Tomorrow night my reconfigured band, now known as Doughty Hill, will be playing at Pat's in Dover-Foxcroft, 7 to 10 p.m., and I'll be singing Neil Young songs, and Elvis Costello songs, and Gillian Welch songs, and spontaneously inventing fiddle leads that may or may not work, and hoping I remember all the words and all the changes. You could come keep me company.
In the meantime, as the canner boils and the tunes flutter through my head, I will be editing the uranium book, picking cucumbers, mowing grass, laundering soccer uniforms, trimming stew meat for a Greek stifado, pondering the poems of Denise Levertov, scraping cat fur off my sweater, imagining a line a syllable a sound, listening to the wind whistle through my corn patch, copying this passage from Muriel Rukeyer's The Life of Poetry--
I see the truths of conflict and power over the land, and the truths of possibility. I think of the concrete landscapes of airfields, where every line prolongs itself straight to the horizon, and the small cabin in the Appalachians under the steep trail streaming its water down; of the dam at Shasta, that deep cleft in the hills filled with white concrete, an inverted white peak with the blue lake of held water over it, and, over that, Shasta the holy mountain with its snows; New York at night when the city seems asleep and even asleep full of its storm and its songs; the house in the desert and the pool wooden-lidded against the sand, where poems are being read to the gold miners by the woman who came there to die of tuberculosis twenty-three years ago. . . . Everywhere one learns forever that the most real is the most subtle, and that every moment may be the most real.