Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Three More From Wild Once and Captured

I haven't followed through yet on setting up on-line sales for Wild Once and Captured, but I'd be happy to sell people a copy and mail it directly to them. I'll pay the postage, but you'll have to mail me a check for $16 to get the book. If I know you and you want me to inscribe the copy I send, I'd be happy to do it.

In fact, I'm really enjoying writing something personal to people I know who want a copy. It forces me to think hard about the person I'm writing to, and it turns out that there's always something in particular and individual about them that makes whoever they are special to me. It shows a little bit of the value of focusing on the people around you. (And, I find that I still have plenty of time otherwise to think about me.)

If I don't know you, but you still want me to inscribe something, tell me about yourself. We will find a point of connection that way, I'm sure.

But even if the real goal of writing Wild Once and Captured is to put a copy in as many hands as I can, I still gotta get paid. Send a check for $16 to Jeff Epton, 3735 17th Place NE, Washington, DC, 20018 and I'll send you Wild Once and Captured, which, by the way, is not a reference to some personal characteristic of me, but a reference to Justice, who was wild once, and captured, but has also broken out again (and again, as necessary).

The Courage All Around

Late-night honest
with myself
My boy shames me
The courage he shows
drumming at the Metro
Spare change pours in
Folded bills drifting like
snow covering his lap

Ten years old, first
sharing a buck
with a woman who asks,
then shooing her away
when she won’t stop
asking for more

He goes about his business,
a lionheart tending his
pride of intentions,
while I flinch at the work
before me, at stepping up
before you, at speaking my piece

But where he’s heading,
where heart and skill
and the company of others,
the company of you,
colleagues with an instinct
to be movement and reach

we can believe in,
that place, that thought, swells
my heart The world you will build
beckons and beguiles
and because the heart is
a complicated thing
I feel no shame here
I feel the courage all around

Lives In Progress

When So-and-so met her
she was already Much-the-much.

Lucky first is sweet and
So-and-so and Much-the-much
felt smiled upon and loved.

The thing got good.
Got better still.
Near peaked.
The best seemed a handhold away,
but not luck, nor will
nor providence gave boost
and So-and-so and Much-the-much
passed all the signposts going down.

But this had yet to unfold,
preceded, as it were,
by the years  when
Clear-headed and Hard-nosed
stalked fresh and deep and
sperm-spewing into the yielding
valley of the Great Green River
and the path to boys and girls was
blazed. Blazed.

And this was cause for celebration
without biblical precedent.
So here we are
10,000 years later,
give or take an Ice Age or
some geological wink, still celebrating.

Clearly this one is a party
whose guests have rooted deep
long after So-and-so and Much-the-much
have forgotten that they were and who.

For their survivors,
coming after lights-out:

Begin anew you Eve,
you Adam. It’s Friday,
and the party starts now, if you will.

But it would not hurt to keep in mind
that how you begin has much, quite much,
to do with how all this concludes.

Where Do Ideas Come From?

The surface is a lonely place.
There’s no air,
no water, nothing erodes.
The rocks are sharp.

The interior’s hot. Wet.
Air’s too thick.
Water drips, pools.
Swamps abound.

Shades and silhouettes,
weightless, multiply.
The lonely places are not private places.
Nothing’s fully realized in the hot interior.

But when the striving stops,
the clamor, the cleaving,
the thunderous dividing stops,
then the lake breeze blows,

babies cry delight,
communities spring up to dance,
and great ideas come from
all their hiding places.

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