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A Living by William Stafford

Putting my life together, because, well — what else could I do? What else can anyone do?

Last week the city was submerged in water. Rain, it was all rain, brought by a monsoon with no name.

I am thinking of starting another journal. Or maybe reviving my jazz blog, which has been dead for four, five years. I am thinking of looking for a job instead of working for myself, so I wouldn’t have to think for awhile, so I wouldn’t have to rely on me. I have enrolled for a class in applied cryptography and I don’t know why. I have enrolled for three more classes (poetry, history, mythology) this coming September. I am thinking, maybe I should do more things, instead of thinking all day. I want to leave this country. So: a job abroad? Or maybe just this city. This island. I am thinking, I am not well equipped to survive this. Actually I don’t know what I think. Coffee makes me sleepy lately. Or maybe I’ve been sleeping too much and I should fight it. That is, if I get up today and managed to feed myself and take a bath, it would be enough. One day at a time. I read somewhere that I should just make art instead of being sad. I think about it, and I realize, I am not sad. I just don’t have a desire for anything. Everything. Maybe. I still read books. That counts, right?

One day at a time.

Aaaaaaaggggggghhhh. I will shut up now and post all my shit in the dark. Next time you hear from me, things should be better.

A Living
William Stafford

Even pain you can take, in waves:
call the interval happiness. You can
travel; whatever nags you, you can
change it. You can roll this burden away.
In the pinched bend of your street
you can look back, or ahead, or wait.

And there is easy talk, for throwing
back like Annie-Over, or a minuet,
a way to act human in these years the stars
look past. And somewhere around you begins
that lifted road lighted by sunset, offered
again and again, laced where the sky lives:

Someday your road.

Comments (5)

  • “Mama said there’ll be days like this, there’ll be days like this my Mama said.” Hang in there. I’ve been trying to clutch reality by its horns. It jerks and yanks me around, but I hang on, tight. I’m not letting go.

  • Lovely as always.
    Also, did you enroll through Coursera? I am trying out other classes there too, and yeah sometimes doing those kinds of things could save you from thinking too much 🙂

  • Thank you for writing, and for these poems. 🙂

  • M.B.

    No more disapproval. Don’t make it a virtue, otherwise I blow you a kiss from a country far away. Now I am off to read more poetry in another face. Keep the words flowing..

  • Carisseb

    Stafford got me through.


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