Hardly are there any hours
Scarcely do they ever stay
Called as if by unseen powers
This strange gift loves to stray
First, it was giddy
Tearing at tinsel
Then it was less greedy
A casual spell
Finally, I learned to see
That unwrapping is entirely unnecessary
Here all my watches blossomed
Every clock was a trade-wind
My steps were more assured
To those who’d say
That’s the mechanical way
Machines with their precision
Are no way to make decision….
Yet, I’ve turned my broken gardens into woods
Our park of long-rusted mistake into understoods
I am a regular
2:16 PM on a Tuesday
I do recall it. I recall often. Or at least so often as it recalls itself. At times reconstituted from the way that summer rain brings that moisture peculiar to doors left open at twilight.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I’d have never known the name save for a friend. She was a working musician that I’d met at a party half a decade ago.
She had a small room with what I think was a red couch. On one wall there was a picture of Christ with ashen eyes and a crown of thorns. There to watch me sin. On the other a picture of Virginia Woolf to scoff at our lack of gravity. Then some jaunty looking flapper with a black sunhat in hand striking a tom boy’s ‘Jack the Lad.’
It was in that room with the smell of rain that I pulled from her shelf of books a paperback of Rilke’s. At such times that we’d separate ourselves, I’d read. So I read.
It was the introduction rather than the poems that interested me. As far as I recall they tell of a young or perhaps not so young Rilke’s struggles. The point is I at the time imagined Rilke to be about twenty-two years of age like myself.
The struggles seem to have been primarily regarding a lack of productivity. One recounted episode (if my memory serves me well) was about how Rilke would endeavor to sit every day with punctuality to write something. He’d end up doing nothing. Or so was the effect of the tale on my imagination.
The feeling it produced in me was fear. They say that the most fearsome things are unknown. But it was the familiar that struck fear deep within me.
Was my tongue forever to be stilted? Was I merely going to pass my days in such a fashion, caught between worlds, dizzy with the urgency of that which must be said, and fornicating instead? Metaphorically of course.
It did or didn’t help that Whitman was there as contrast.
Yet, I had my gravity. The thing that would pull toward creation, toward a pulse.
Though it has taken some years. I believe that I have begun to manifest the strange momentum of a chance discovery.
This is the meaning in whole, or part, of the regular irregular.
Thank you for reading.