The accumulation poem worked! I made it snow again! I remember, vaguely, the feeling that I controlled the weather with poetry earlier in the year. Got the ole’ poem-espn again (another Mean Girls references for those in the know).
Side note: what would the nation look like if there really were a poemESPN, and we all devoted as much time and as many dollars to it as we do to the real ESPN? Something to consider, though heavens know there is poetry in sport.
I’m reading Edward Abbey’s The Fool’s Progress, An Honest Novel. It is an eye-opener, simultaneously atrocious and beautiful, and becoming altogether gorgeous not that I’m towards the end. I had no idea about the real Ed Abbey, and if this “honest Novel” is to be trusted as new-autobiography, the man was much darker and more complicated than I had known. Here’s a passage:
“Very deep is the well of the past. Shall we not call it–bottomless? What is our history but a vivid continuous dream? We skim over the roadway bearing northeast to Kansas, me and my mortal dog, and the infinite dimensions of the recent past–a mere one century–make the brain giddy, the mind reel, the heart to swoon.
Watch the gas pedal, pal. Mind the cops. You can’t afford a lock up now How true. I slow down. I want to weep. Not for sorrow, not for joy, but for the incomprehensible wonder of our brief lives beneath the oceanic sky. This could neverhave been a populous land but even here, all about me, lie the unmarked graves of slain Indian warriors, Kiowa, Pawnee and Comanche, their women their children–twenty thousand years of living and dying. And above the natives rests a stratum of trappers, fur traders, buffalo hunters, cavalrymen, drovers, cowboys, sodbusters, more worn-out women and stricken children–the organic mold of thousands and thousands of forgotten human creatures like you, me him, her, this bank clerk here, this banjo plucker there, those drummers and buglers and music critics yonder…
Now now. Best not dwell on it, Lightcap. you’ll sink if you do in this sea of grass like the disintegrating plowshares that broke the plain, under a sky of dust, for what end?”.
I don’t know what struck me about that passage, beyond it’s lovely flow and the fact that I often feel the weight of that history that deems our own lives mere flashes in the pan, as we all do, I imagine. I also have a real desire to work on containing my thoughts to the present moment, but it’s a struggle. I wonder, and philosophize, night-mull and daydream.
Something about this recent accumulation and the fact that I had to go back to work (soon, too soon) tonight and the students watch the documentary about Shane McConkey have got me thinking about mortality today. That, and winter driving. What risks we take. Some more than most.
A poem on this life, and then bed:
Nightmullings and Daydreams
Enough with all the pathetic nightmullings and daydreams, on the one and only question, to which there answers both none and infinite. Enough with the wishes to be somehow, in any way, watched under the divine. Is it only with the snow falling like the cold ashes of the recently-dead that the peace is felt, as though freed from the undisappearing question that eats without end through the loam in my brain? If only I could lock it somehow away, with a big door of faith, but faith is so slippery a goo, so hard to hold fast. How to forget, on the December’s drive, when the tires slip, the funereal mountains and the bones under the valley, whose calcium supports the beams of their crumbling barn, and the tracings of the foundation, seen only in spring? It is always the same, always thumping with rhyme in my chest. Is now enough? Is it enough, enough?
Gosh darnit. Another question poem. That’s okay. I like it enough. Goodnight, all you readers of poems. Happy Sunday.