A Moonscape Reverie About Books Not Yet Born
‘STARRY, STARRY MOON.’ | A lunar scenario overtop the neighborhood on a frosty December eve. | thestoryisthething.com photo | december2023
‘We in no way thought that literature would save the world; we did, however, think that it was the only way to save ourselves.’
~ from the novel “The Most Secret Memory of Men” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr
I toil mostly in obscurity. But which writer does not?
Except for those few who are feted, adored, and
lifted so high, until they pass from favor & are knocked
back to the second-rank, never to return to
the heights from which they sipped
the better champagnes. Or liked to order
Armagnac because they got a taste for it, once,
while footloose in central France.
Or maybe that was me. Sitting here,
now, in my unfashionable state, trying
to get another script going for another
documentary, while The Book remains
unlabored, the one that’s been trying to
be born for decades. ‘Don’t talk about
what you’re going to do …’ my mother
typed out on her IBM Selectric, and then
scissored the quote into a two-line
rectangle of typing paper, ‘Do it.
Then talk about it.’ Which she posted
to the kitchen bulletin board for years.
‘STARRY, STARRY MOON No. 2.’ | thestoryisthething.com photo | december2023
Do it. It and it and it. I just came here
to offer last night’s frosty December visage.
A moonscape above my neighborhood woods
when I went out late to piss off the deck.
It’s the sort of freedom you settle for
in the exurbs or the kind of leafy suburbs
where young antlered deer sometime
criss-cross your backyard at evening.
A visit from the Deer People is a good
sign, say the people who speak in signage.
I am just glad the young buck is not strung,
bleeding, on my dear friend’s deer-hunting
truck. We play good music together at
the local open mic, him a former national
flatpick lord, me just trying to keep up, making
room to hear his Django Reinhardt chords.
Moons set. Mornings come. Yet another
in the flood of them we end up calling our
lives, when all is said and done with. As we try to
clear our decks and return to The Book.
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