(poetry diary 14) I was talking with a dear friend yesterday who was going through a disappointment, and afterwards I kept thinking of the ending of August Kleinzahler’s “Disappointment,” which begins with a description of the sort of funk a big one can bring on:
A faint smell of urine
embroidering that bouquet of mold the big cushions
give off days the fog won’t lift,
and ends with
a voice you had let yourself believe
close now by your ear, intimate and sweet:
Well, well, well,
look what we have here.
Gah. I know my friend is dealing with that self-critical voice. I wish she didn’t have to, and I have visions of trying to shield her and going at it with a lance and saying “Back off self-critical voice! Back offfffff!” but hopefully it will shut up soon.
I found the poem last week when I was looking for poems to help me deal with a smaller disappointment. (i.e. I wasn’t able to spend my wedding anniversary with my husband.) The poem above is a little too heavy for that, (I’ll go out w/my husband this weekend instead, so whatever,) but I like Paul Violi’s amusing “Appeal to the Grammarians,” that I found today on how there should be different terms for different types of disappointments.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
The child whose ball doesn’t bounce back,
The flat tire at journey’s outset,
The odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.