Friday, July 1, 2016
back in the saddle and living a lie
Lo, it contained notebooks! My notebooks and journals from the very early years--high school, college, my 6 months in Germany after college. Amid the excruciating details of my forever overlapping love interests-- (how the world has changed! My own 17-year-old, nor most of her friends, does not concern herself with boys or girls or any love interests but with her own mighty path of becomingness. Is this true in other parts of the world, or is this specific to her and her microcosm?)--there are POEMS to discover, including this one, typed on an actual typewriter and then marked up and down. It was folded into my journal from 1984-85, my senior year in college.
Careful readers of Squeeze may recognize a precursor to my poem "The Moon Moves," which in more than one place I claim to have written first as a 2nd-grader. Apparently I have been living that lie for all it's worth! The original version above is clearly based on bike trips I took in the dark during my summer at home in Richmond in 1984, where I visited childhood stomping grounds and viewed them with all the wisdom and perspective of a 20-year-old--"old rounds, new."
Of course, nothing is exactly proven except the fact that I have a a really faulty memory. It is still possible that somewhere I might turn up an original first poem about riding my bike in the dark at age 7 or 8 (mothers let their kids do that back in 1972). But I think, in trawling my mind for material for Squeeze, that I neatly bypassed the memory of this composed college version of my kid experience and recreated it as a directly experienced episode of my childhood.
But wait! There's more! Looking yet more closely at my 1985 draft, I also see elements of another Squeeze poem, "Singing the Swing:"
old rounds, new
Now I swing and point my toes reach out with your toes
straight into the mottled sky. kick at the clouds
I, the chains and the earth, hold safe to the chains
we swing a scalene explosion you're rooted in earth but you're singing the swing
However it has all developed, the Silver Linings file is getting fat, because THIS is why I keep stuff! Too much stuff, to be sure, but I keep it because
1) the proven fact that I have a really faulty memory
2) writers should never erase or trash anything--
you never know when or why it may come in interesting, if not actually handy, and
3) "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," and I prefer to repeat my past with a sense of awareness.
I look forward to a steadier, more reciprocal participation in Poetry Friday for the rest of the summer. Thanks to Tabatha for hosting today at The Opposite of Indifference, where her theme of mistakes offers ample room for my lie the size of the moon!