Wednesday, September 1, 2021

A Condition of My Penance

Towering clouds, fields of regret. At a distance, the first black bear in years, sitting on his ass beneath an apple tree. You listen to your son play guitar, you write the prose poems you write, and you let this life sugar out the way it does. 

When in Montreal reading Steven King novels on somebody's apartment floor and slowly coming to terms with what's helpful in your thoughts about writing. Ferns in a soft light. Scrubbing coffee rings off the window sill, hoping it will make someone happy who is mostly not. 

Doing laundry later than expected, the day mostly lost to patching the porch roofs, getting dizzy in the hot sun, whacking your thumb over and over with a hammer. Sprinkling patchouli oil on the cross that came from my grandmother's house, floating in the happy scent of my early twenties, years of listening to live Dead tapes, stoned and a little drunk, nobody expecting much socially or otherwise, which was always the real gift. Imagine growing up.

The little brook out back feeding into the river, a remnant of a hurricane thirty or so years ago. I am lost now in ways that no longer trouble me, and I will never be found, which also does not trouble me, as in a way I cannot yet articulate - and may never, as a condition of my penance - the Lord goes with me everywhere. Lukewarm iced coffee, better than nothing.

My father knew who he admired and who he did not, and had a subtle but effective of locating you on that spectrum, while my mother pretty much just said what was on her mind, audience be damned. Clutching a violin in lieu of roses? The goldenrod blooms around town, taller than usual this year, same as the marigolds which nearly reach my shoulders.

In what way is a collage a work of love? One thing that won't happen in this life is I won't ever eat turtle meat. Kneeling to clean the floor of vomit, spraying vinegar to cut the smell, saying over and over "it's okay, it's not a problem."

Unclear at the fair how I fit into the world of love, which is all I see now, yet no longer alarmed at my alienation, which I know is merely an aftereffect of something that shifted long ago. Always meeting witches when I least expect, Hansel and Gretel waking up inside me muttering "this again?"

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