Of miracles and things
Miracles, I mean serious miracles way beyond loaves and fishes--not to be sacrilegious or anything, smack me upside the head every day--all while I'm struggling to just keep that head of mine above water. But the miracles . . . it's the miracles that do just that.
I'm walking 'round this little cottage of mine, muttering to myself, "I'm in some serious burnout. I'm in some serious burnout. I'm in some serious burnout"--talking about the printing. So I blow it off make me some coffee, read the sports page, scan the rest and move on to e-mail--more or less a morning ritual--the talking to myself which becomes a poem more often than not, the sports page, the coffee, the internet.
So I got my coffee, got my little laptop, already heard that stupid Microsoft fanfare music that I don't know how to turnoff without disabling all my sound, hit my Foxfire icon and there's my e-mail In-box, all 1834 entries, 218 of them, un-opened--was I saying something about burn-out?--and there it was, sitting right there above the NYTimes (another part of the morning ritual) from Knopf Poetry--"That' s weird," I thought. "It ain't April. It ain't poetry month."
So I open it up and I'm reading this little promotional blurb about a new book about Emily Dickinson, called White Heat: The friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. And I'm remembering Maurise's laying out Billy Collins' poem about undressing Emily Dickinson and I come across this note she wrote to Higginson:
"Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive?" hand scrawled and accompanied with four little folded poems. Chill bumps!
So there you are! May not sound like a miracle to you. But talk about being smacked upside the head, lifted right out of my chair (metaphorically, I mean--though I have been know to leap up on occasion and holler something profound, like "Fuck!"). Maybe you have to be me for this little question, coming from Emily Dickinson, I mean, coming from Emily Dickinson to be a miracle--talk about White Heat, going right to "the deep heart's core."
And that's not all. There at the bottom of that little blurb about the life-long relationship her question initiated was her poem, her poem I'd never heard or read before--imagine that:
Dare you see a soul at the 'White Heat'?
Then crouch within the door--
Red--is the Fire's common tint--
But when the vivid Ore
Has vanquished Flames conditions--
It quivers from the Forge
Without a color, but the Light
Of unannointed Blaze--
Least village, boasts its Blacksmith--
Whose Anvil's even ring
Stands symbol for the finer Forge
That soundless tugs -- within --
Refining these impatient Ores
With Hammer, and with Blaze
Until the designated Light
Repudiate the Forge --
Imagine me coming on to these words--I mean, I got no words for that . . . except Miracle . . . all the way around.