Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spinning, Encounter

It has been a difficult day, the first day of winter, with snow, then freezing rain, then snow, and now another layer of freezing rain. There is 8" of frozen stuff on the ground. There will be more before morning.

Why do I write? It is certainly an inner space that I uncover. I do not know what I am going to say at the start. I get some idea, these days, usually the first line or something that becomes the first line...then the rest develops somehow. Thus, the stories I tell I tell to myself first.

I have an old friend Christine who said that early American artists were limners. They line and illumine. Thus in this next poem "line" is not like a coat lining (unless you like that better) but line as in drawing lines.


The stories I tell,
Only I really listen.

I see you spin yarns
Like me. We are small spiders
With long silver silken threads.

We line the blue sky.
We line the wide horizon.
Yes! We line ourselves.


I am a stubborn obstreperous man sometimes, and especially when I was younger. And a know-it-all besides. I'm amazed that anybody likes me...well, I've been working on it...


So I stood glaring,
Staring him down if I could.

Square in the wide eyes
I sent my steely cold gaze.

I found no end to him, none.
I could not quite breathe.

He touched me then. They pierced me,
His unblinking eyes.

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