So, I wrote this one this afternoon, when the wireless was down. It was surprisingly difficult, because I’ve gotten into a routine, which means nighttime, tunes, and all the meaningless distraction I could wish to click. It’s hard to find a poem from that afternoon stillness. I had to turn to a muse, Denise Levertov again, to break through my own stillness and find a poem. Maybe I’ve gotten too far way from the pages of my inspiration. In “She and the Muse” she calls it “the third room”: “Now the long-desired / visit is over. The heroine / is a scribe. Returned to solitude. / Eagerly she re-enters the third room.”
That’s a very funny poem, about a woman craving to get back to work after a fun visit from a suitor who gallops off renewed with “talismans, mirrors, parchment histories, gifts and stones, / indecipherable clues to destiny.” She goes into “the third room” and the walls are full of “tapestries, scenes that change / whenever she looks away.” It’s just the best way of describing how we go interior and quiet. I’ll be borrowing heavily, from her and from Butter, again. It’s just the way it is after a busy weekend.
Unable to Connect
I know you have a sickness of the heart, I can see it when the light permits, yes I know you have a sickness of the heart, like the kind doctors can’t fix, but I can, I care, oh yes don’t be surprised when I reach in and hold it.
Unable to connect
I sit with a pen
I sit with a pen and without
my vices and friendships
and tunes to lube this slippery organ.
It is the afternoon quiet, eager,
it is a white page with blue lines
terrible and delicious,
I can hear my heart and little else but the birds.
Here in the third room nothing moves,
nothing but the pen and a hornet
come to investigate
the hole in the windowscreen.
Come through, pest. I’ll not harm you
and you’ll keep your sword where it belongs
we are each of us dangerous when threatened.
I’ll not harm you and your buzz will become
Boredom to my ears, I need you urgently
to witness this quiet
where I sit always coming up short of my image
and let down by my reflection
trying to turn that violent buzz to music
with my mind.
These are cruel expectations
but I need you to know of each failure,
these pages are my penance
for each disappointing skeleton
and there are piles of dry bone and
ash on the carpet of the third room.
How can I write till it stings and swells
Well, this is frustrating. I know there’s more to this poem, but I can’t find my way into the second half. I think it might get confessional, which can be hard to write, but I don’t really have it in me tonight. This weekend wiped me out. Fourth of July plus birthday party=wooooyeeee. So, I’m going to bed early, and maybe I’ll find the second half tomorrow. Goodnight, poempeeps 🙂