Thursday, October 13, 2005

Peace of Mind

My family and I have moved recently, from Maryland to North Carolina. I did not think it a good idea and still don't. Oh well. This poem is about peace of mind, and how I miss home.

Remind Peace of Mind

If I could be
More cool
What would, after all, be the consequences?

Would I forget to think about her?
Maybe feel too guilty to
walk in the woods
or weed?

Sometimes I consider these things
Sometimes I need to play games too much.
Peace of mind is difficult to obtain alone
in the midst of chaos.

The best thing, perhaps,
we could obtain from another
is sanity
Instead of being somewhat more sane than typical,
we could become very much more so.
Obsessions all, evaporate.

Dry observation:
You are beautiful when you play games,
an augmentation of coolness to get.
But then, when you play like you’re trying to overcome
to triumph over your tendency perhaps to not fight captivation,
or to not avoid sentimentality,
you seem like you are in danger of dying,
of not living your four-score and ten,
because instead of living you decided to
walk down an endless rut
from fear, I don’t know,
I might really be akin to one of the giant mutant rabbits in the horror movie,
that I could assure you do not exist,
cute and fluffy on the outside,
but inconsiderately bouncing on people to death and mistaking them for giant carrot sticks to be gnawed-up whole for nourishment,
head first.

Not that I am trying to be humorous.
I don’t like humor much.
I’d rather just be sad
and even.

It is not easy to be even, though.
Profundity comes,
here as well as other places,
but then it goes away
as though it wears me out
or required too much concentration
or a kind of balancing
that just can’t be maintained for long
must needs end with a fall
more or less in proportion to the
profundity of the view
when balanced.

My impression, though,
is that profundity,
the sort of profundity associated with peace of mind
is NOT so much an activity
as a state
The activity is not the staying there,
a something within.
The activity is the bustle and assumptions from without
that must be cancelled.
Not perfectly,
which would be an exhausting undertaking,
worse than futile,
but still like a tree
that though it doesn’t change its place
when the wind blows
yet bends.

I have changed my place,
and yet inside
I can be mostly still
by being more alone
more like a tree
on Mount Washington
used to gales
and rooting in the least propitious
most rocky places.

If I were with you
I would be
more alone.
Perhaps it would be more clearly impressed upon
how mistaken people are
in their obsessions,
their idolatry,
to causes that kill
by displacement.
To beliefs in emotion
that belie their true natures
and in the process
to a certain variable extent
make our emotions
belie our true natures,
to the extent we are not alone
and unable to believe in the wisdom
of our own love
and maintain
sacred devotion
to our own inner self
from a sense that
people vaguely think
we strongly should smile
and laugh more—
be less serious or sacred--
because it be sweet
and the way successful rich people
behave supposedly.
What is between us so far
from trivial is
And that belief
I will guard
far from perfectly
as despite effort I don’t know how else
but determinedly.
Not that you are the only female
with the power to make me feel alone
or that when considered intellectually you are more special than a fair
other number of females I’ve met.
Nor, indeed, is it even wise from the point of view of maintain aplomb
to think of our relationship as something of unique and fundamental importance.
To make things out to be
more important
than they are
It is obsessive
and makes for a decrease in coolness and profundity.
Yet there is something for me to strike hard at
To ever make sure that I reflect my nature
and not just to give in
to general conformity
and its manipulations.
The truth a subtle mixture of worship and insouciant indifference requires
which you in me seem to encourage
or could
if you tried
kind of insouciantly indifferently.

To walk alone
with you
Someplace beautiful
Not really caring about much
Except trying to make you see the expediency
of viewing this
as more vain that it seems
to calm you down
and make you more cool
than even you are.
To come home and pull out a map
Look all intelligent as I trace the route
(on the map),
describing all its particularities,
the way to get to the desired location.
We have an intellectual discussion about it,
conferring like accomplished voyagers,
we fold the map up an set out,
thinking about the route—the expected twists and landmarks--rather than the destination,
which when we get there is a windswept place,
high up cold with scrubby pines barely holding on
Around the bend there is a place of abandoned habitation.
"In the eighteenth century it was inhabited by Mssr. Ekbert Eclesmont,
with his four children, wife and a cat."


"Not that it matters."
In this poem I made it up, name, fore-name abbreviation, and all.
We’ll see streams and we’ll look at the ironwood trees
and I’ll pet the leaves on the beach trees,
left there from the previous year,
dry and papery,
not feeling the need to fall off.

I just can’t help feeling
that if I were with you
I would feel a kind of peace
if things were sort of right
and continually we tried to make
small efforts
(just small)
to keep it so
like to push the windswept hair off the side of your face
so that I can see you more clearly
and kind of frame your expression better
click like a camera.

I need to be more alone
I need to be with you
to see how to concentrate
on the truths that I know are true and important
much better than I am able.
I need to write more
less well
More like a diary
written casually
with no purpose but to say something
Good writing may come from writing well,
But compact writing isn’t always the best
and good writing isn’t what it lacks
but rather what it’s got,
to be judged rather on the extent of its virtues
than the extent of its inefficiencies.
I have a great deal to say
Why develop a style that is good just at saying a little because
it is too exhausting to be used when saying a lot?
I’ll write well even
when I write well even.