Paulelmo's Blog

“Later, because He Did”–a poem

I’m working on something to share with you today, dear readers, and in the meantime I find myself scouring a manuscript of a book I wrote, which was titled Just Not Feeling It Tonight. Just Not Felling It… is a collection of about 80 pieces of verse that I wrote between May of 1995 and September of 2006. It’s pretty much my collected works from those years, and the pieces are largely chronological in sequence and, with the help of prose expositions, designed to be some kind of sobriety manual.

My intention is to choose one of these to offer something to the early readers. I love the early readers, and I want you to be early readers, so I like to have an offering here to entice you. If you follow the site, then you get some kind of notification that a new piece has been posted. I want you to be followers too.

Still, I say “if you follow the site” rather than “if you follow me.” I don’t like the idea of being followed, it’s creepy; what’s more, I think those people who are looking for followers aren’t the kind of people anyone should be following.

I’m not looking for “followers,” whether it’s for me or the site; I’m looking for interested parties, and if I had any influence in the wordpress.com world, I’d change it to where you wouldn’t have to click to become a “follower” but to assert that you are just that, an “interested party.”

Sorry, but that’s just how my mind works in the morning, channeling my inner Virginia Woolf. Get over it.

But I’m scrolling down through this manuscript, from the earliest pieces first of course, and I’m pleased to see just how much of the stuff still pleases me. Without thinking too much about the individual pieces or reading back over anything, if you asked me what I thought of the work from these years in general, I’d be quick to dismiss it. Still, there’s so much here that I want to share with you. I could just bury you with verse.

I won’t do that. I’ll settle for choosing just one piece to share with you today. I will include the exposition that goes along with that piece in the manuscript. This particular poem–which I think is a bit of an oddball piece of my written history–isn’t dated, nor do I have a good idea of when it was written. I placed it in the manuscript with the stuff from 1999, but it could have been written anywhere from ’97 to ’04. The exposition that goes along with it shows that my points of theoretical focus looked much the same then as they do now. Hope you find something of value here.

***

Later, because He Did

 

Looking over the pages

of this life I’ve written down,

being reminded

of forgotten nights.

Reading of times past,

good and bad.

But they’re all good times now

because they’re mine.

I have them on paper.

I lived them,

lived through them,

and I’ll have them forever

or at least as long as I need.

Outside the rain is falling and

inside Willie Nelson is singing,

pining for someone who is

always on his mind.

I realize how much it hurt him

to write those words,

but also that he felt better

later,

because he did.

And I think,

this life just might do

after all.

 

(There are folks who will denounce writing something down in order to capture moments in time. Their argument is this: “I’ve got my memory; that’s enough.” Good on them; I, however, don’t remember my whole life all the time, and it’s good to have reminders. Personally, I tend to like good reminders as well as bad ones. I’m the guy who wants to keep the ball that he missed catching, causing his team to lose the championship. I’m the guy who wants the hood ornament of the car he wrecked drunkenly.

            Poems of my dark and drunken serve as such reminder for me. Not only that, but they are also proof that I have gotten through rough times and will do so again. This leads me to cherish the moment, for needing to be written about, and, thus, one more part of my dingy past rests a bit easier with me.)

Cheers, and happy Tuesday. Or is it Saturday?

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