My Darling Bleaders,
I've decided to continue worrying about balloon boy, even though he never really existed. I've decided to believe that the balloon is still floating over the heartland and that its fragile compartment really does contain a child. Are his parents still looking skyward and weeping? No, their bad behavior in real life banishes them from my revery. They are in a small cell, watching each other on television. The child is ours. The rest of the nation is bending its neck backwards and waiting for word.
Given that my vision is but a vision in a dream, we are free to scan the skies from Brooklyn to Maine, Hawaii to Seattle, Hoboken to Fort Lee, Baldwin to LA. Look up. I can't see the balloon, but I can see something falling out of the sky. Was Icharus just looking for a reality show? No. And perhaps not even just looking for attention. There is also the pleasure of flying to consider. There is also the pleasant smell of frying sausages, though, which is to say, there are other things to do, other things in the cupboard. Poetry for example.
I have not wasted my life, but I wasted it. Sweet as a kiss by hopeless fancy feigned on lips that are for others. There are other things to do, you know. "There are," my voice insists. I can't think of any. In the subway these days, on signs, Shopenhauer says "Every man takes the limits of his own world as the limits of the world." So how can I be expected to think of something else to do? The world doesn't go on forever, but try falling off it.
Boy oh balloon boy, once you're allowing your imaginary baby to hover and swerve in the skies above us, you have already thrown yourself out with the bathwater. Still, I'm still having trouble thinking of anything else to do. I have so many ideas, but time sped up so fast that by the time I write the next line my underwood has rusted to an orange ash heap. Sped up so fast by the time I write the next word, my computer needs upgraded.
So what can I do? Learn to write slower? At this age? Report to a new master? Master my own faster? I'm up here and I'm fine, but I can't seem to come down. Will this thing eventually land? These are only a few of the questions I am not asking.
Can a trout blow kisses backwards, from its gils?
Okay, that's enough. Stay safe my balloon children, hover in the internetted sky. I will find you. Be assured that I am scanning clouds for any thing unusual.
ps I'm off to East Kentucky tomorrow to chautauqua. I'll be doing a poetry reading and giving a talk on the history of Doubt, about which I wrote a big book and do a good deal of talking.