frantic to communicate, and will stab you in the eye with a salad fork if you’re not careful, a novel will hesitate, breathe, look around – before attacking. A poem gets pissed off and throws a full glass of wine at your head. A novel will make love with you, give you what you need, then cut you with a whispered line, in dim light, in a foreign country.
It’s no wonder Poetry has left me – I wasn’t paying attention to her and a poem with a body like that – all full-bodied and tall and fecund, needs attention. She needs to be touched, caressed and kissed into being.
I listen as she moves down the hallway, then the stairs – that fourth step always creaks. (You’d think a poem of her calibre would remember such things). I consider the idea that maybe it was me who left her. I stopped moving through the world with her in mind. I stopped seeing the world, smelling it, feeling it – with her eyes, and nose, and hands.
I hear the front door open, and close, and I know I cannot be without her. I need her in my life. I move across the bed to where she was, feel her warmth, smell her perfume and her sweat. I listen to nothing moving in the house, close my eyes and yearn myself to sleep.