I often find myself counting as I pitchfork a load into the wheelbarrow, rather as if I were counting rests during an orchestra rehearsal: you know, during those 50-bar rests that a section sometimes has: say, when the woodwinds have taken over a strain, and the violinists are sitting quietly with their instruments on their knees, ostensibly relaxed. But what they're really doing is counting.
I count a lot: as I carry water buckets, as I mow grass, as I vacuum. I don't mean to count; I just do; and sometimes this embarrases me. It seems silly and mindless, this half-unconscious litany of numbers. But I think, really, that the habit must simply be my ear doing its idle work: practicing its scales and exercises, listening to the metronome of sweat, the clock of staying alive.
So anyway, this morning, I'll be counting and shoveling shit, which is the sort of poem that Hayden Carruth excelled at writing and is one of the reasons I love him so. And meanwhile the grass will grow and the apple blossoms will open; and meanwhile . . . well, you know. You can picture it all for yourself.