Friday, January 21, 2005

A small pebble in the shoe of sleep

My good friend Kyle wrote to me tonight: I noticed you haven’t posted on your blog in a while. Are you ok?

I wrote back to assure him that I was, that I had been busy writing and having some teeth pulled, I mean arranging and attending job interviews. And I guess I've also been allowing the proper creative gestation to find its plump fruition in the form of the right thing to post here.

My interviews went quite well and I've met some truly outstanding and successful people. First of all, I interviewed with the engaging editor of Columbia Gorge Magazine and I am currently in the process of writing a series of articles for them about the bridges of the Gorge. Secondly, I met with the friendly coordinator of the adult education department at Columbia Gorge Community College and am slated to begin teaching a ten-week poetry/creative writing workshop this Spring. I was also kindly referred to teach a similar workshop for the Hood River Continuing Education program and have since made initial contact with them.

So, between resumé updating, contact procurement, article research, poetry submissions, the many friends I happily correspond with, tennis, eating, breathing and blinking, Drachenthrax has been ill-fed of late.

I wish to thank Kyle, whose savvy political commentary and most excellent poetry can be found at Metaphor, for keeping me up beyond my expected hour of retirement and allowing guilt to overwhelm me into reading but a few pages of the wonderful book of essays I've mentioned before (In The Shadows Of The Morning, by Phil Caputo) and turning my computer back on to post something of value, any value, that I might then extinguish my bedstand lamp and once again let the blackness of the wintry Pacific Northwest envelope me in torrid satyric dreams of deviled romp and circustance.

The poem below was one of those poems written two hours past midnight when there is a small pebble in the shoe of your sleep that needs to be extracted. I had to write something, I just didn't know what. I seldom ever do. So, stabbing my eyes with bedside light, I discharged the hovering mood in my half-awakened head so that I could return to the pastorale of my meadowed sleep. Here's what bothered me enough to do such a thing:

Nightfall With Snow

I can hear the press of the weight of night against the fallen skin
of fresh snow. It is as heavy as it is quiet. There are wanderless
passings imprinted in animal tracks leading off into untrapped
branches of darkness. What engine of instinct ran them thus?

I am lying naked on my midnight bed. Only the ink scuffs of pen on paper break the infolding silence. The world is on my mind. Where are my children? Where are my fathers? I imagine the sound of their breathing as I’ve listened to it many times. It is a sound I long for; the absent measures of a living clock that promises tomorrow
will arrive.
The future seems to circle this place, moving through trackless snow, impressing only my imagining of it. It is lost to me as I cannot summon one second of what might be. I am trailing the present by moments, unable to catch up to where I lie right now. Only this tracing in a liquid blue hand provides any evidence of my existence.
The night feels smothersome. Winter has eaten the sun and drained the moon; the stars repulsed back to the voids that saw the spontaneous ignition of their origins. The future cannot arrive here. It hangs limp in the mouth of an animal writing its history in spoor as it scumbles off into claw worn territories of shadow and ice to curl up with the meager scraps of all my tomorrows.

Only the river departs in grand recession as if it were
an endless farewell made of vanishing water. It is the past
and past only that pretends to be here. I will have to learn
to live with this lie if another dawn is ever to come.

Joseph Gallo
January 17, 2005


Blogger Amy parried...

Good luck with the job interviews. Working for the CGM sounds like fun. I'm interested in your creative writing class this term. I hope my schedule will allow for it.

January 26, 2005 1:50 PM  

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