Spring Update

April 17, 2011 § 1 Comment


Marilyn Monroe.

II haven’t written here for ages because I’m trying to actually get a whole day’s work done every day. I have five novels to finish, along with my paid work. Until recently I thought these unfinished books were so much dead meat, but lately I’ve become inspired again.

What are the novels about? Husbands, lovers, sisters, mothers, stepdaughters, aging, art, death. Sometimes cake and Zoloft. The fathers are usually dead, unless they double as husbands, and for the time being I’m laying off brothers.

One of my friends told me there wasn’t enough sexual tension between the lovers in my most finished book. I suspect she’s right. I’m finding it harder to write about sex in an erotic way. I could write about lousy sex from here to eternity, and this is no reflection on any particular man. The kind of sex that makes me swoon is not something I wish to share. And why should I?

They say I’m good at it.
People like it.
Etc.

Even my shrink told me that. No, he said, “You know about love,” when I complained that I couldn’t write because I didn’t know anything. But what I know about love is not for the faint-hearted.

I’m lifting weights and doing calisthenics so I won’t be faint-hearted anymore. It’s amazing how quickly it’s made me fitter in regard to the normal tasks of the day (cleaning the bathroom, 4 flights of subway stairs); still, I’m tired all the time. Is this a net plus or minus? And the cats keep curling around my ankles, trying to figure out what I’m doing and stop me. I’d really rather not drop a five-pound weight on Fitzroy’s head.

I’ve been writing lately about angels and rivers for the Cathedral of St John the Divine, which is part of why I like this poem.

The Sympathies of the Long Married

Oh well, let’s go on eating the grains of eternity.
What do we care about improvements in travel?
Angels sometimes cross the river on old turtles.

Shall we worry about who gets left behind?
That one bird flying through the clouds is enough.
Your sweet face at the door of the house is enough.

The two farm horses stubbornly pull the wagon.
The mad crows carry away the tablecloth.
Most of the time, we live through the night.

Let’s not drive the wild angels from our door.
Maybe the mad fields of grain will move.
Maybe the troubled rocks will learn to walk.

It’s all right if we’re troubled by the night.
It’s all right if we can’t recall our own name.
It’s all right if this rough music keeps on playing.

I’ve given up worrying about men living alone.
I do worry about the couple who live next door.
Some words heard through the screen door are enough.

–Robert Bly

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§ One Response to Spring Update

  • Davis Diehl says:

    Hurray for the strength training! You’re tired because you also need to do aerobic work for your heart and lungs. You’re making your muscles bigger but need to send them blood and oxygen.

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