This one is about me, sitting here and getting more and more excited about the number of public demonstrations against the latest proposals--travesties all!-- for school reform. I listen and watch from a side-balcony, the bay window desktop connection to the world that I have in this second-story apartment in the suburbs. Can you picture it? I used to be out in the crowds. Now I write poetry every day and must decide a path for it. Publish for real? Make available on the web? Save for something? Read in public? Give them to Alice?
Let me explain.
I have an intent to open my closet door and go through the hidden and crumbling boxes to (1) find the poems that I have written most of my life, and (2) rediscover the experience that shaped Alice's thinking. Alice is the character in my novel. As yet mostly unwritten, Alice is the novel itself waiting, as Pirandello said, for an author. I think the author is in the boxes with my selected history of partings. History of the passion before leaving and of the partings themselves. And about today's wonder: Can I rebuild the burnt bridges to those who peopled my past?
Which brings me back to the poems. Today I noticed a common theme in what I had thought was random
responses to prompts, considered explorations of how I might play with
poetic devices if I followed my instincts. And if I deliberately
tried to play. The theme is separation and return. Separation
and the impossibility of return, snippets of joy in the most vivid of
memories until I try to live them backwards and then what? The poems
are grieving though they are not all sad. They are the painting and the
frame of "thinks" to store or to hang, of "thinks" like irrational
impressions of something past and let go of, and also present journeys
into the past.
They are not current in a political sense, which surprises me, knowing myself pretty well. They are surprisingly self-indulgent despite the fact that I have "invited strangers" to narrate. Why am I surprised? Read a person's journal and see how they lie. Read
a person's poems and fiction, and learn her deeper secrets and truths.
I have seen that in others and now open to myself.
Just saying. I thought it was time to let my reader know where I disappeared to. And that I am happy.