Secrets: You once wrote me, to paraphrase your ancient deep-lock-down Framingham notes, ‘no secrets! Except if it’s a good one, like a surprise party.’To date, we’ve lived this promise, and you’ve given me no reason otherwise…but here my monkey mind sometime wanders, to the deep thickets of randomized doubt I hate so much. I think…I know, it’s a toxic bi-product of unfulfilled longing, loneliness, and the social leprosy of existence in a place I no longer know that doesn’t seem to want me just as much. The icky reciprocity of unknown things. The tit for tat rule of life. Example:  ‘Poetry reading…’ this week’s ad in the Inky Mirror casually mentions. Some bard from the city flown in for the weekend, a local literary injoke of the poetry pals that used to be so much a part of my life here. But then we happened, thank God we did, that’s not what I mean, in the sense of ‘look how much I’ve given up for you.’ Bullshit. This is separate, you and I, me and them, and a great clue to crow’s momentary  malaise. The point is, It was important, to be able to scribble my breathy tomes on What The Point Really IS!!! Have an audience, however meagre, (like those frosty February N’oreaster Sundays when the Patriots were playing in the Super Bowl). But shit, who cares? Reading aloud one’s personal shit to a group of strangers, or friends, extreme casuals, who actually listen, is a high uncalualable by any known calculus. So then the recap point: Inky ad, poet blows into town, the ubiquitous ‘open mike’ I know so well. I used to own the mike. I used to laugh and chat, make the coffee, lay out the Pepperage Farms, sit in the back row, shuffle papers, wait my turn. Going last is risky, but can be great. Last gets remembered by the few who stay. Then I’d stand and do the awkward segue, the rambling intro I knew was killing the moment, but so much fun to go all extemporanious with the booming trill of your amplified voice bouncing off the walls. Then afterwards, the afterglow. The great grin of recognition, some little old blue hair would hobble over afterwards. ‘I loved your poem!’ or The character in your piece reminds me of something…’ Of course the punchline is the mutual handjob of literary salutation. You message my metaphor, I’ll suck your syntax. But the point of the exercise is way beyond the punchline. It just feels good to be noticed, even an honoring writ small by a tiny circle of folding chairs. And that’s why the Inky ad saddens me. I can’t go, no now, not really, because of the spoils of war effect. She got that joy, when the fallout cloud hit, the big scary D bulldozer that cleaved our house in two. Victims always bat last. I know, I know. It’s a small town thing. Reading to the room I miss. The literary pas de deux. And with it a smaller part of me is gone, at least for the moment, which leaves me much more time for other, darker pursuits.

Last night, 11.30, after calling, waking, disturbing your precious REM sleep, as I am nastily prone to do. (See above analysis, Phippy’s Brain Fog Part One), I decided against killing the cat, or burning down her house across the fence, instead opened up The Pippin Papers.

(to be continued…I just got a summons to work. Shit. I love you. PLeassssse forgive my psychic speedbump. Think of it as low-grade fever or you going in the hole. It will pass. promise. Let the love take the wheel for awhile. K?)