Writing on Paper (retro-Draft 0) [took something simple and made it difficult…]

Writing on Paper (retro-Draft 0; making something worse& starting again)

There is no object to touch
when one is nonsensical

The object of the spirit
seems fleeting into an empty ether
such a lonely dark matter to consider
without sails or voice to carry it across

The soul in the body
can be alone; it is
tolerable in a way where
at least there is the corporeal dialog:

the ego speaks to the fantasy
sensual things happen between THE two
who fool each other into thinking

the other is real, and then maybe
both are not, or there is
one soul that will carry on,

but what if after death
it is thrust into a distant galaxy
with no body to reincarnate
no houses to haunt
no gods to worship like objects

Is this the cosmic loneliness
when one can not be two
even for the moment of a dream

How could it be I’d
be thrust into a distant galaxy
with no useable matter
with no bodies for reincarnation
no light, no sun,
no spirits great or small or petty
no discernable benevolence but memory

I wonder if I will be less than ash or dust
just one who has no papers, no letters

I’m so sad all my papers have turned yellow, and
I’m not even sure if they make pens anymore, but

I remember how much you used to
love my letters and cherished the one
that I dropped from
the cruise ship of loneliness
into the ocean like the
twilight node episode with
the glowing message globe
looking like
a crystal ball from outer space that
lit up and spoke to the shy lady
at the edge of the surf, addressed
“to the loneliest person on Earth”, but

you are too lovely and kind to be that
and I don’t know why you wrote
a reply to someone who is silly enough
to throw bottles into the ocean that
many mock as pollution, but I
shouldn’t have had to pay a fine when my flotsam
was so finely written in script for
the loveliest person on Earth who
would stand on the beach
and retrieve me from a bottle

but there are more cosmic things
outer space things.

Remember to reply again
if ever I am one alone
stranded in a distant galaxy

because it takes two
and I wouldn’t mind
if you were a goddess
or a human on the beach

— Douglas Gilbert


5 thoughts on “Writing on Paper (retro-Draft 0) [took something simple and made it difficult…]

  1. Geez, after all this time (this was posted in February 2012) I decided to try to look up the Twilight Zone episode that I vaguely remember. Gee, I remember it totally wrong. Well, I only saw it once when it first aired and I see they say that it was in 1986. The only thing I remember is that I had an intense emotional reaction to it and that there was a message conveyed by a globe from outer space that was addressed exclusively for “The Loneliest Person on Earth.” It was called “A Saucer of Loneliness”. But anyway, I remembered nothing about the actual plot. I just remembered the emotion and that I didn’t understand it at all.

    1. I like all the changes you made – I don’t think it’s difficult. Well, maybe a little, tiny bit more difficult than it was before but not to the point where one can’t understand it. I actually got a little teary eyed when I first read it a little bit ago, i’m not sure why exactly…I guess my own loneliness is even worse lately for some reason.
      “sensual things happen between two
      who fool each other into thinking
      the other is real,”
      That makes me think of soul mates, beings so close that they’re like one and the same? Sensuality sounds nice…
      “but what if after death
      it is thrust into a distant galaxy
      with no body to reincarnate”
      That’s really sad, to be alone out in the middle of outer space, with absolutely nothing. No light, no bodies, no sun…just nothingness.
      “Is this the cosmic loneliness
      when one can not be two
      even for the moment of a dream”
      gosh…i’m starting to get teary eyed again. This bit of sadness i’ve been dealing with is probably why i haven’t yet gotten around to commenting on the last couple poems you posted.
      “because it takes two
      and I wouldn’t mind
      if you were a goddess
      or a human on the beach”
      The ending is lovely, nice to stop with an optimistic feeling floating in the air.
      I’ve never seen that episode but I used to like the twilight zone. I don’t really remember too much of it from when i was a kid but i used to watch it when I was sick a lot – it came on late at night, was perfect for my sleepless nights. I looked up that episode. She sounds kind of like me. A lonely waitress with everyone always asking if she’s found someone yet, making the loneliness seem even worse than it already was…
      Great work on this – even if it’s not as simple as before, it’s still beautiful.

      1. Thanks very much.
             Oooops I did it again: somehow I left out a crucial word (I know I was thinking it as I typed but somehow it didn’t get put down). I meant to say that the “two” were the ego and the unconscious of one person. But then, on the other hand, your idea of soul mates is very nice and maybe I can include it as a transition somewhere. I meant to type this:

        the ego speaks to the fantasy
        sensual things happen between the two
        who fool each other into thinking…

        I was thinking “the two” are “the ego” and “the fantasy”. That is, one talking to oneself. But now I’m not sure that makes sense… Well anyway, I suppose I can go onto Draft 1 like this were a new thing altogether.
            Soul mates becoming “one” — yes, that makes sense; I should include that maybe more specifically… or maybe pretend like I know what I’m saying and it’s already in the poem. Gee, now I don’t remember what I wrote — I’ll have to read it again.
            Gee, that’s interesting that I can go blank — I think it’s because it’s painful writing it. Hmm, there’s talking to oneself alone and then there’s talking to someone who isn’t listening or doesn’t understand and then even though you’re with someone you’re still talking to yourself or to the wind or to the bird that flies by or to the casual dog who wants a pet(though canines don’t usually speak that well in form; their sentences are garbled but they mean well)…
            Oh oops again: I’m not sure if it was clear. I was talking general philosophy above. I meant the general generic “you” not you you or me me or… — I know that you always listen and you understand

      2. Hmm, I think I see the problem with this draft. The second part (which is the old poem) is first person but the first part is general zero person(oh,now I forgot again what they call it — omnipotent narrator?). So I suppose maybe I should start saying I this and I that in the first part. Gee, that’s going to be uncomfortable and who would that be — yikes, indeed, who is the narrator. No wonder I’m mixed up… I, ghost,… I, alien… I, me oh my… I, i, i Well, there’s always the original poem…

  2. I see…i probably just read it wrong to begin with, somehow got off track or what-not. It makes sense though when I go back and read it with your reply in my thoughts. Not that you should have to explain it to me but every once and a while I’m kind of flighty and get distracted and maybe miss out on the correct meanings of things? hmmm…i wonder if that’s why everyone always baby-talks to dogs…they know that they have a sweet yet limited, garbled vocabulary. My dog usually just wants treats, love/snuggles or to be let outside so she can bark at cats…

    I see what you mean about the narrator…it is different in the first half but it still reads nicely…the difference in narration isn’t an obvious or jolting difference.

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