By Charles Ederer
Should have been in the letter I don’t remember
Where I wrote in cursive script that I was lost
In the trailing wind
An oblique horizon levitating with the sun
Setting on me
I told you about my life then asking
Whether things lost are never found again in daylight
Only in dream and night
I said this was a French ballad sad and strong
With an audience that sings with me
And now I press my hands to these salted floorboards
Thinking of you my English Channel
My Rome 25 years on
But few things are so close
Not tomorrow if all we have is stuffed into bags
Shut to the rest of us
There is a snowflake in this burned-out house in winter
If there is one in you
Drift with us
Over charred postcards and Polaroids
Under kitchen-sink faces
Through rays of diamond summer dust
Near the well where I watch unicorns play
Is a fallen tree on which to imagine
The ride home or some such scheme of war
In haste as the nights of Oostende
Flee tonight again
But the last you will see of me after tomorrow
Is reaching far into space
Footsteps outside this door
That every mile or so leads to my nobody name carved in ice
An arrow of pine needles crudely angled
Toward anywhere but here
Door, photo © 2010 by Charles Ederer. All rights reserved.
Charles is marketing executive who lives in San Francisco with his son, Alexander. About writing, Charles has this to say: It’s surprising to me how long it’s taken to move my writing to a place where I’m finally satisfied, though perhaps my gestation process has more to do with finding my voice than anything else. Having a reason to write is important, but having something to say with a road-proven voice is altogether more challenging, especially if my themes are to be universal.
About two years ago I completed my first official volume of work, titled A Perfect Vessel. In reading it from time to time, I often wonder where I found the grit to complete it the way I did and have it render the intensity I hoped it would.
Poetry to me is an iterative process, part of which is brutal editing. I’ve gotten to the point where I know (usually by the next morning) whether it’s good or not worth anyone’s time. Everything I need to say is contained inside me and it’s not so much a matter of writing well but finding myself through the journey of selection and placement. I’m seeking to be in love with what I’ve written, and if I’m not there yet I work it until it forms into something that speaks true for me and, hopefully, for the reader. It’s similar to the process of painting on canvas, really.
This piece was inspired by red Ravine’s post WRITING TOPIC — DOOR. The door icon speaks for me in my present state of life.