I’m taking a break from writing a book of love poems, I have about 20,000 words, 100 poems or so, and 20 or 30 women down. Shuffling through a few pages from a very old unfinished novel, I came across these lines:
- There is nothing newer than that which is forgotten and leaves the mind.
- I am a truck driver hauling furniture made out of words toward an empty house constructed by a lack of sleep.
I’m thinking about how I can have the doctor say those sentences to someone in a very long poem. Maybe his young lover or the Ambassador or a bartender. Anyway you cut it, I’m going to put those words into somebody’s mouth. I’m kind of proud of them, since they come from a time when I was a lot younger, dumber, poorer and usually wrote stoned or drunk. These lines are archeological finds, like shards or arrow heads from some ghost dance.
The Tennessee girl upstairs was an airline stewardess for American. When I first met her, I told her that I had a letter from a great-uncle that read, “My stomach gave out in Tennessee.” She thought that was amusing. She was also intrigued that I was writing a novel on my old typewriter. Back then, I liked marijuana sprayed with poison by the US government or cheap tequila from the border. The kind that you could spill on your hands and light them up with a cigarette match. So I never finished the novel due to my antics, running naked down the street, etc. I also left town without saying goodbye to her and like an idiot, I returned a few months later and swam in her pool and she saw me and started crying while she ran upstairs to her apartment, the same one where we used to turn up the air-conditioner and freeze ourselves in bed. I guess that was sort of prophetic. Not just of our relationship, but for most of my future dealings upon the planet. Yeah, the title of the book, as well as a central poem therein, is Willem Dafoe Comes To Town.
The whole mess is essentially a love story. A different kind of love, no doubt.