Wednesday, August 9, 2023

A Slow Crawl

First off, let me clear up some confusion.  Yesterday's post title was not meant to be a reference to Joan Didion but to W.B. Yeats' "Second Coming" (link).  I did my best to use religiously oriented modifiers in the manner of James Joyce's "Dubliners," but in deference to the poet.  I became enamored of Yeats' poetry when taking prerequisite courses in lit in my attempt to get into an English grad program with an undergraduate degree in zoology.  Yeats poetry spun me.  Most of the Modern poetry did, but later my ardor for poetry cooled after reading the likes of Nemerov, Levertov, and Ashberry.  I only became interested in Nemerov because he sister was Diane Arbus with whom he was sexually active.  

"Sexually active"?!?  My writing will not reach any height today, obviously.  

But Yeats life was interesting, too.  A bit nutty.  He wore capes, was a student of magic, the occult, theosophy, alchemy, astrology, mythology, and the many mysticisms of the Golden Dawn.  He was obsessed with aging and had monkey testicles implanted into his abdomen to make himself more virile.  After being rejected by his lover, Maude Gonne, Yeats tried to court her daughter to whom he proposed.  When she, too, rejected him, he married a woman who performed automatic writings and spoke in tongues.  It's all quite fascinating and jejune, really, but, I think, it hardly distracts from the power of his poetry.  

"That is no country for old men," he grieves in "Sailing to Byzantium."  "An old man is a paltry thing," he declares realizing his waning power and his forced retreat from the joys and follies of youth.  You must read him if you have not or have not for a long while.  You must take your time with it.  His line breaks and punctuation demand you read it slowly.  Or read it aloud.  

Where first he delighted me, though, he now often terrifies me.  

But really, poets.  Monkey nuts and screwing your sister.  Lunatics set loose upon the world.  

A woman writes to me.  Almost.  A sentence.  A question.  Nothing sustained or sustainable.  A knock upon the door.  Nobody's there.  At least leave some presents.  Presence?  

Sorry.  I can't seem to wake up this morning.  Sand fills my veins.  It was 81 degrees at sunrise.  My a.c. can't keep my old wooden house cool in the 98 degree temperatures we are experiencing.  It will wear me out.  I am a sloth. 

I might as well give up for today.  My mind is doing a slow crawl.  My vision is like these pictures which I love.  But yea.  My shutter is slow.  

Let me see if I can find something to leave you with.  A present.  A presence.  

Give it a chance.  It ain't Yeats, but it will grow on you.  

I can do no better than this today. 

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