Thursday, August 02, 2007


Three thoughts, taken to some sort of conclusion:

1. I have yet to write the great world novel. Not the great American novel, but one that all of the world’s people read and love and, more important, think about and are moved to all sorts of rational actions.
I have written a lot of poetry in recent years. A couple of weeks ago, I taught a “public speaking for shy people” workshop in Athens (Texas). I laid out several of my poetry chapbooks; at the end of the workshop I picked up the leftovers and came home to the magic castle. That evening, a woman from the workshop called and said she’d picked up the “free” copies, taken them home, and began reading them when she realized they were “too good to be free.” She said she liked my work more than one of her favorites, Rod McKuen (who I liked for about 10 minutes back in my early college days). The woman gushed some more and said she wanted to send me a check for those and for any others I’ve written. Which she did. So she’s one of the few folks with a complete set of my 25 poetry chapbooks.
Except the new one, which just “came out” today. It’s called “Babylon in Flight: a Work in Progress.” A handful of you will get free copies in the mail.

2. I have yet to find that perfect woman to share lives with. Well, there are the muses who, when I can mix and match, come out as close to perfect as one person could get. I explore them in the poetry, looking for meaningful definitions. Somebody once said that poets “get” all the best women; while that’s not (necessarily) true, we may at least love the best women.

3. I set a goal the day after Christmas last year to lose 40 pounds, which was realistic enough that I felt motivated enough to do. I did it, and have gone on to lose about 60 now (which drops my pant size from a tight 44 to a comfortable 38). No gimmicks; I have just been eating better and less and losing a couple of pounds a month. Now I’m going to drop on down to a 36-inch waist and I’ll be “done” – if anybody’s ever done dieting.
I’m not doing it for my own health, of course, but so I can chase young women – which might, these days, include anyone under 50 or so. Not that I expect to catch any.