*

I don’t know.

I would hold out my hands to you, cupped, spilling golden nectar through my fingers, begging you to drink. I would. If you were here now I’d grab you by the hand and take you out to the junction of Highway 46 and Highway 101, to a low bridge over a creek where thousands upon thousands of starlings nest and near dusk I’d push you into the tall weeds by the creek and have you close your eyes as they burst out into the darkening sky to feast on gnats and mosquitos and the thrill in your blood would show in the pulse at the side of your neck and in the color that rushed to your face and in your breathing and in your voice as you cried out into the murmur of those unfolding wings and the cutting of the cooling air and you would know something then about the way of love, of the weight of your own bones on the crust on the earth.

I am a bitter ruin. I am a cornered, dying man. I’ll go downstream like a cherry blossom. I’ll give what I’ve got to you.

Once again, the world has got me utterly undone.

*

Don’t mistake this overblown, narcissictic rambling for anything approaching meaning. I know what the limits are. I’m not trying to push them. I just get overwhelmed at times.

This beauty.

This terror.

One and the same.

*

One and the same.

*

If there has been a happier man than me I’d like to meet him. I guess Whitman would beat me there, no question, really. And by happy I mean what exactly. Who’s to say. The laundry list of those I’ve disappointed would spill out from here to Schenectedy. However you spell it. But in my heart beats a stone furnace. Throwing off heat and sparks. Warming the void with its small and ephemeral love.

When I get this silly I am a little bit ashamed.

*

There’s a seriousness that can be overstated. I’d like to think that Hemmingway and Jack Gilbert didn’t (or don’t, in Gilbert’s case) take themselves as seriously as they seem to have done. One of the difficulties of manhood, of being a male man, is in answering that question for yourself in an acceptable manner. I think the best men know that they may need to put everything on the line for what may appear to be a trivial matter, and that they may need to walk away from what seems to be the most important thing of all, and that those two positions are not in conflict but instead are manifestations of the same imperative.

I’ll leave that to you to name.

*

What’s easiest is that you must let love act through you. No matter the cost. Okay, not easiest. But, perhaps, most clear.

That and rushing into the void with arms and eyes and mouth wide open.

Undone with love for this world.

*

Okay, to all my friends:

I have missed you very badly. I have also loved you badly I fear. Now that the sun has gone down and the stars are blazing above our heads, I would like very much to join you all by the fire and lean against you and listen to the stories of where you have been.

It would be a balm to my soul.

*

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