Saturday, March 4, 2023

Dead Dogs Grew Less So: February Poems

January poems here. December here. November here. October here. February. . . 

Man, February . . . I don't know what to say about February. Some long-standing engagements finally ground to a close, taking with them a lot of clock and rib. Sometimes walking felt like being followed by the ghost of a tractor or tripping unexpectedly into a photograph from the nineteenth century. A lithograph? A love note? My struggles with language grew less so, as if some hitherto-unacknowledged block to Love were finally being dismantled. It's possible I'm still confused.

I saw God at an orchid show, brotherhood in melting icicles, love in a feral cat and healing in a handwritten sermon my father wrote in the early nineties. I was angry a lot and sad that I was angry and dialogic because I was sad. The dead dogs grew less so, as if some hitherto-unackowledged block to Love were . . . but I said that already.

I don't remember when - October maybe, maybe November - I asked for another winter and got one, this one, and the current upshot is, don't ask for anything else. Which, fair enough and thank you Jesus. A lot of the pain is chronic now, the writing and teaching less romantic and more urgent. If it's over it's over but if it's not, maybe one more poem?

You want something from me, what? This came up a lot in my thinking, walking around the place, up and down dark roads at odd hours. Always trying to miss people save the few given to save me. You make the monastery and then you find your fellow monks and then it's ora et labora as if life itself were contingent. Robert said gently several times we need to talk about food, and I would say "hunger," "witches" and "1950s television themes" and he would say quietly, food.

It was like that. It wasn't precisely that but like that. The heart keeps thudding but the journey does end. It's okay but worth asking: when do you know? 

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