Saturday, May 2, 2020

In Artifice Forever

Where else would I be if not here wishing I were somewhere else? So much revolved around women in this life, even writing itself, and yet I was not so dense as to miss the ones who were my teachers. "Whiskey on shares" we used to say out in the forest when we were supposed to be hunting but were instead getting drunk, talking about girls and getting out of Worthington, which in the end I did not. A man is always in part what his Dad thinks of him, but he can also discover Emily Dickinson poems and fall in love with chickadees. Earlier Douglas shared half a dozen poems, all of which were so deeply authentically emotional that I was instantly ashamed of these antiseptic sentences. This heart is a half-empty factory, a death knell or belfry, a bevy of laid-up emotion going brittle on the shelves. It's like we can all want to be poets but we can't all be poets. You study a certain map all your life only to learn there was a territory it represented, and when you raise your eyes to take in the territory all you can see is the map begging you to rest your eyes on it again. "Who am I to argue" is not a question I ever asked, unfortunately. One shores up a future so long as the body requires, but another voice speaks now and oddly only my heart can hear it. There is not precisely a church and there are not precisely vows, but something new is being born where yesterday was wind and rain. In mid-March I remember I am always in her thoughts. These poems, these images, this prayer: must I rest in artifice forever?

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