Monday, August 9, 2010

Here at the edge


Here at the edge of the

Where we sang
"Look at the birds
Look at the birds"

Lord, it's been a day
hasn't it?

There's not a dark-eyed
junco in sight

But how these fly
one two three
four or five

Keep counting

scattering upward
to the top of the


What are they

Flashes of white

Lord if we don't watch
it, it will be night

It's been a long hard weekend, and it's just too late for much more than the poem tonight. I wish it were otherwise. I would love to talk about Bobette's amazing speech on Saturday night -cogent, idiosyncratic, quirky as hell - I loved it. Or what about going back and explaining a little bit about "the tops of the trees" from yesterday's post? Or even farther than that and explaining about the whole bird cycle.

But I'm tired and I'm just going to tell you that I was talking to Charlene on the phone yesterday while she was sitting in a hotel room in L.A., watching Don iron his pants, and I was at my kitchen table, eating a turkey and cheese sandwich, and she mentioned how much she likes the bird poems - well, all right, maybe I had been saying, "Do you really like the poems?," or something like that.
And then Charlene says, "It's hard to say, to put into words, but I really love them because they sound like what I hear in my own head but can't say." And then I got so very happy because the poems are, for me, exactly that: they are pieces of what goes on in my head all the time, pieces that I have been lucky enough to overhear. Here's a quote from July 17 in my poetry notebook.

there was a time [the year or so after Julian died] when i was
literally reduced, or released, to just that, overhearing.
then it was almost automatic writing.

but what matters is that it's all overheard, and that what
i'm overhearing is my own thoughts, my own words - overhearing

Goodnight all. Sweet sleep.

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