I’m back and classically jet-lagged. So don’t expect much, but I thought I’d check in. There will be a reward at the end, a gift from Chris Heppermann.
We were on the move a lot while we were away and I didn’t write much; that’s unusual for me. As you know, I’m a daily writer and most days write badly then shrug it off. My feeling is something will come along if I keep putting words down. Almost any words. Almost in any order. I like to, as they say, use the instrument.
I found that I missed being surrounded by the things in my studio, especially the poetry books lying all over the place. I tend to put them face down on the carpet and when the spines aren’t broken from use they resemble the tents of an encampment dedicated to language.
I didn’t have that on the train. I had schedules and guide books and a smattering of Italian to try to remember. I’m not complaining. This is just reportage. We were on the road with amiable friends who knew a lot more about Europe than we did. Easy-peezy.
Glad to be back, though. Bruce Chatwin I’m not.
Now here’s a poem thanks to Chris who found it on Ted Kooser’s excellent site. It’s by Mark Jarman I think and if not Chris will set us all straight in a comment box.
To lie in your child’s bed when she is gone
Is calming as anything I know. To fall
Asleep, her books arranged above your head,
Is to admit that you have never been
So tired, so enchanted by the spell
Of your grown body. To feel small instead
Of blocking out the light, to feel alone,
Not knowing what you should or shouldn’t feel,
Is to find out, no matter what you’ve said
About the cramped escapes and obstacles
You plan and face and have to call the world,
That there remain these places, occupied
By children, yours if lucky, like the girl
Who finds you here and lies down by your side.