The Time of Smiling

“I should not have taken
the time of smiling
for granted.
I should have recognized it for what it was:

the lighter brother
of where I am now,
the time of not-smiling.”

This thought, virtually word-forward,
came to me on the way walking home
early (for me) one recent evening.

Soon after this personal quotation appeared
like a thought balloon in my head,
like a musical figure, a round
that bounced and played around my mind
soundlessly giving voice to some resonance inside,

I walked by a man
framed at work in a window
facing the Sunday street.

I was surprised to see him.
Not used to human figures
as part of the landscape
of my inky late-night walks and bike-rides,
my brief excursions from one tone of solitude
to another.

It was a moment of double voyeurism.

Though I doubt he saw me,
as it was light inside and dark out,
he appeared to be impassively looking at me
and the subtle intrusion was jarring
and unleashed another
internal associative spring.

The image in the window conjured
the various places
I’ve deemed home writing spaces.
Little offices usually no more
than a delineated space
to ritualize, magnetize
and endow with mystery
the simple act of typing.

As I walked past the figure in the window,
I remembered some sacred information
once learned about ritual space:

When writing
don’t work
in front of an uncovered window

as nice as the view might be
for meditation and rumination,

ideas tend to get sucked out
and your energy unfocused
by the literal portal to the outside.

For years I had a desk facing one such window
and on this walk
I became curious about

how many crystalline poems
how many divine verses
inspired phrases
beautiful germs

how much music
how much essence

had flown out the window
in want
as I so seriously, earnestlybent,

and composed human alphabet soup

while the gossamer notions dissolved,
floated back to the idea cloud
where,  soon heavy enough again
seeded the dreams of the next word-fisher

All for my lack of harnessing.
my lack of spiritual reception
and the choice to sit,
my thoughts exposed
framed by a naked window.

I wonder
what that spectral poem of the lost words (worlds)
will be like,
that latent William Blake illuminated-poesy
and when I will be able to read it.

and what will happen when I do



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