I am home today, after two days of driving. Came back a little water logged and stiff, but this morning I’m already feeling better. A morning walk with my brother and bone broth help. Just being in my bed helps. I have lived in this house now for twenty-eight years, and after spending most of my younger life house and place hopping, I seem to have grown roots in this fractured limestone soil. Though understand, I could easily see myself living next to the Pacific Ocean.
Got five poems rejected this morning. Assholes, he mutters. Philistines. Barbarian hoard. May someone piss in you boots. And other assorted curses. Though one is supposed to be above all that—it isn’t personal, just business—or taste. Assholes, he mutters again.
Alan writes that poets are like that infinite number of monkeys, plucking away at the infinite number of typewriters, and somewhere in there is the poem that will stop mass killings and other assorted acts of mayhem—somewhere in the infinite combination of words, which are only words, sounds whispered during a hurricane. NUB reminds everyone that he doesn’t write on a typewriter—no one does anymore. Hell, I don’t think they make them anymore. But NUB writes with pen on notebook paper in some American coffee shop, hoping that the state police or national guard will come arrest him for finally finding the right combination of ink stains. We are trying to tell you—the poet screams, but no one hears him—her. No one is even listening.
I was going to mow the grass, but it’s starting to rain. I was going to burn the brush, but it’s starting to rain. There’s baggage to unpack, food to buy, bone broth to make, Kombucha to brew—
Truth is, I haven’t written a decent poem since I got sick, or whatever it is I am—inflammation, a loss or red blood cells—the creeping mortality of it all. Concentration slips away—that ability to let the sound float near the top of your head.
Driving home through the west Texas high desert, I promised myself I would spend more time discovering and being me, with whatever time I had left—days, months, years. The time is always the right time for it, he whispers in your ear. We never completely get there, but the journey—oh, the journey is so grand. I will write poetry for me, maybe dabble in prose, walk, ride my bike, read more, listen to more good music, dance, seek out good company, love as much as I can—let as much of the petty bullshit roll off my shoulders. Lofty goals—not goals, process, he whispers. It doesn’t matter if you get distracted, even lost in the dark woods—the road is always there waiting for you.
I sip my coffee. Take a breath.