"Indefinitely", 15 January 2013

"Indefinitely" started in my college apartment kitchen and finished in a Panera 20 miles south. If that doesn't inspire you maybe keep scrolling.

Tackling metaphysical themes, I ponder the extent of a person's traits. I may be a soccer player while playing soccer, but to what extent am I a soccer player when I'm not playing? If I'm not a soccer player when I'm not playing, where does this characteristic go? How, precisely, is it constructed and deconstructed? Surely this process gives us insight into what happens when we die. 

The poem appropriately explored the idea of being bound to a form, by modulating its structure and then breaking free of it. On top of that, it has two good lines, and that's about all we can say on this one. I was still figuring things out. 

But that didn't matter to John, retired Honda engineer of Torrance, California! 

He saw me working in Panera, demanded to see my poetry, and fell in love with the lines,

So shed no everlasting tears at flimsy death,

Death that takes but one

of what we seem to be

 

(The implication being that death takes our trait of "alive" but does not touch the many other things that we have been.)

I was also partial to the opening lines,

I am no heaven

To take my leave as of a sleeping atheist

 

but this didn't impress John, ex-Honda engineer from the South Bay!

He was so taken with the aforementioned line that he donated his entire library of books to me! They arrived, mostly moldy, at my house a few days later. I was thrilled. 

This gesture of appreciation inspired me to continue working on my craft. Six years after this exchange, I would see my poems published for the first time!

John, wherever you are, we made it buddy.