Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Our Shared Detriment

Let's say that at a certain point in history I was familiar with guitars, knew my way around a fretboard, wasn't scared of a little feedback. We both know that turtles blessed us and remain faithful guides and can never be repaid. An owl sails low over the pasture in moonlight and for the next thousand years I remember I am blessed. This?

Remember how I went out every morning to fetch pennies off the trolley tracks and came home missing fingers which you insisted was not a crisis? Ron Silliman may not be the judge we thought he was, yet the happiness one feels writing these sentences probably wouldn't have happened without him. The bright light of late afternoon is so brief in January that one might as well pretend it will never be summer. Shadows in the attic, ash on the bottom of bread loaves, and talking while driving about the joy of giving each other head.

The coffee goes cold, the front yard maple staggers through another ice storm. When you get down to it, what isn't borrowed? Right before sleep I make a mental note to begin drinking brandy again and when I wake up, think "damn, Sean - just how much religion are you willing to piss away?" Murmuring yes we'll swallow yes.

Jack Gilbert buying marked-down bananas, Wendell Berry smiling signing books. As a child, certain quartz rocks functioned as altars though this was not clear until decades later when it was important to refer to oneself as a man for whom as a child certain quartz rocks functioned as altars. Consent matters, holiness matters, but not always in that order and not always to the degree we anticipate. Driving through New York - farther than ever before - until "west" begins intimating forbidden pleasures trespassing the familiar - that is, the safe - definitions of self.

Toast with butter heaped with jam eaten in secret. A loveliness that was never meant to exceed the range of photography but did, to our shared detriment. We lean into one another the way the earth leans into us and our soft cries on the pillow linger so much longer than expected. Oh you who are always dancing with the idea of dancing, why not roll back the rug, why not move your body in the very way it's scared to admit it wants to move?

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