It's true: I cop to being a poet first and foremost.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: POEM FOR MY LATE FORTIES
See, one day I realized I was thinking about death
as if it were a problem I could solve, as if
through sheer brilliance, hard work, or luck
I could outwit my fate, land safe on solid ground.
So all of this, I mused—-the sweet blue sky,
the falling light, the dizzy bone-deep fix
of oxygen and sun and fire—-was plain
out of my hands. I was free, it seemed,
to keep on stumbling—-blind, confused,
ticked off—-up the old twisting path,
to reach the top at last and claim
my prize: to face the dark wood,
as the poet said, and, pissing
in my pants with fear, go on.
To be published in Oberon later this year