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Page 139

No. When I popped out and was given
(by someone who didn't own me) to my mother
to hold -- no ice cubes, no brittle pontificating,
nothing of the cocktail party except, perhaps,
one of us wondering "When can we go home?" --
her touching me, afraid, unafraid, cherishing...

do you think that leaves us? -- that ability to touch
and be touched by one another and the world?
Some parties leave a bad taste; I wash my mouth out
with poetry. Some poetry (even some of mine)
is like party chatter. (Haven't you heard!?)

Painting the fence IS a chore -- because someone else
(Aunt Polly) made Tom do it. If he'd decided to do it
himself -- what fun! Brush strokes, just so, smooth,
creamy caresses.

Poetry I have to write to get a passing grade
is no fun. Poetry I have to make you hear
so that you'll buy my book and have to write more of
to prove to myself that I still can (and that the first book
wasn't just a fluke) and to avoid disappointing editors,
readers... -- well, all this can be part of the fun,
why not? Why can't I have fun playing "Let's please
the critics!" or "Let's see how long I can keep writing
when no one's reading me!"

Any game is better than nun. (A virginal nun is God's
blank page-girl. Odd to have to qualify "nun" with
"virginal", but these are corrupt days -- and nights.)

Are we having fun yet?
Is it good for you, too?

We'd better rejoin the party --
they'll be wondering about us.


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