My Friendlinesses

6 June 2014

My Friendlinesses

This blog is approximately one day old, and yet it has been visited and liked by a number of readers. Several have opted to follow. I am grateful, because knowing that others are reading makes it so much easier to keep sitting down to do the work. As much as I love it, it never ceases to be hard. I am also very grateful, even delighted, that those who have responded to my two small posts are so literary and so diverse. You include poets with very sensitive ears and really easy, organic rhythms—‘easy’ in practice meaning either automatic or dastardly impossible. No few of you are within small years of my age, which I hope means you are picking up on clues of experience.

Spending a huge proportion of my waking hours between the worlds, and of course pretty much all of my sleeping ones, I have had to learn to be slippery. To think and speak on multiple levels, although I am only comfortable with this verbally, and to maintain a fierce hatred of human duplicity and dishonesty. I’ve got the erstwhile Aspergian quality of being already so overwhelmed with extraneous sensory data that if I have to deal with one more hint of social bullshit, I will mount an unforgettable meltdown. I never do, because it’s not that severe a condition, but the tendency, the too-near approach to the screaming theshold, is always there. So I choose to spend as much of my human-being time as possible with those who are honest with and about themselves, and who are willing to work to have one identity only, even if it shows considerable flux. One honest Other-anyperson is better company than a ‘normal’ who must live behind a mask.

The songs come from entrainment of associated words and images, with the real inspiration slightly behind the scenes, coordinating the action. I had to learn to trust that it meant me well, genuinely wanted me to be a poet, and would not play me false. Here we are today:

5 June 2014


Is, but Need Not Be

The woken howls through all-night rain sang all around me, long nights long,
but then subsided as the pain began to reach its peak. The strong
desire it had alluded to became in very truth the wing
the silence of the cold dark past depended on. It bade me sing
through all the many layers, wounds, and pains—and intervals of false,
incessant mental wanderings where fertile feet fell into waltz,
swayed over every inch and acre ice held out before them, then
turned round, still shining, smiling, white as angels from a poet’s pen
when paper means the mortal world that lies before us dead and black.
There’s a signal silence in that darkness; lore has known attack,
but lore has also dealt its pain a blow as mortal in its way
as anything a thundercloud can blast with lightning’s sword’s array
of elemental magickings that flow like rivers down wet steel.
Howls of rain that sang, I’m dead already; this need not be real;
if my flesh lay where dead souls lie, and still I sang, would you incline
to render me sad ill-attention, still? Who sang this sad design?

I shall weave us all again, on either side the selvedge marge.
Howls and pain, both wild and well-contained, in hard steel lines writ large.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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