Saturday, July 4, 2009

Time and Space

That’s interesting. Out of habit, I just stepped around the empty spot next to my work table where, until two days ago, a chair used to be. I wonder — what else do I unconsciously avoid?

7.4.2009 #2
7.4.2009 #1


Joseph Hutchison said...

Simple and profound, my friend. It brings to mind W. S. Merwin's poem called "Habits":

Even in the middle of the night
they go on handing me around
but it’s dark and they drop more of me
and for longer

then they hang onto my memory
thinking it’s theirs

even when I’m asleep they take
one or two of my eyes for their sockets
and they look around believing
that the place is home

when I wake and can feel the black lungs
flying deeper into the century
carrying me
even then they borrow
most of my tongues to tell me
that they’re me
and they lend me most of my ears to hear them

Navid said...

Mr. Whiliam Michaelian
I am Navid nikkar from

i found your thanks note to me, as i linked to your short stories page.

if you give permission to me, i want post your stories in my blog.

i am student of english language in open university of shiraz - IRAN

my persian blog is about translation and i write about the basis of translation between farsi and english and i write english poems, persian and english essay about language and translation.

with the best regard

navid nikkar

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Joe, and thanks for posting the excellent poem. It seems you and I have both lived long enough to know that even habits have habits of their own....

Navid, thanks very much for your note, and for the new links on your websites. I will write you at your email address shortly.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Joseph: I would be interested in your take on Merwin's poem.

Michael: I would be cautious about what I shared on the internet in Iran right now.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Oops. Fooked that one up pretty good, DinnI?

Here's what I hate: I'm on dial-up. It take about two lunar years to pull up a website, but click 'publish' on a screwed up post and BAM! it's gone that very second. No time to cancel.

Sorry. I shouldn't be drinking this early on Sunday anyway. :-)


word verification: awfie

What's it all about, Awfie?

William Michaelian said...

Gary, I’m glad to hear you’re whooping it up this morning. Anymore, dial-up is like a bad hangover. I was about to say that I appreciate your advice, but that publishing online is, by very definition, a worldwide endeavor. The Web is out of our hands. And not sharing, which is very contrary to my nature, can also have unintended consequences. Anyway, my writing has been linked all over. If that means there’s a file on me, then so be it.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Good for you, William! You are a courageous man!

Actually, I’m just very depressed this morning and in one of those malignant moods (not really drunk, either…Momma won’t let me drink until noon). I am taking it out on the electronic world. I am very frustrated re: poetry. It took me forty-five years and six books to finally realize what a complete waste of time it is. Selling poetry is like trying to sell roof-thatching or two-oxen plow blades. It’s like being ‘buried on a hill’. I just go right on talking.

William Michaelian said...

Gary, if writing and reading poetry brings you pleasure, then how can it be a waste of time?

And here’s a question: how many books do you feel you need to sell in order for your poetry not to be a waste of time? How many readers would it take? Because it seems to me that when we think in terms of numbers, we devalue and underestimate the readers and book-buyers who value us, whether they are many or few.

I know it’s complicated — or that we have convinced ourselves that it is. And that goes for everyone, not just poets. The gap between what we want or think we want and what we have is a constant source of grief.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Wasted time
is undefined
for time is time to each,
and spending time
creating rhyme
is time wasted some would teach.
To others waste
is in the chase
for riches and success,
but short is life, and soon to end,
and the value of the time we spend
is anybody’s guess.

Copyright 2005 – Evolving–Poems 1965-2005, Gary B. Fitzgerald

Wasted time is
now defined
and I've got forty years
to prove it.
Time to each
is only time
and who among us
could disprove it?
But to think our time
has been well spent
in writing poetry
(for time is time to each)
and not in seeking fortune,
riches and success
is a reach.

Copyright 2009 – Ponds and Lawns, Gary B. Fitzgerald

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

And, since I’m feeling especially cynical (and loquacious) today, here’s my favorite. This one’s about 20 or so years old (ca. 1988).

My Old Friend Joe

My old friend Joe can take a stone
and a chunk of flint that’s brownish-red,
and striking with precision form
a perfect, pointed arrowhead.

With an ancient skill he quickly shapes
a tool of stone with a glancing wave,
with an edge so fine and thin and sharp
that with it a man would gladly shave.

My poor friend Joe, whose time is spent
in efforts quaint and obsolete,
shaping stones for hunting game
that bullets now make into meat.

So poor old Joe makes his useless stones
and time wasted it may be,
but I understand because I’m like him…
I write poetry.

Copyright, etc. etc.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Sorry, William.

I'm through now. I'm off to harass another other blog. Thank's for indulging me on a bad day.


P.S. Actually, my Grand-dad's name was William, as was his Dad's. Sort of a family name. It turns out that my (father's) family went to England with William the Conquerer. Then to Ireland.

P.P.S. My brother, the PhD, looked this up...don't ask me.

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

"another other blog"...Jeez! Is this fun, or what?


Obviously, I need another other beer!

William Michaelian said...

And he picked himself up, dusted the poems from his shirt, and rode away....

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Sometimes you've just got to get it out of your system.

I think I broke a window over at Harriet.