Travel and illness are both estranging, and I've managed quite enough of both of late. Yesterday I felt like myself again and promptly wrote a poem about a visit to the Chihuly show at the Vanderbilt estate, Biltmore. I found this surprising because I no longer write many poems where the "I" is so clearly related to me. Lately I've written two long series of poems that ostensibly have nothing at all to do with my days, though of course that's a feint, a bull's red flag, a dropped handkerchief. Maybe the little poem was just grounding me--hey, I'm back in my life!
After that, I worked on a forthcoming novel. I had a dead man to tote to another part of the manuscript, and then I--poof!--turned a long passage of description into a scene starring the main character interacting with various things, including the hair of that aforesaid dead man.
The dead are heavy but portable. Sometimes they make more sense in one place than another. This is true in life also, but we don't get to choose. Although I do know a few people who carry around the dead in urns. On a mantlepiece, the dead are strangely magnetic. They provide a kind of focus to a room. Not the fashionable kind that house decorators desire... This seems wrong, of course. The dead are already magnetic without being physically present in a room. They follow us whether we will or no. They crowd around as we grow older. We ignore them most of the time, but now and then one becomes vivid.
Here they are, getting in the way of my blog post.
Possibly signaling for attention?
This morning I shall go take a look at my dead man, lying where I planted him in a patch of huckleberries, somewhere in the northern precincts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. If he is not content to lie there, perhaps I shall move him again.
Despite getting so little work done (North Carolina, hurricane Florence, northern New York, a retreat at Mons Nubifer Sanctus, etcetera), I have a number of pieces of good book or book-related news but shall save them until some time after the next Rollipoke goes out, as Rollipokers get the news first--that's the deal. So if you're the sort of person who likes to be on tenterhooks, go right ahead.