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I’m newly traumatized due to the following events:
On the morning of July 4th – a Saturday – I was packing my truck on East 3rd Street in Manhattan where I live. It was at the end of a rich and long haul of events.
A book has come out which I certainly won’t promote here – but I am finished working on it. Another book is scooting around the world via my agent. I finished it as well this spring. I wrote a bunch of, I feel, smart essays that were due recently, I’ve been blogging here, and just saw the realization of the collection of silence a few nights ago and THEN went to El Paso with my cat Ernie, in the bag, to spend his summer there while I am at MacDowell. Sounds great. It is great. I feel like I have worked hard, I have feasted on effort, and with my love, Leopoldine I am now packing the truck. We are going on a vacation. We are going to P-town. A kind of ridiculous, beautiful, pretty gay place. One of my favorite places in the world. A vacation. A little writing to do, a little work. But not much. I can’t believe how much I accomplished this spring. I’m delirious with exhaustion and glad. Glad for the success of it all, and gleaming in the throes of a new hardy romance. We’re packing the truck. I’m pretty strong but she’s helping me and it’s great because I’m half out of my mind with tiredness. I can drive, I could drive to P-town blind. It’s one of my places. This is my belief. Though I brought too much. The place where we are staying asserted there would be no linens. So there’s big ridiculous trash bags full of sheets. Yet there are sheets here. I feel like a fool. Altogether I packed in the blurry way so I have an odd assortment of teeshirts. Too many books. At least 20. Paper, file folders. All easily gettable in New Hampshire or here but I’ve got a truck so I packed a lot. My computer’s jammed into a backpack inside its black case and my keyboard’s jammed in there as well. And my tough orange hard drive is there too. That’s all leaning against a pile of black trash bags on the curb. I think everything’s here no there’s some bags over by the door, but we’re pretty much done. Leopoldine does the foreboding point. She points at my backpack with the computer like THAT. Somewhere aloud or deep inside me I say yeah of course. Duh. And maybe then went and got the other bags. Or something. Like I said I was deeply exhausted. Then we got the show on the road. It was a great ride. I actually forgot something and we went back for it. Not like a diet coke but something that added to the pleasure of our trip. The tortillas! Fresh tortillas from El Paso that were only $1.49. Should I go back? Oh yeah. We’re a casual couple. Happily no one likes to get up at six and run or get out there on the road at five – it is a holiday so we ought to leave early. Nah we’re leaving at 1130. We’re forgiving people, really glad. Look at us. We’re going to cape cod. We’re going on a vacation. Yi-hah. And so we go. When we unpacked in Provincetown I discovered that computer backpack just didn’t get in the truck. It’s an advanced and progressive feeling, this kind of loss. And my response to loss in general is often oh great. I almost feel better. All that burden gone. All that information and weight. What a relief. And look this new hole in my life. The bright tingling shock of the hole of really where you work. My stuff. Gone. I mean when I brought all the books I kept thinking you know I just want to read. I don’t even know that I want to write another book right now. I have been so productive. Always all my life people say when you finish something you should jump right on the next thing right away. But I want to mourn. I want to own the gap. Usually I cope by not writing another opera or a novel, but a play. At the very least I don’t follow up on what I’ve done. My plan to just work on poems this summer felt perversely good. MacDowell liked the idea. I write poems on paper don’t you. So I don’t think my poems are gone. I think they are safely tucked in one million little notebooks and scraps and legal pads. So it’s maybe it’s the diaspora of my poetry I’m facing today. My poetry’s not gone, it’s just out there. And my computer’s out there. I’m thinking sort of sentimentally of that messy desktop I’ll never see again. That food-spattered screen. I think I just have to bless the little guy cause there’s no end to this post, this longing for what’s gone and what will fill it in. And whenever and however I do that it will be different. I had a hard time falling asleep last night but I felt happy and safe and just thought for a moment you really have to go slow. I do.