Hello, first and foremost, to my fellow poets. Regrets that I’m not getting started on my first post here until nearly noon of day #2. Further regrets that it will constitute little more than a salvo. After a series of long days of catering, I feel a bit of what the boxer must feel lying in his hospital bed after a victorious bout. There is, in the short term, a positive feeling (or at least a more positive-than-usual feeling) about having been utterly pummeled….I suppose what follows any feeling of victory, commensurate with the size of that victory, is a feeling of being entitled to whatever state one is in afterwards. I am not capable of the slightest nick of guilt for having folding closed my laptop, slid it a few feet on my desk, and rested my head in my arms for the bulk of the three or so hours I’ve had this morning to give myself to words.
Boxing, sports, catering, metaphor-mixing, forgiveness…. ”Kill the body and the head dies,” is a boxing truism that I’ve routinely found myself applying to my species of paid labor. The ability to think good, coherent thoughts, and write them, is certainly compromised by laboring on one’s feet. Lately, however, as I’ve climbed the catering ladder (it is really a step ladder, and with only two steps) into more responsibility, I’ve been subject to more direct attacks on the head. The head also dies, naturally, if it’s the target and repeatedly struck. Large events = large spaces = walkie-talkies and earpieces among those in management positions. The feeling of an earpiece in an ear, capable of causing one of ten or twelve different personalities to explode in your head, is about as pleasant as having your ear plugged with a living bumblebee. Like those zero-gravity chambers that simulate the environment of space, a headset could be said to simulate the conditions of schizophrenia. Pulling the contraption off at the end of a night invariably leaves me with a feeling that I have done some damage. There’s a nastiness to the bud that lives in the ear too; like the moisture on a fingertip in a wet-willie.
In any event, as I have to be back on the clock in exactly one hour, perhaps I should rephrase my analogy to a boxer slumped on a stool between the rounds of a fight in which he is being pummeled, but ahead on the scorecard. One spits strings of water into a bucket with perhaps a little more gusto if he knows he’s ahead on the scorecard. I have four days off following today; I have taken them so that I might make some good posts over the course of my allotted week. In keeping with what I’ve taken to assume is the spirit of blogging, I haven’t done much in terms of pre-writing. This, retrospectively, was foolish. Blogging for a week is like a clock-sport in that the time will elapse no matter how or what one does. (A baseball game, theoretically, could endure for eternity if the pitcher could stand actionless on a mound for eternity, never once winding and delivering.) There is a reason every NFL offensive coordinator scripts his first ten to fifteen plays.
Though I have given you essentially no reason to read me thus far, I will return tonight, late, with my first topical post. I will be talking, of all things, theology. Please do drop by. If, this April day, you’d like to carry around in your head a good line of poetry, carry around this one. “So much has happened that we didn’t do.” It’s the last line of Fran Quinn’s “The Mystic in Spring.” To my sense, it’s about as good a line as can be written to conclude a poem about the season. Amidst the two-week old leaves, its heaviness is like the heaviness in a picnic basket. Be well!