There are times when i can get downright depressed. Such a feeling does not occur often. Most of the time such feelings are more annoying than any deep pain, but i must confess i have had those moments as well, just rarely.
i have sought many options, most recommended, some self-invented, for eliminating these moments of depression. i have attempted Buddah-like, Zen humming. i have tried running. i have tried reading the Good Book. i have tried reading inspiring and motivating books. Once, a long time ago when i found out i would be losing the right to be a full-time father to my daughter, i went out in the back yard in the middle of the night, and smashed poles against a tree until they were splinters. And yes, i have tried drinking.
To some degree, they all worked.
This morning early, i arose for what men rise for when they get old. Returning to bed, my mind raced on a number of things depressing to me. They would not go away. i admitted i would not be able to go back to sleep, and slipped out of bed, hoping i would not awaken the beautiful houri lying next to me as she has done, surprisingly willingly for nigh 33 years.
i went to the other side of the house and gathered a pile of to-do papers. On top was a copy of my book, A Pocket of Resistance: Selected Poems. It was not very successful in terms of making money. Counting the expense of print-on-demand publishing, i think i’m about $900 in the hole. But it is mine. i did what i wanted to do, and about fifty or sixty people have a part of me in their library. i now have a small cache of copies i sign and give to friends when i think of doing so. This copy was in the pile for that purpose.
Before signing, i opened it toward the back. Recently, something occurred i connected to one of my poems. i thought i would look for a connection again. My thumb caught on page 217, the first page of a longer poem i entitled “Fiddlersburg and Billie Potts Resurrected: A Note to My Brother.
i read the poem and i felt better. It not only gave me perspective and calm. Reading it, i realized i had the right perspective and calm within me, and i had them all along. i think i will try reading my own stuff again.
Fiddlersburg and Billie Potts Resurrected: A Note to My Brother
the little star over the left tit.
they buried Little Billie and
no one knew in that patch of land between the rivers which was
Fiddlersburg, revisited and drowned
under the auspices of TVA,
the government men.
i would like to resurrect Little Billie and Fiddlersburg,
but there is no more South,
only a filmy, flimsy image of what used to be
or a caricature of used-to-be South.
and Robert Penn would insert some Italian here:
i would ponder the depth of what he wrote,
but what you see is what you get with this old sailor;
the point is (without Italian)
we strive for balance, and it never is balanced, especially in Italy, especially in Southern Italy; In our South, balance ain’t
it ain ‘t passion;
i may be there again,
i may be suffering enough,
touching depths of my Southern,
unbalanced male soul,
not brooking balance but
yearning for tragic,
yearning for lonesomeness.
we are the last of a breed i fear;
i wonder how many still exist,
i even wonder about you, my brother;
but we can’t tell even the most intimate soul mate,
even brothers perhaps;
for to reveal the awful truth,
even to write it,
which it what it is all about, will alter it;
will take it inextricably, permanently away.
we can no longer be the tragic figure
we wish to be,
even though we’ve never
really figured out the tragedy.
there is a sadness in joy
because of all forgotten.
there is a joy in sadness
because of realization.
the schooner, sails hauled down,
motors into the narrow pier
in the mist of twilight.