Friday, December 24, 2021

Compose As You Breathe

Would a diary be
One long story, many
Minor stories, or not

Considered a story
At all? The massive work
Of a life recorded

Daily rarely rewards
That effort with readers,
Those readers with pleasure.

Name-dropping anecdotes
And occasional scenes
Of later famed events

Unfolding as they fell
Serve most of the highlights.
A diary’s a child

More than a narrative—
A cherished, exhausting,
Quotidian nuisance,

A changeling standing in
For the lived life as lost,
And sometimes for that child

Who never was. Monster,
Really, a midden heap
Of notes broken in days,

Unnatural units
For language, for stories
Used to leaping about

The dimensions of time,
Choreographing them.
All days, exciting days

As well as boring days,
Proceed by circular
Plodding. A diarist

Must more or less compose
As you would breathe, as you
Pulse, wake up, go to sleep.

Terrible story, that.
Terribly cut up snake.
Done today. Time for bed.

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