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Monday, May 17, 2010

and now a poem, portal to apology

first draft May 17, revision 5 on May 18

Banter becomes flirtation.
Flirtation is a surprise.
Surprises mask forboding, warnings unheeded.

You skipped through the hall on old man's legs
While smiling at me through a young boy's eyes.
Your kindness eased my pain
Favors sought in return refused and refused again.
Your attention made me bold.
My boldness scared me, I've only ever gotten so far.
We were farther than I had been before...
You to the mountains
Me just a half step from the front door.

You're the handsome stallion, confident and strong
I'm the skittish mare, timid and struggling to belong.
My uncertainty did us in.
Why seperate me from the herd?
When did this dance begin?
I sought only answers, dazzled by possibilties that didn't exist before.
Who knows what you were lead to think.
We sensed in each other something kindred.
Was kindred not enough?
Or the hope to precious to take a risk at all?

We stood too close together, content just to play.
Your body curled around mine and I did not resist the subtle claim.
You take my hand in passing, linger near the door
You whisper in my ear, fingers in my hair.
I kissed you twice, once each cheek
Sensing something that wasn't here before.
How can I be certain? Meaning must be clear.
Skittish mare grows nervous but tries boldness over fear.

Too late she scents trouble; the stallion withdraws.
I volunteer no information, witholding confirmation.
You seek no answers while questions simmer as something begins to boil.
Assumptions made trump logic, breed discontent
We change in each others eyes, anger grows over the days.
Handcrafted apology, no clear understanding of the whys detonates anger.
Your anger sustained over days.
I replayed every scene seeking explanation.
Mistake made is mine no doubt.
But what? When? How?
Why did I try? Couldn't leave well enough alone.

Fear and anxiety replace my joy when we meet.
I can not look you in the eye, fighting the urge to bolt.
Stand firm. Stand strong. Stand still do not retreat.
Despair shrinks my courage. Freedom is gone.
Transported to a high tower
In a fortress I don't remember building
Yet I see my hand on every stone; we makers leave our marks.
I can not find the door let alone the lock's key.
The solitude I once sought now imposed.
I can not think my self out.
I can not wish my self away.
Every raw nerve is exposed.

Soaring tower buried in cloud banks dark and angry.
A storm howls at the door.
Even angry you reach out sensing something wrong.
But I can not hear you.
I do not see you.
You reach for me again.
If you want to be salvation, save us... then save only yourself.
I will not be rescued; my reasons are my own.
Miserable, I long to talk to you again as in old days
Our youth was too short.
I'd go to you but I am stone in stone.

Once we sought each others gaze
When we pass each other you seek air while I seek ground
With silence time passes in the flesh and bone world.
Emotion and spirit in the Spirit world silence bound.
Still in seclusion seeking comfort in cold stone
Where comfort can not be found.
You long to take back the angry words words that came out wrong.
You want forgiveness
Normal days with nothing to signify
If only Past would pass without sound.
I want forgiveness.
Normal days, in the time before Expectation
But how can it be when Memory won't be unwound?

We pretend that nothing matters
Brave words behind thin armor.
Weapons amassing behind iron curtain.
Normal is normal no more.
In an unguarded moment you reach for my open flank
Then frozen you stay your hands.
I pretend not to notice, expression blank.
You pretend I suceed.
You said I took your meaning all wrong.
Worst fears confirmed
I really know nothing at all, of this I am certain.

Once we each stole gazes at every chance.
Now we stare and wonder how safe to dare a glance.
Opponents on an open war field
Or Politicians behind closed doors?
A relationship that might have blossomed
Might or might not have been more.
Would the wrong word ignite oblivion
Or leave us silent, each on one side of a closed door?
Storm leaves as quick as it came.
We talk, joke, laugh, cooperate the same as before
Same but still different. Uneasy.
There can be no more misunderstandings.
Your overt intentions reinforced covertly.

We long for normal relations
Your good morning met with my smile.
Laughter and conversation when you stop by my table a while.
Scowling daggers sheathed til we meet a common foe
You observe the rest of the herd and
Your flirtations I will forgoe.
We still sense in each a kindredness
Cease fire becomes a truce
Will truce turn to treaty?
In that space and time of Peace
I hope we come to understand.

The past that others write upon our hearts
The fears that reside in the mind
Are all illusions easily exposed
When hope and fear balance, one in each hand.
Mishandled and mismanaged misunderstood each by the other.
Too late to say we're sorry?
Too late we see the mistakes we have made.
We talked among our peers
We sought assurance outside ourselves
Neither of us trusted Hope to Chance.
Too scared to repeat mistakes repeated inspite of niggling fears.
This tentative truce is not easy.
Wounds not fully healed.
And even to ourselves truths will not be revealed.

epilogue: for the public May 17th
Do poems have epilogues if they are less epic than Gilgamesh? This one does. This untitled little ditty is an abridged history of a recent pain. The ending can not be written because of the last line. How safe the ground? I see hope of things being normal. I see us forgetting ourselves and failing to heed the ground rules that have been laid down to insure that the truce holds. It's happened once or twice now. And I am doing my best to do what I was asked and not take anything more seriously than presented. But the ground is far from being solid. And I am still skittish. As a matter of fact, more than I have ever been.
There is conflicting evidence in my memory banks. And unfortunately with an eidetic memory, the problem isn't evidential but all in the interpretation. It should come as no surprise that I don't get the interpreting right. When it comes to my own reading I seldom get the tarot thing nailed. Again... awesome read for others, me not so much. I do not want to upset the apple cart. Things have been pretty awesome on a basic level. Communication is possible if only superficially. But the barrages from our arsenals has ceased. There had been a lot of collateral damage. I thought the smart thing was to keep my head down and do my work and, as the poem said, pretend not to see anything but the ground. D tells me that plan was not as successful as I thought. We hurt our friends unintentionally. Most likely I did more hurting than he did. But hey... I didn't listen to angry German music during my public seclusion. I listened to Sting's depressing Winter album. It is beautiful and I love that album almost more than the first one I ever heard. But it isn't for the faint of heart.
May 18th

