Friday, March 15, 2013

when i see a homeless person, i'm terrified

no, i don't live in a war zone. at least, it isn't yet. basically, i'm a haunted man, expecting lightning to strike me out of a cloud, sleeping with earplugs, and breathing shallowly the whole day. needless to say, i can fake being relaxed and have managed to do so most of my life, yet i'll break into a sweat if half a dozen people crowd into my lookout, or i'm confronted by a trying situation, soaked to my shoes. 

what i fear is not the object of my displeasure, it's being cast out into the street myself. for example, i realized a woman to pounce on my empty room the minute i vacate in may, maybe the best one i've had: quiet, glass door as a private entrance, lots of hawks, cats, and squirrels in the trees rising high into the sky. in fact, it's been perfect for downloading myself. by that i mean, throwing notebooks and photo-disks into the dumpster, for examining hundreds of letters received before 2000, when everybody stopped writing them. yes, a handwritten letter basically a confession, and no one wants to confess on the internet, big brother scanning the airways. 

i must admit, this terror motivated me today. i washed my truck and had it checked out at the garage - tomorrow i drive the last nine boxes of books to berkeley, totaling 130. you read right, one hundred and thirty, which only happened to accumulate by their invisibility. fortuitously, my friend has opened a new used bookstore. last trip i visited my books beautifully lined up in a most charming place. alas, the walk-ins want philosophy, history, and poetry, all the erotica has to be hidden from the offended intellectuals  in the back room. only in the home of the atom bomb could such a things be. "The presence  of death concentrates the mind wonderfully." 

and as for the stuff going into the trash, i scanned photos and documents for a week, not everything by any means. finally  i landed in a hard-nosed mood and out went six boxes of disks. i kept hoping i'd come up with a plan for the sixteen boxes of diaries and notebooks, knowing full well my heirs would toss the good with the bad. two days ago, i entered that nirvana of shamelessness and ten boxes - 125 spiralbounders - vanished into the green-dyed  monster of the scavengers.  what was my rule of thumb? many seemed boring to me, or too revealing of my continuing adolescent emotions, a record without humor or style, stuffed with pasted memorabilia: theater tickets, programs, pictures of gorgeous women. 

                                                     my empty home today      

how do i feel today? well, a bit sad. still, a job well-done. i saved plenty and i do believe we should save the gold and throw out the tailing's. as i've said, i would be more than happy to have written the fragments of sapho, my discarded image pictured in metaphors for the masses to read two thousand years later. that has been my supreme failing: i desired to be a classic!

recovered poems, greece 1966:

california dreamer: