The Writing Life,
Annie Dillard wrote,
I have been looking into schedules. Even when we read physics, we inquire of each least particle, What then shall I do this morning? How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.
On the first of each month, a guest writer shares how he or she spends the day.
February 1, 2013: Dave Malone
SHAPE OF MY DAYS
If I’m not sending you love poems,
it’s not because I’m not writing them.
As if to say a sailor is not sailing
when at sea when sleeping.
For he still dreams of the gear,
the mast, the salty ocean spray.
And as night takes on the shape of day,
his boat rides the water,
his sprawling, sleeping body.
The poems in Dave Malone’s most recent collection, Seasons in Love, are grounded in place–Missouri and the Ozarks–yet it’s the movement in these poems that I love–the ships, the Harley’s, the seas, the blacktops; the hellos and good-byes; the falling in love and falling out.
This description of Autumn Jazz, from “Driving to Autumn Jazz Near Hermann, Missouri” comes alive with the detail of the beat-up Samsonite:
On this blacktop known only to natives,
autumn jazz lingers like a lover. She bides
time in a crimson and gold dress. Naked shoulder
slinks away from spaghetti strap, and she rests
beside the road, legs piled high
over a beat-up Samsonite.
Or perhaps, as in the excerpt above, as well as in this one from “Raise Yourself from the Dead,” where the heart becomes a beat-up suitcase, it’s the intersection of place with movement that I love:
If I showed you my heart,
the beat-up baggage,
faded stickers, airport tags long-gone,
brown bruises, kicked-in dents,
the wobble on one flat foot,
would you consider blue highway
travel to me and hug Arkansas
curves and caves, Ozark blacktop
hot as ovens, and January ice
frozen far below roots?
In the video below Dave reads “Only Stars” from Seasons in Love:
Come back on February 1st to read how Dave Malone spends his days.