Gold to pink to blue to pink again and then blue again: the sunset sky from west to east, a set of mountains on either side, a city wedged in-between and a lake just above sea level. This is my home.
I took my customary dusk walk around the block tonight and no one was out, not a soul in sight. So many are gone and more are leaving soon. I could hear the hum of televisions and muffled music from behind wavering curtains. I stole a spectacularly ripe fig from a tree I've known for 24 years and I've not stolen from it before. It hung limp and testicular from the stem, green as an immature lime. Inside was all lush red seeds -- a blush of seeds. It did a disappearing act on my tongue, the perfect follow-up to raspberries and whipping cream. If fig theft is a crime then I stand not only accused but guilty. Cuff me, throw me behind bars. It was worth it.
The kitten is experiencing, at four months of age, her first summer heat. She stretches herself out long and flat on the cool bathroom tiles and stares at me glaze-eyed: patient suffering. O, youth! Suffer! Suffer!
There's been a dearth of play in kitten-land this week; summer, although close to its end, is finally fully present and in fully-fledged feather.
Everywhere outside the air is suffused with late-summer fragrance: wilting rose, dried-up mint, hardy lavender, woolly thyme. I want these days to go on and on.
I've been pondering my darker sides, in the absence now of what I've always felt to be a censoring audience, now gone and gone for good. This is the freedom that death grants us: orphaned to our own means, the voice begins to tune its own tenor. There exists still a new song with a yet uncharted melody, a yet unwritten harmony. And while it may not delight in terms of "niceness" (but then, again, who can say?), it will tap into a deeper and more concise truth. This, I venture to say, is the path I've long sought as a writer. And although all may be mere hubris, the song feels imminent.
Two new poems this week -- one dealing with the ravages of grief; the other confronting the abuses of power in the soul laid bare, the self one risks in sexual intimacy. Nice? Nope.
In a poetry workshop years back led by Sam Hamill of Copper Canyon Press, I remember that he said this: the poem that scares you the most is the one that you must write.
These poems scare the shit out of me.