I wrote this poem just over four years ago. I have no idea what I was thinking about and I don't remember having a horrible time in October four years ago. It is certainly not what is happening now unless I decide momentarily to throw a snit for some reason not yet in my face. Perhaps the cat will shit in my shoe or something, or has and she is waiting for me to find it so she can gloat. But I doubt it. I think this is a fiction about someone who is not happy, feeling abandoned and not right, twisted, with a dead life and a loss too big to swallow. Shit. Now I'm depressed enough to write it again.
See, that's the part that is true, at least for me. Even though I am not usually depressed, I can go there creatively in an easy manner and wallow around for real while I write and usually just come back. I will then look around at the carnage in an innocent way and say, "What?"
Writing something upbeat that is also genuine is much more difficult. What is remarkable, I don't think I am the only one. And in music it is the same... It is much easier to improvise in the minor keys than the major ones, in the sad music rather than the happy music. Again. I am not the only one. I am not sure why, though I can take several attitudes and opinions about it. I am not the only one again, I think.
It seems to be easier to be sad, to play sad music, to opine about sad things and feel genuine than it is to do the same about happy things and feel genuine. Hmmm.
The Abandoned Axe
I've become trashy
since I put down that cold axe.
I find I want trash
books, fast food. I've quit
work, want to be left alone.
I've left the axe out
in the fall weather
to rust in the rain and mud
I am not right now,
twisted by my thoughts, twisted
at what I once was,
looking at the scars
and ashes where life burned out
and you I could not
October 10, 2010 8:03 PM
Perhaps being genuine and happy and optimistic is more a practice than it is a feeling. I have already become convinced, have been convinced for years that true love is a practice.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.