DREAMENWOUND

©Jimmy Descant Slaven, LA-the line and the plug photo©Nicole Blaisdell Iveya poem discovered, unfinished, unsent,

from son to father

 

Dreamenwound so enhanced

High noon shadowless except

Under the soles of your boots

Glaring blaze of noon a sound

Silences engulf and swelter

 

“How can man die better

Than facing fearful odds

For the ashes of his fathers

And the temples of his gods”

Around him throng the fathers

To press his gory hands

 

Horizon for these notions disappear

Erasing the ideas. A blackboard

Once had diagrams of the offense

Navy beats Army yesterday. And I say

This one is for you, my old dead dad.

 

For whom I was always being

Knocked galley west, my timbers shivered

The sun was always over the yardarm

Somewhere in the world. Aye, matey!

The Snake said, It’s the black spot for ye!

 

Can’t get back the dreamenwound

Lost in the bacon, toast, and scrambled eggs

In this morning’s breakfast

At the Frontier, another horizon, a limit                                                                                           To discoveries mainly indigestive.

 

Gus

 

 

Creole ghost ©Nicole Blaisdell Ivey

a letter finished, sent, father to son

Dear Luc                                                                                                         12-6-84

 

Here’s a little something.  Have a fine Christmas.

I also think of you a lot, concern and love, not worry and irritation.  I too had trouble finding my place in a world that mostly scared me and one for which I felt almost completely inadequate: I was school smart but not worldly wise. I stumbled along and was lucky – as I said to you the last time we were together, if I could give you anything I have it would be my luck.  But luck, it now occurs to me, is not passive. Good sense can be made out of believing we have a hand in our luck, we help make it, get ourselves in shape for it and ready ourselves to receive it (Religious people call this Gods grace because you can’t bargain for it. He gives or withholds it nobody knows how or why.)

You have a good heart and a sound intelligence. Anger and fear can offset the first, even ruin it. It is more important to have a good heart than a fine or great mind, and you have that, strong like your ability at basketball. I wonder how we could put it to the wonderful use it deserves?

Schools are odd places. They speak a strange language. Many people learn it, get the hang of the jargon – for that is what it is: plain English could as easily be spoken.  But as with anything strange or foreign it can be translated into the more basic, plain and direct words of your own experience.  You have to get the hang of it. One of the most important things we can learn is to be good listeners and to feel what other people are feeling, where they are coming from, their need, desires and wants.  Would you feel ignorant if hearing Japanese spoken by me you didn’t understand what I was saying?  No, because you could ask me to translate that into English and would know that if you could or wanted to you too could learn that odd language.  Academese, the jargon spoken in schools, is just a sublanguage of English – like hipsters, bloods and Valley girls, and them argols. Learn to listen and feel, and don’t be fearful or angry. I’m reminded of something Gandhi said when he was asked by his disciples what they should do once he was gone.  “Be a little kinder,” was all he said; great words, great feelings put directly and simply. Feel them. And you already have the kindness; the smarts can be picked up much more easily.

As you can see from where I began this note I’d not planned such a long letter. I guess I wanted to chat with you on the page.  I want you to know these things I feel about you – kind, intelligent and loyal and loving. Nothing could be better. Your withdrawal from the world is also the world’s loss. God knows how much help it could use, how much goodness it needs –

If I go on I risk repeating myself. KISS, I tell myself. Keep It Simple Stupid, a fine rule for writing.

Don’t doubt my feelings for you.

I love you,

Gus

 

 

 

 

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