A Darkening of Difficult Achievements
A Darkening of Difficult Achievements***
Edwin Denby nearly revised
himself out of existence; His notes reveal
a mind redacting the lesser lines,
yet his capacity for stillness may be ironic
in that what he once said seemed historic---
I’ve heard one strange theory regarding
Denby’s death, sweating the big stuff,
the very big stuff: depression, electro shock
therapy, loneliness, celibacy, a darkening
of difficult achievements.
Yes, often I am alone as I travel or am involved
with chance meetings with people.
I share this interest with my late father,
who would speak often of “people watching”
or of “being an observer”-- a single person
in a crowd who pulling tight his overcoat
will twist down toward his leg as if to
locate and wipe off a mustard stain.
But I am not alone today at Cape May
Robin and Suzy and I stroll on the board-
walk at Wildwood and then hike along
a stretch of clean beach, our day trip
from Piscataway. I pick up four stones
and shells, and remember how I once gathered
mysterious, smooth stones on yet a third beach
along the shore of Capri, late June 2002.
Robin himself, also something of a mystery.
Does he have a family? I know he works
part time as a...in Plainsboro, but we have not yet
broached many subjects nor have I shared
that much about myself
outside of....X’s smile and eyes reveal
a deep icy pool of genuine energy.
*** This title came about from the results of a John Cage Mesostic Generator online. Mesostics are Cage type of procedural poem in which the spine words are collated through the middle of the poem thus creating interesting word arrangements. While I don't use the mesostic generated I do find that some of the word arrangements to be very interesting and true to the Cagian spirit of chance operations.