My astute reader lpdbw comments in Reason Will Not Decide at Last, “I had to download it and blow it up to read it, but the grocery list/poem on the sidebar is beautiful. Earthy, stained, and evocative.”
Well, thank you for pointing out what I never thought at the time and didn’t think until now. It was just a sheet of paper torn from my ubiquitous yellow pad that I found when going through a box of papers from my first post-fire and very small apartment. It was one of several bales of “Notes to Self” I’d made over the decades in lieu of a journal (Ashes ashes all fall down). It summed up what I felt during the last week of December in a terrible year that was about to become much worse this year.
I cribbed the title from an A. R. Ammons poem I’d read some 40 years previously that had stuck in some set of neurons that made up my hard drive. I didn’t even write it out as a poem — not even one of verse blanked — but just wrote it as my hand moved in a kind of Ouija board manner. It wasn’t even a new resolution, just a fresh try at something that had always fallen short of the intended target. I knew it at the time since it was really just an appendix to the much more doable shopping list at the top.
As a poet, I’ve tried to hold true to this sort of thought because, as a poet, I always yearn to write in the affirmative. And, as a poet and a man, I constantly fail to write even a syllable towards the affirmative no matter how much I try to avoid the infinite efforts of the mad, mad media world to spin me up.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
Which reminds me that I have run out of those dishwasher pods again.