Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Suspects Still at Large; Am I a Poet Yet?

To tie together some loose ends:

After my initial contact with the detective re: stolen goods in our neighbor's house, we talked once more and he wanted to meet with us Sunday but we weren't back in time to do so. He got off Sunday at 6 PM. Since then no messages and no contact. We continue to be cordial to our neighbors.

Officer Ricky told me that this was a "last ditch attempt," as the theft from their former landlord was six months old--nearly the amount of time that they've spent at their new residence. Kathleen loaned the suspects her digital camera in the hopes of getting fingerprints. But all this suspense is for naught; the detective doesn't seem interested in the case, else he has more important things to tend to. Since we identified four items in our neighbors' house with certainty from his photographs, maybe he doesn't want to bust them. Or maybe he wants to connect them to a ring of thieves. Or something. But I never saw a cop not eager to bust a perp when he had the opportunity to catch him red-handed. Even the cops up here seem laid back.

Today's emergency is Kenyon. Those of you who followed our travails in Mexico will remember our eleven-year-old, much traveled pooch. He quit eating yesterday, threw up several times and passed blood-stained mucous while straining to poop. He's listless. He didn't even climb the stairs last night to be near Kathleen, something I've never seen before. He's at the vet now; she'll probably do a barium X-ray of his bowels. Whatever it is, I hope it's not fatal. Kathleen was already crying when I stopped by her work just to communicate the preliminaries.

As for my mood, I'm too sleep-deprived to estimate it. Sleep deprivation helps depression temporarily. I got nearly a week's boost from the last all-nighter. But I didn't stay up all night last night as I got a few hours in. Still, I do have that drained feel of sleep deprivation.

Meanwhile the task of matching all my credits to my published poems continues in its tedium, a nice distraction to have. My filing system was done on the fly and is plain stupid: one file held html pages and was sorted by magazine while the other held only word documents of poems published without annotations as to where. So far I've found the following online journals to be defunct, and when I say "defunct" I mean without archives, though some home pages remain, curiously.

Apples and Oranges
A Writer’s Choice
Beauty for Ashes
Free Cuisenart
Horsethief’s Journal
Poetry Now
Poetry Tonight

In the grand scheme of things my filing project seems trivial. Nevertheless triviality is what I seek--no major cosmic questions, please; because of my mood I'm globalizing anyway. I worry about things like how we'll survive when I'm 65, my inability to crack the glass ceiling of recognized poets, and how the last ten years of my life may have been a waste in pursuing an art that has more authors than readers. But the good news is that we got a TV! A 32" ilo tube television with a digital tuner for the amazing price of $275 at Wal-Mart. I did my research online and phoned the nearest Wal-Mart to make sure they had it in stock. No, it's not a flat screen, just your basic cathode ray model. Not bad for what it is.

Enough babbling. I'll close today with a poem:

Am I a Poet Yet?

I cut my head off with a chain saw,
paraded like Perseus with Medusa's,
wishing I'd put my hair into a net:
Am I a poet yet?

I clove myself from crown to anus
like those hanging pig carcasses you see,
discarding my intestines on a bet:
Am I a poet yet?

I went to bed with men, women and sheep,
contracted syphilis, anthrax, took the cure
romantically, clicking a castanet:
Am I a poet yet?

I married and divorced and married again
then divorced and married again
(the kids I don't regret):
Am I a poet yet?

Someone slipped me powder, crystalline.
I put it up my nose and down my vein
and danced all jangly like a marionette:
Am I a poet yet?

I've gone insane, been hospitalized,
was shackled hand and feet while beaten
by a Connecticut police sextet:
Am I a poet yet?

$35 is the most I've made in cash
for a published poem or a reading in thirty years
(the only job that really makes me sweat):
Am I a poet yet?

Two Kilorats,



  1. C.E.,

    I started sending poetry out and feel the same way.

    So many writers, way too few readers.

    The universe is cruel; I wish I loved math as much as I loved words.

    I could have been an accountant.

    I'll never stop loving language, though, so it will always be my joy and my downfall.

    I just keep trying.

    Another forever struggling poet,

  2. Fame is fickle and talent rare; when hard work meets talent there is still no guarantee of a reputation; I wish I could say something more encouraging. Best to be lucky, as we all know.

    What I do know is that a good poem is a good poem, whether an audience exists or not. To strive to perfect a work of art is a worthy end in itself. We also know that good poets "on honeydew have fed"--that they see something more than what is there, that they have a vision. Best when the vision is redemptive, but you can't ignore the darkness, either. Thanks for stopping by!


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