Ive been trying to get this damn thing out for the past couple of weeks. Torn it up several times as either too sappy or pretentiously grateful and with too much info.
So I am just gonna lay it out in plain English, although I lean to glib, and hope the Fall finds me more eloquent.
This past year:
Hellava year. I worked with Division of the Budget in Albany, ran for town council, washed dishes in a Romanian restaurant and watched my family disintegrate. Traveled to New Orleans, Las Vegas, Phoenix and lots of Northeast points. Learned something from each. Finally started to write again. Some of last year I hope to continue or repeat, most I do not.
Still at DOB with a much more stable contract. Socialized quiet a bit this summer and have been enjoying the people around me tremendously. Riding my bike as many miles a week as possible. Listening to a lot of music, old and new. Writing frequently some good, some bad, some in between. Trying to get divorced. Pretty happy, in general.
I have to say how grateful (see?) I am for my long-time friends, co-workers and all the people I trip across as I go along. They saw something in me I may have forgotten at times and have come out of the woodwork for me. Lyle, Mike, Paul, Pat, Larry, and Christine get gold stars. The only way to thank them all is to emulate them.
My mother has Alzheimers, sees invisible people in her house, and makes the beds upside down. I am trying to help her as much as I can. Preston and I have a reasonable relationship, for the first time in a long time. He is doing quite well for himself. Ron is at loose ends and I dont hear much from him. I got to see my kookie cousins and cant wait to see them again. Havent seen Adam since March. We have a hearing about that next week (this part sucks).
The Fall is creeping in. I can see it in the light and feel it in the air. I love the autumn and look forward to the change of seasons. I find myself laughing out loud often, even if it scares the other passengers. Please come along with me or get the Hell out of the way.
PS: Ive included two poems Smoke: from this time last year; and Emma, from this past month.
There is no magic in smoke.
Just a burning of matter,
A destruction of shape,
Only a change of form.
The ephemeral essence,
Never as easy to draw back as to let fly,
The swirling, the gathering, the rushing away,
Makes the dancing clouds seem aware.
The billows are whims of wind, though,
Not of will.
We imbue it with mystery and memory,
Because smoke permeates
And leaves residual reminders of a former self.
My Mother is becoming a ghost:
Which no longer exist.
As the Alzheimers eats her brains,
She gets more and more frustrated
By new events in the house.
Make Emma react,
Invoking a genetic response
To focus, to care.
But the sounds force memories
Up and out,
And these she sees
When she rises.
Rounding the corner
She searches the living room
For the source of the sounds,
Pondering which memory
Might be the correct response
To this latest call of distress.
This iron haired wraith,
Heavy of breath,
Wears grooves in the floor,
From room to room,
On paths of