It’s My Life

for Alan Acacia

“I can live by myself” meaning: alone. Meanwhile I work at my desk or walk to the river to watch in silence the waters. * With time to think I take a walk by railroad and blackberry —nothing against my wishes. * Stove, sink, and desk attend me. I have much to do. Sing a little thanks: no refrain and no complaint. * Writing at my desk I play each record until it plays me. I’ll stand no distraction from the words I take and make my own. * I chop kindling for the stove, then water my garden under heavy clouds, expecting many things. * I cycle to the market my hair blowing in brisk morning. The people on the sidewalks are to me like trees. * I dress like a soldier and to the shopkeeper my voice is low and gentle. How is she to know I am frightened of her beauty? * Alone I like to yell aloud my joy, my joy and my frustration. I play the piano like a maniac, minding no score. * The milk is alive to make itself yogurt by evening. I sit and watch my garden out the window doing, apparently, nothing. * I water my plants and trim them in their pots. They turn to the light— content with little. * I stand at the mirror and there I am a mass of light and balance, imagined as a still life. * I sit on the toilet and want to build a canoe to paddle in the sunset waters of the river. * In bed I read from a book a little each night a story of ambition and decadence, taking it and leaving it.

22 May–7 June 1980