by David Stone
We are still in the car, pushing through heavy, drifted snow. We will always be in that car. It will always be snowing, and we’ll be on our way home. You were telling me something. But mostly you were asking. Years later, when I was in sales, someone taught me that, if you want to flatter someone, ask them about themselves. Did you know that? Was I ever really all that interesting? You know, I don’t care. I was loose and in love. Nothing changes. We spent Christmas week together in EndoftheFuckingWorld, Pennsylvania. You worked all day. I wrote at your kitchen table. And then, you proposed. “Come and live with me here…” You had a job. I could write all day. A writing gigolo's dream… but in EndoftheFuckingWorld, Pennsylvania? Life’s more complicated than we know. Cross-currents thread through fields everywhere. For every decision, there are roughly one hundred possible broken hearts, sparks of scattering joy, millions of things risked. It’s a wonder we ever chose at all. Because I loved you, you loved me We had everything going for us. But our decisions nullified each other. There were four things, and two broke us. We are still, I believe, in your car, suspended.
Notes: I’ve written poetry since I was a teenager and believed it had a future. Since then, we’ve evolved as a culture that does not value the written word os much. Gone are the household names – Frost, Sandberg – whose crafted words gave us insight into our lives, on reflection. Gone too are the tortured souls – Berryman, Plath, Lowell – overwhelmed by a passion to realize, then synthesize into verse. Probably, now, it’s because there’s so much of words and music created in unison. And that makes a powerful pairing. Few professional poets matched Bob Dylan’s lyrics, now recognized as literature. I, on the other hand, can’t carry a tune in a 12-gallon bucket; so here I am in the traditional mode. Maybe I’ll next take up the piano.