Tonight I’ll Keep It Simple

I have a lot to say, but tonight I’ll keep it simple. It’s time for me to accept myself as I am. This includes accepting that I will struggle at times to accept myself.

I’m well enough to refrain from viewing myself through the lens of anxiety and depression. There’s nothing pathological about my personality. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive and creative, or feeling angry and pessimistic–because I’m also resilient and reserved, and I feel calm and hopeful.

I’m not ill, I’m human. I’m a poet-philosopher-teacher, and I have a lot more to say, but tonight I’ll keep it simple.

Poetry Might Be Defined

On his podcast in 1934
Stand-up comedian
(And part-time poet) W. H. Auden said
“Poetry might be defined
As the clear expression of mixed feelings.”

That’s a misprint. Auden said
“Poetry might be defined
As the clear expression of mixed media”
When he got his master’s degree in mixed media art
From a university with a funny name.
Oxford. I think.

Wrong. Auden said
“Poetry might be defined
As the clear expression of mixed martial arts”
And he said this at a bar. No.
He wasn’t drinking that night.
Auden only drank ocean spray.

That’s nonsense. I read on a blog
On the internet
That when he was around eleven
Pounds
Auden said

“Poetry might be defined
As the clear expression of mixed episodes”
To his dad
Who was bipolar
But not when he played
The bassoon.

Wrong again. Auden spoke very little English.
He was raised in America
Having moved there from Britain in 1939
Before the war
Around the age of 32.

Freud’s Blackbird

A young Freud danced
In the shadow of his blackbird.

Freud’s cigar smoke
Ruffled the feathers
Of his blackbird.

When his stethoscope broke
Freud blamed his blackbird.

When he lost his temper
Freud swore like a sailor
And flipped off his blackbird.

No one tested Freud’s patience
More than his blackbird.

Freud’s mother fainted
Once in the presence
Of his blackbird.

All animals are fallible.
Freud was infallible.
Freud loved his blackbird.

Suffering exists. So did Freud.
So does the essence of his blackbird.

One day the sky was blue
But not the whole sky.
Freud looked everywhere
For his missing blackbird.

Proving he wasn’t a magpie
Freud gained the trust
Of his blackbird.

Freud’s blackbird
Sang show tunes.

My therapist said
Don’t overthink it.
I’m Freud’s blackbird.

Afraid I Don’t Remember

Have I written this poem before?

I’m afraid
I don’t remember.

Shall I go on?

Go on.

With this poem
Or my life?

Both. Whatever you do
Go on with the bad
And good.

You mean
Go on with the bad
Well.

No
The bad and the good.

So you’re saying
I should know
The bad and the good.

Yes
Know what you mean
In a poem
And say it as well.

I don’t think you mean
What you think
You mean.

I don’t mean anything.
Like this poem.

Yes
Do you like it
So far?

Depends. How
Does it end?

In silence
I’m afraid.

An Indestructible Source Of Light

The sole-ness of my soul.
The essence of my essence.
There is deep within me
An indestructible source of light
That never fails to protect me.

I must protect this inner light
That never fails to protect me.
I must protect this inner light
Within the people I love and let
Their inner light shine through me.

The sole-ness of my soul.
The essence of my essence.
There is deep within me
An indestructible source of light
That never fails to protect me.

Twenty-Four Lines

The dreamer
Wide awake
Within me tells
A figure of speech:

“The dreamer
Wide awake
Within me is
A figure of speech.”

The dreamer
Wide awake
Within me is
A figure of speech

In a poem where
The question
“Who am I?”
Has no answer.

It has four stanzas
Four lines each
No wait five stanzas
Four lines each

No wait six stanzas
Four lines each
This one here makes
Twenty-four lines in all.

Thirty Lines

The dreamer
Wide awake
Within me
Tells a figure
Of speech:

“The dreamer
Wide awake
Within me
Is a figure
Of speech.”

The dreamer
Wide awake
Within me
Is a figure
Of speech

In a poem where
The answer
To the question
“Who am I?”
Is in question.

Here you’ll find
Four stanzas
Five lines each
No wait now
It’s five stanzas

Five lines each
No wait now
It’s six stanzas
Five lines each
Thirty lines in all.

Protect This Inner Light

My singularity: the sole-ness of my soul. My singularity: the essence of my essence. No one can touch my singularity. My body may be harmed but not my singularity.

There is deep within me an indestructible source of light. There is deep within me a light I cannot see that nevertheless focuses its “I” on me.

I must protect this inner light that never fails to protect me. I must protect this inner light within the people I love and allow their light to shine through me.

The sole-ness of my soul. The essence of my essence. There is deep within me an indestructible source of light protecting my singularity.