This poem underwent a lot of revision last night. It gained several stanzas and lost some original lines. The last line most notably. But the epilogue still holds true. With all my heart I wish that it could be different. If nothing else to draw a line between us and the saboteurs and maybe at least talk about what happened. I hear things that he says:"I'm always wrong because I'm the man." The very least I'd like a chance to say I'm sorry for what I know I did that was stupid and maybe have a safe enough place to hear about what I don't know that I did. I'm skittish, timid and never sure that I belong anywhere. And I seek assurance from my girlfriends because the general consensus is that guys, on any level of relationship, don't like to have to be the ones to help bolster our confidence. And you aren't supposed to define yourself by a guy's opinion. So here I am... not as smart as I think I am and taking things too literally.

for the subject May 17th:
I know someone is going to tell you this is here. And I know someone is going to try to make a big deal out of this and twist it around to suit their nefarious purposes. But understand this: poetry, mine especially, is not meant to accuse. It is meant to heal the heart of wounds it inflicts upon itself, others, and has inflicted upon it. This is how I see the events of our recent past. It was a series of miss steps. We didn't talk about any of this to each other to start things. And we've only a tacit understanding between us now. It is a fragile peace because we have not talked to each other to stabilize relations. But it is a peace that we both need. It is a peace that I will accept with glad heart. I put this here to help me find the boldness that I lacked before. If you find this on your own, or you are directed here I hope you find this to be helpful for continuing peaceful negotiations. I hope you will find this as an invitation without deadlines for acceptance. But most of all I hope you will see this and realize that the strength of my voice is in my written word. My voice utterly fails me when I must speak of things deeper than puns and quips.
In person I will do everything I can to avoid deep feelings when I do not know where the boundaries are. In person I feel like I am being cornered, blocked into a course of action or a train of thought. In person I feel like I am being accused without hope of building a defense. In my blog I define the limits. In my blog I have the time to build a case. In this blog there is a research able partial history at my defense. In my blog I can write to you, my audience knowing there is little chance of you actually reading this, and thus look like a fool. I accept appearing foolish here in the community I am building. But I avoid foolishness in person... well as best as I can.

I am now taking a deep breath, using these few nanoseconds to evaluate the wisdom in my next step and.... hitting publish post.

May 18th: I wrote a few more lines last night. And while I was writing I realized that I did not really tell you where any of this comes from. You may recognize some of the events. There are a couple of places that I am crediting you with deliberate subtlety but you honestly might not even have noticed. Shoot, you might not even be aware that you did some of the things that I noticed... that notorious short term memory loss of yours and all. [wink wink nudge nudge] You should know that I have caught you staring at me again. It is a cliche to say that the look in your eye is unmistakable. OH! and obviously wrong since I misinterpreted it, apparently, wrong last time. So let me say this:

You look like you want to say something that is weighing on your heart, mind, body and soul. You look like a man who is facing a judge and expecting a death sentence. Maybe you think it is better to leave things alone because we have this truce. But keep in mind the old diplomatic axiom that an absence of violence is not peace. We aren't staring daggers through each others backs. But we are still both weighing our words before we speak. Maybe you think that it's too late for sorry. Maybe you think that you don't deserve forgiveness. Or maybe you're afraid that if you smooth things over too much I will entertain a false hope. Maybe you are more concerned for my feelings than your own. Maybe you're afraid that I want a Rhett and Scarlett movie embrace. Rhett and Scarlett nearly killed each other but I understand why that would concern you. Or maybe you think you don't deserve to have unbroken relationships. I don't know. All I do know is that you look like the words you are keeping to your self are choking you.

I am not like other women. I don't blame you for any of this turmoil because as best as I can piece together it didn't start with you. Besides, mistakes happen. You aren't God (sorry to break it to you :p), a machine or the Pope. You aren't infallible... that is what sorry is for. You aren't always wrong because you are a guy. And I don't say that just to get you to talk to me. You should know that much by now. Other people with motives beyond my ability to appreciate interfered because of their own self esteem, desires what ever. In this one instance kindredness did not serve us at all because we made the same exact mistake: we sought confirmation from outside sources. One of us knew better. I still am making stupid mistakes trusting girlfriends with my hopes, knowing that gets me into trouble. But I really thought this was different. I thought that our "friends" had our backs. Turns out that's where they put the bulls eye. And that is all this was. I don't know what the long term benefit is to making the attempt to resolve he situation and find real peace except that that pained look in your eyes, the one that looks like regret and self loathing, will go away. And maybe if one woman is allowed to show you forgiveness and patience, compassion and grace, you will be able to do yourself a favor at some point in the future and be a "better picker". I am sorry that I didn't turn out to be a good enough choice. But Fortune favors the bold and timid mares are often overlooked. I don't like thinking that limits me to grazing in a paddock somewhere for the rest of my life and watching the other mares paired off. It feels too much like being the last one picked for teams in gym class. But I understand.

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