After a poem of Robert Creeley, circulated online after his death


When I think of my life, whatever life it is or has been,
of how time passes or seems to pass, when I recall days, weeks,
specifics, the river running by below me as I walked across one
of several bridges or the daily waking up, in rooms or under sky,
come back to gravity, identity, the physical world, sleeping,
speaking a plain language, thinking, imagining a future
that would never come, that was always & only now, here,
as this here, this now of remembering, writing, memory’s fatal touch,
how strange it all is & always was – how hard I strained to grasp
even a grain of it, a straw of it, to somehow reproduce or produce
to match the sweep of it but never could, only ever unsatisfied in all
productions, that always fell, dissolved, but only in the process of their clumsy making some fleeting sense of recognition, as if something for a moment
known or seen – & was I, I thought, the same person, or another,
a separate one or one of many nearly identical ones, never wanting to stand out or
apart, to be anyone, yet always straining upward or outward, forward,
toward the light I suppose, as dumb plant, the so-called future, imagined,
which is the past, so holding myself – I couldn’t help it –apart for that
and at the end of all this I think it will come clear as dust motes or fog particles
burst bright upon the retina or the brain – pain – so living flares not as organized story, but in chunks, moments, flashes of color, how lucky it was to be alive.


Thinking of love, of loving you, simply that, but no the word
has too much been drained, its pungency, color, paled, so lets say I
appreciate that it has been for so long possible to care so much, so warmly,
& - miracle of all! – your intense touching care for me, its constancy,
that like food to the hungry (& not only basic sustenance but dishes proffered
with delicacy and abundance) has been given through all these days, these advancing years, who could have expected it, it must be that an animal passion, once yielded to,
guides our hands, our feet, in walking side by side, hand in hand, at a pace
through all the nights spent spooned together in the various beds, the many places
on earth, spots of warmth there because we were together there, blindly, dumbly, & perfectly because dumbly blindly cleaved, like the sky, to each other, persons, male and female of them, & the nights spent apart, each alone in darkness thinking of or not
thinking of but being half of what we otherwise were, one of us, us, out of which others
came as if it were a destiny to be so, as if it mattered or had specific meaning
that echoed through the worlds we made, that made us, in the households, meals,
the silent landscapes, sound of temple bells, the tears, the hurt, so much laughter,
so much shared and remembered through the flowing time & times, the history
of the billions of all of them small but always there in the life we’ve lived,
loved, yes somehow loved, the word now comes back to itself
through what we’ve weathered and made real, or seemed to make, guided to it
in dark ways we never imagined when we began.