Saturday, April 11, 2020

Many Collapses Lie Just Ahead

On Sunday I helped Jeremiah replace the pickups in my old Martin Stinger SSX, our shoulders bumping as we leaned over the guitar. When I was little, Dad traveled to Vermont to study stone-cutting because it was the ancestral calling abandoned by his uncles. You have to understand how what shows up in your life as a story really is just a story that could be ten thousand other stories and yet might be. By mid-morning the sun burns away the cold and the world gives off an air of winter giving in to spring. These poems are partially a matter of seduction and partially a matter of building consensus for the many collapses which lie just ahead. Bad men keep other bad men away from the door, sure, but good men say there's another way and then try to enact it in and for the collective. On the table before me as I write: the box that held Jeremiah's Fender '57/'62 pickup set, a plate of spaghetti squash seeds and a plate of pie pumpkin seeds drying so we can plant them when the garden thaws, a book about how to make flowers out of paper and the green loose leaf binder into which Chrisoula and I have been stuffing recipes and notes-towards-recipes since 1996. Life is an appearance to a self that is not separate from the appearing but believes it is, else why would the appearance matter the way it does? The Man without Shoes - who is also the monk cheerfully breaking his vow of celibacy - who is also the designated driver of so many Emily Dickinson readers - laughs more than you think. All these bodies shrugging out of clothes, all the leftovers we reheat for lunch. Between the first cup of coffee and the second it all becomes clear. I could not be happier than now, with no real plan for whatever comes next.

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