Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've Gone To Ground

I once took on an affair that involved me in subterfuge. The only way I could do it was to deliberately and deeply follow my heart. Then I quit all debating about the awkwardness of my position and the risk. We needed to protect her kids from the eruption of her affair in the middle of her path to divorce. We succeeded. Over the course of two years this affair never got back to her family even though we were less than secret in some circles. In the end she left me for another who was new enough that she could bring into the open after her husband had a girl friend and the divorce was well established as going forward. The kids did fine. I met them at one point. She has ultimately accomplished that separation, including separating from the necessary boy friend to match her husband’s girl friend. I actually knew I could not succeed in keeping this woman my lover and am grateful for the two years we had. What she gave me was my mature poetic voice.

What all that has to do with this poem, the quality of waiting in it is very much the quality of waiting for my lover to come to my house, especially on the days I took off from work to make it happen. I’m an old outlaw, not only this way. This is one of the prices.

I've Gone To Ground

There's no advantage
to this hideout, too many
splinters, not enough
light, and they shut off
the power decades ago.
I think you'll not find
me here, haven't had
a bath for days. This ain't fun,
this rash, these splinters,
nothing to do, not any
damn thing, just waiting for you,
you said you would come.

March 2, 2009 9:16 AM


  1. interested in how splinters have crept into your writing this last couple of weeks... splinters in the mind...

    interesting narrative and poem here... and while i won't debate the origin of a poet's voice... i imagine you would have found this alright on your own

  2. Jon, This voice came in a two year training period and lifestyle. I would need another reason to write like that every day. She was a private willing audience. Without her I would have had no motivation and no audience. I was at the computer as a daily substitute for the fact I was not with her. That is how my voice was fashioned, in the yearning to be with her or in the joy and gratitude of having been with her or in the fear and pain of the distance from her.

    It is simply impossible to have had the unrelenting pressure to produce over two years leading to daily work in any other way. I had almost universal acceptance of my work from her, almost immediate feedback that really worked for me. I am completely certain I had little to really offer her without this devotion on my part. She was my muse in this daily way.

    What I know of any craft, and poesy is without question a craft, is there are two requisite streams. The prerequisite is the capacity to produce poesy. This is meaningless without the essential, which is constant and unrelenting practice over some considerable period of time. I had indeed been a lifelong poet with a few shards of a voice forming. What this woman provided was the practise and the heart for the practice that tempered my voice.

    Without her I would not be able to easily produce three to six short poems a day in a consistent voice day after day. But now my muses are all of my on line friends. This is why most of my poems happen in the comment sections of some of the blogs I visit. The steadiness and strength of my voice is solely her gift to me and could have come from nowhere else.

  3. - found you via Elisabeth's blog and your gutsy poemment (the picture ain't bad,either) - love your style.

  4. Thanks for that, Kass. As Ringo said once, "I'm glad I passed the audition."

  5. Christopher - Thanks for the comments on mablog. You more than passed the audition. Where's your whip, Indiana Jones? Yes, my mother used her headaches and the vapors all my life. She used to say, "when I die, I want you to put on my headstone, 'I told you I was sick.'" She's 95. I told HER, "we can't use that one anymore. It's lost it's punch. Think of a new one."

  6. :D Kass,

    I have a hat in olive drab I've nearly worn out that is similar to Indy's and I bought an "official" Indiana Jones fedora. It doesn't fit so nicely and is not a crushable hat. That's dangerous for me.

    The hat I like and wear most now is patterned after a Montana ranch hat, a small soft cowboy hat with a rawhide loop on it to keep it on in a high wind if necessary.

    I loved hats as a child and in middle age I started wearing them again, for exactly the same reason as my five year old self.

    As for whips, not for me. Unless you ask, I suppose. :)

  7. It's wonderful that you could find someone like that, even though the situation sounds sort of awkward and/or difficult. But inspiration comes in the most unlikely of shapes, after all... and I'm certainly glad that she helped you find said poetic voice, for what a voice it is!

  8. Joseph, how nice of you to say these things. Yes indeed it was awkward. It was also glorious and precious and I knew as it was flowing by that this would be in some ways the high point of my life. It hurt like hell in the end just like I knew it would. The situation was set. It was inevitable even though I had to resist its end as surely as I had to accept its beginning. This is a matter of destiny, I am sure.

    I would do it again in a hot erotic second. It was so square in the middle of the seething truth of life. See what I mean? I couldn't really write like that before her.

    Thank you God that I was given outlaw shape and preparation for exactly this, I was more than willing to do the time for this particular crime. I may yet for I have no repentance and it was plainly adultery. People near me took offence and judged me for it. Thank you God even for that and even for the possiblity in it. It was so, so worth it.

  9. Christopher.

    So many words. Here in the comments. In your post. So many words....

    I am so glad you found that poet voice.


    Thank you for all your comments on my blog. It always helps me to see you there. But I think you know that...


  10. When I think of you there, in that shack full of splinters, hidden away like a secret rash, I'm indignant that anyone would treat you that way.

  11. Maybe i should stay here and read all these comments while waiting for my lover. Better yet i'll write him, and maybe one day i will become a poet like you. You think is it possible without splinters and a rash?

  12. You too Ghost, friend for life. Your desolate place has too much light, not enough disintegrating wood, but otherwise right on. Right on.

    Rachel, you are a surefire muse to me. I can't imagine what an evening together would be like. Probably 20 poems in the evening, or none but laughter and light aplenty. I can only reply, if you take on the outlaw life, you end up in splintery shacks waiting for Godot.

    Jozien, If you're waiting for him but you're here visiting me...I guess that's clear enough...:( Oh yes, kind of awkward, this distance between Gladstone and Mendenhall. I can forget sometimes, or want stuff anyway no matter how unlikely. Maybe you don't have to write him but like me write us all. But you will have to write. There's no getting around that. Photographers take photos, lots of photos. Musicians practice and play. Writers write.
    You too, friend for life.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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