The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

The stream of my life in the darkness

I'm still having trouble writing, so I decided to do what I've been talking about doing for some time now: transcribing that D. H. Lawrence poem that's been rattling around in my head. Actually I didn't really remember enough of it to rattle. It's been years since I read it, and weeks went by until finally, just now, I read it again. I was shying away from this poem because reading it is a little like being punched in the mouth.

I think my brain is trying to make a connection between my story and this poem, which makes sense, as they're about the same thing. Namely...

Hymn to Priapus

My love lies underground
With her face upturned to mine,
And her mouth unclosed in a last long kiss
That ended her life and mine.

I dance at the Christmas party
Under the mistletoe
Along with a ripe, slack country lass
Jostling to and fro.

The big, soft country lass,
Like a loose sheaf of wheat
slipped through my arms on the threshing floor
At my feet.

The warm, soft country lass,
Sweet as an armful of wheat
At threshing-time broken, was broken
For me, and ah, it was sweet!

Now I am going home
Fulfilled and alone,
I see the great Orion standing
Looking down.

He's the star of my first beloved
The witness of all that bitter-sweet

Now he sees this as well,
This last commission.
Nor do I get any look
Of admonition.

He can add the reckoning up
I suppose, between now and then,
Having walked himself in the thorny difficult
Ways of men.

He has done as I have done
No doubt:
Remembered and forgotten
Turn and about.

My love lies underground
With her face upturned to mine,
And her mouth unclosed in the last long kiss
That ended her life and mine.

She fares in the stark immortal
Fields of death;
I in these goodly, frozen
Fields beneath.

Something in me remembers
And will not forget.
The stream of my life in the the darkness
Deathward set!

And something in me has forgotten,
Has ceased to care.
Desire comes up, and contentment
Is debonair.

I, who am worn and careful,
How much do I care?
How is it I grin then, and chuckle
Over despair?

Grief, grief, I suppose and sufficient
Grief makes us free
To be faithless and faithful together
As we have to be.

Another work that's been nagging at me similarly is Rudyard Kipling's short story Love-o'-Women, of which I remembered virtually nothing but the following two phrases: "Diamonds and pearls have I thrown away with both hands" and "When the liquor does not take hold, the soul of a man is rotten in him." Reading it again I found this:
"'I dare not kill meself,' he sez, rockin' to and fro. 'My own hand wud not let me die, and there's not a bullet this month past wud touch me. I'm to die slow,' he sez. 'I'm to die slow. But I'm in hell now,' he sez, shriekin' like a woman. 'I'm in hell now!'"

The time has come, in my story, to put up or shut up. Hymn to Priapus and Love-o'-Women are both about dead men, kind of; they're both about men who keep living even though their lives have ended. Hey, that's what my story is about. Literally! My story is literally about a dead guy who walks around. But Kipling and Lawrence both did something that I haven't done yet: they talked about pain. So far I have mostly made dumb jokes, which is fine as far as it goes. But I think that if I want to finish this story I have to talk about pain. That is hard to do. I mean it's hard to do without getting cynical or maudlin or parodic or aggrandizing or any of that other stuff. It's hard to just talk about pain and stop. Especially when you're also trying to be kind of parodic, just not at the same time.
Tags: d. h. lawrence, not writing, poetry, rudyard kipling, writing
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