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A Thought for Today
Going it alone’s a hazard but you meet a
better breed of freaks.
-from “Moment to Moment”.
I started Folio as a way of
experimenting with different forms of writing. It’s not that I felt
constrained by the confines of poetry but as a writer I found myself with
reviews, essays, critiques, elegies, philosophical works and a good deal
of other material that I didn’t feel belonged in my books of verse.
I figured that if I committed to a quarterly (more or less) publication
where I had my own deadlines to meet I might be able to explore just about
anything I wanted too. Oddly Folio turned out to be a proving ground and
much of what I wrote did find its way into my books, sometimes rewritten,
sometimes not. “Report on a Life in Progress” from Folio 1 ended up in
1975’s “Celebrations of the Heart” and “Après Vous” from the final Folio
was published earlier this year in my new book “A Safe Place to Land.”
Along the way I tried my hand at Haiku, satire, sonnets and odes and there
was plenty of prose. The first issue of Folio was published in spring of
1974. In 1990, 16 years and 64 issues later it ceased publication. Here
are a couple of selections from Folio #7 from fall of 1975.
RM 9/24/2001 Previously
Planting of My Life
The planting of my new life now begins. And you will be the farmer tending
me till harvest. I am not starting over and this is not one more
beginning, part of a cycle of starts and stops that fill and until now
have filled my life since birth.
My birth date, however many years ago, was never properly recorded. And so
I’ve yet to have a birthday having come into the light only on the night I
fell down in your arms this year. Rising up and falling back again. And so
it is the morning of my life.
Would it surprise you to discover that I’ve been waiting here in this dark
room hoping you might stumble in and gather me into your hands, pick me up
and hold me as you would some flowering new mushroom.
Here I am, naked like a child man open to you always. Ready to be told if
I am needed by you. By life. By anyone. I thought I was and always wished
to be a simple man. I took great pride in being so. But I can be plain
enough for you so that you need not lift layers or prop a ladder up
against some wall I’ve built or that I’m building, that hides a mystery I
never should have made.
Your time should not be occupied in sorting out compartments in my head
stored up with silly, not so secret, secrets. I do not mean that there
should be no mysteries between us. Love is nurtured by the unknown and
dies without discovery. But I want simplicity to be our password and our
code for caring. Too much time is lost sorting out the real from what we
pass off as reality.
To begin with, let nothing pass between us that has no element of truth.
Yet if a little lie will help, let nothing be uprooted before it has a
chance to grow. Confessions can come late in love and loving with no hint
of hurt or harm.
This is the morning of my life with you and with myself. You drive me, you
have been and will be the axis I spin on, the wheel I turn on, the tender
of the wheel I turn upon. You. You. That is a better word than love
for how I feel. You. It sits on my tongue. Sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You. It won’t swallow when I swallow you. You bloom on me, hang on me,
live within me, beat at me from the inside like a second heart. No. A
first. And while it is the morning of my life because you’ve made it, I
have commended, commanded, willed my life to you.
I know not where we go from here. east to Pennsylvania - the other way to
California, or even if we go as we together. I cannot imagine what it
would it would be like to not be with you, to go apart. Hope takes
over when such thoughts pass through my mind. I am saved by what. Held and
helped by need. Such a need did not exist before you bounced and bounded
into sight. Surely then you’ll stay. There is no place for you to travel,
but in and through the space I occupy as life. The new day doesn’t come
unless you carry it here within your arm or on your shoulder. Good
A Week to Go
Daisies and some half striped tulips have gone on living in the hotel
bedroom for near half a week. I’ll have new roses for you and lilacs
trucked in from the country by the barrel load. Bring me cider, if you
can, Chatsford honey, some magazines and books and the Pennsylvania
chemistry your friend cooks up. I doubt we’ll need it, but whatever’s
I cannot wait to cup your buttocks in my hands and move down through your
legs to England’s heaven. To try again what has been tried and done - to
walk with you through sunlit London even in the absence of the sun. To lie
with you a hundred different ways and drive with you ahead through all the
I had intended to describe your mouth to you while I was looking at it,
but another week of waiting is too long a time. Your mouth is velvet on
the inside like the underside of violets, or the outside of your eyes. Wet
it tastes like nothing half so much as your own mouth. Dry it hungers to
Your breath sometimes at night is like a mist, a thin gray fog that warms
my neck when you move near. You seldom wake me though I drown in
perspiration, yours and mine. Unknowingly your mouth takes me off to
foreign places when my own rides against it. We are passengers on trains
and sailing ships with no destination, in no hurry. Time and again one
rides against the other, a tug of war of tongues so gentle that we might
not be touching tongues at all.
-from Folio No.7 - Fall 1975
Today it belongs to Jane
I Stopped at a friends house the other day and found
him stalking around with a flyswatter. When I asked if he was getting’ any
flies, he answered, "Yeah, 3 males and 2 females". Curious, I inquired as
to how he could tell the difference. He answered, "3 were on a beer can
and 2 were on the phone".
Join Webmaster Ken tomorrow for his weekly feature “This One Does It For
Me.” I’ll see you again on Thursday.
Details of Rod's next
appearance can be obtained by following the link below.
Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman