This is not a good day. On a good day, I speak to no-one. This is not a bad day, either. On a bad day, I parley, I kibitz, I oblige the step and flow of commerce. Today it is mostly the unspoken and the unheard, my dull little life somehow both maddeningly entangled and utterly alone. I hold no creed, I take no counsel. No waiting lover, no near-by allies, no grace or strength or current employment. I lurk outside in the dust and the heat, scolded by birds and assailed by the brainless yapping of neighbor dogs. I linger outside, tangled in ancient tongues and glib spells, gathering the ink and blood of my bereft legacy. My last labors, these fitful words.
For the past twenty-five years the bulk of my non-academic writing has been poems. Free verse only occasionally unrejected, published sparingly in dribs and drabs until ten or twelve years ago I stopped the silly cycle of submission and rejection all together. Some years after that I dumped the boxes of my notebooks and journals into the recycling bin. Gone is the ghost of all those wants and woulds, futures alive only in other worlds, tomorrows buried long ago without stick or stone to remember their graves. Gone is the odd ambition of posterity, poet another dirty name only I call myself, stopped abruptly by my own obdurate limits. The only new poems left of me are these scant postings. Such an odd assembly of patch and spatter. Such a piddling plume of smoke left of a fire too long dwindling.
The heat takes its toll in sweat and ambition, beating out the last aestheticism from my brow. The curve of the turning earth doesn't throw me, though I often cannot find my feet. Years counted in notches on the hilt, days numbered in marks on the wall. The wake of the world that was. always half-solemn, half-roused. The world turns its face away from me, all starlight and silhouettes. Of all the mistakes to wear through life, ignorance of one’s true affinities is a mark no mirror will witness. It takes time for some candles to gutter, time for the proof to accrue. I am not now, nor have I ever. And all the words take wing as one.