Rain, the village beyond us quiet, everybody inside sewing scarves or else reading the gospels, tracing the lines with their fingers. I tell J. the story of how I once walked the dogs on the beach at Sandwich, low tide, and we came upon a young whale stranded and dying, at which the dogs barked and howled, while I knelt in wet sand by its cloudy eye utterly wordless for two, perhaps three minutes. I cannot play guitar without looking at my fingers, nor write a poem indoors without a window nearby. What, he asks, was I looking for?
Burned coffee, day old bagels dipped in cinnamon with sugar, men with grease on their jeans watching the sun rise and talking quietly around their cigarettes. "I belong out there," I said. Or someone said while waiting by the truck, dreaming of sequins that glistened the way rain does when the light finds it "just so." An empty cafeteria, Blake poems, wondering how it is that anyone can manage a straight line.
Simply put, I do not perceive my life as a linear (if wobbly) narrative but more as bunches of clouds that move rapidly over a patchwork landscape as if blown that way by God. We walked past the church and ended up stopping to talk to the minister who stood outside with a lost expression on his face, as if it had just now occurred to him to doubt everything. E minor played on the third floor in hottest summer, while the ferns decided whether to wilt or go on living, and you ate slices of cantalope and waited to go to the movies. Are you reading this?
Fistfuls of blueberries and a Ruger .22 in his hip pocket in case the bears didn't run. Last of the Tiger Lilies, first of the royal purple bull thistle. A pear tree growing where thirty years ago a fire raged. Or so I say, so inclined.
There was something Joe Strummer said once but I can't remember what. The drama of identity fizzles as you realize how easy it is to simply change your mind. What was it I was worried about, years ago when I used to drink? How we are all human beings, such marvelous lives, and never credit love sufficiently?