172/365 - 176/365

Not yet twenty-four hours till my birthday. Yet close enough to mention the upcoming moment. A little bitter-sweet, glass half full/empty moment. One step closer to turning fifty. There is a poem here, somewhere. Just as a poem lies in almost everything these days. And really I had a point when the pen began writing on the page—but it wandered off by itself, so I stumble around seeking something to write about. Perhaps Ricky’s infected sinuses. Some days seem more realistic than others. Some hours flow with a rush of mundane waste—today I created databases for grades. Talked to Mom and Dad momentarily.

Checked e-mail… M. sent me a message finally. I did not open it. The hurt lingers. The rejection strong. Even if he states an ignorance to his avoidance, the reality is: he has moved to a higher plane of celebrity-poet. He is beyond me. So be it. You must keep writing. Walk around the pond for ideas. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually.

In late October.
Even now. Two dragonflies
mate, skimming the air.

the mind falls into silence.
A deep autumn pool.

Forty-something years
bring me up to this moment—
counting syllables.

After wrestling with myself for almost twenty minutes, I finally sent a reply note to M., explaining about the manuscript given to me in the late eighties by his ex-wife—I managed to misplace one section of the work, which adds to my frustration. I’ll need to dig it out of my notebooks and reread the poems—perhaps use a few lines as reference.

I remain a bundle of contradictory emotions about the whole situation anyway—both M. and R. put me into a conflicting psychological realm—torn loyalties to each of them. She intended me to publish her words— but legally I think M. owns them—and although she gave the manuscript as a gift to me I cannot realistically incorporate the collection into a volume on my own. Nor do I want to ride M.’s coat tails… but R.’s poetry should be published.

Sea tossed in milkweed,
a poet sits, contemplates
his situation—

Completely by accident I found out one of my students passed away—one time he had mentioned he was prone to seizures—and I only half-believed him. Students tend to relate heavy dramas and operatic fables, embellishing the truth with heavy varnish of possibilities and probability. In Seth’s case he related an accurate portrayal of himself. When he didn’t show up for midterms a few weeks ago I assumed he’d be back alter wanting a retake… lately he had taken to wearing baseball hats, making dry remarks from the back of the class, his deep voice carrying strong from the walls, despite his thin frame—a tight body—just a few inches shorter than myself.

No one told me. I discovered the fact while confirming roll off the school database, just on whim to help construct a grade sheet—

The hour stumbles late,
heavy with the day’s events,
and persistent rain.


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