Writing On Paper (Draft 1)

Writing On Paper (Draft 1)

I remember how much
you used to love my letters

Touching things have gone missing:
a digital age feels itsy bitsy
without ink on paper,
the primitive’s refuge

Perhaps I shouldn’t read
paper books any more if
their subversive rumination ink
flows like veridical blood upon
capillary pages waiting for the
extravasation of truth, but

the pain of veracity is
like a paper cut acquired from
handling an edgy sensational plot

If there are no paper trails
to follow into the forest,
would the scent of the pine
be lonely without a nose

If there be no object to touch
is one nonsensical or itsy bitsy

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
like the scent of the pining pine,

but what if after death
it is thrust into a distant galaxy
with no body to reincarnate
no houses or trees 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

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8 thoughts on “Writing On Paper (Draft 1)

  1. I love all of the new additions. I had to look up veridical and I know that you’ve used extravasation before but I had to look that up again too. I love it when you use words I’m not familiar with. It makes me feel wiser after reading your poem, probably because i learned something new. I really liked this:
    “Touching things have gone missing:
    a digital age feels itsy bitsy
    without ink on paper,
    the primitive’s refuge”
    I still love holding real books in my hands, they just have such a nice feel. I liked the “paper trails” stanza too, almost reminds me of hansel and gretel with the bread crumbs for some reason. I like the “scent of the pining pine” too, has a nice ring to it…

    1. Thanks very much. I’m trying to get comfortable with those new words and maybe if I use them enough I’ll become the source of typical usage to consult rather than the 10,000 dictionary entries who don’t really explain anything. Yeah, uh huh, maybe if nobody ever uses it anymore, I can appropriate it for my own use and I can become the maker of the meaning (not that I know what I mean, but let them explain me to me. Yeah that would be nice: definition 7. “What he says…”: see that… op.cit.

    2. I’m glad I could get away with “itsy bitsy”. It has an odd modern relevance even though I remember it from the song: “She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini…”

  2. Yes, that’s a great idea. They could reference you and people would completely understand how that word should be used. That’s probably why they aren’t used that much to begin with. People just aren’t comfortable enough with them and they also tend to try to follow the examples of great men. If the great men aren’t using those words then no one else probably gets how to use them. I bet you could start a whole new vocabulary trend, well maybe. People seem to be getting less and less formal with their vocabularies. Text messaging alone is practically butchering the written word. You know it’s bad when the word “you” has to be abbreviated to just “u” hehe….

    1. Yeah, it’s a really weird thing: they brag about how much more memory there is packed into tiny computer chips or chocolate chips or whatever they call it,um, flash chips or French chips, more and more memory available — well, OK, if you have more memory now, why is everybody still trying to save space and abbreviating. I say, if there’s more space, let’s be expansive, verbose, verbal pictures. Yeah, I thought a picture is worth a thousand words. Where’s my thousand words? Yeah and they said full words, full lips. If there’s going to be an expanded memory text message it should allow antidisestablishmentterrianism and that other longest word which I can’t remember exactly at the moment: something like flaucinocinihilipillification. Well, yeah, I know it’s really just a joke to claim credit for the longest word in the English language because nobody in the modern era is ever going to use it. Oh yeah, I should prepare a speech and have it ready for the question “How are you?” And I would begin with “I dream of distant galaxies…” I suppose it might be interesting to have a 20 minute or more speech memorized and see how long it takes for a clerk at a store to call security….

      1. mmm chocolate chips…sounds especially delicious with the added extra memory. I don’t know why everyone is still abbreviating and trying to save space. It probably has more to do with being lazy and just in general not caring one way or the other how you come off to the person who you’re conversing with. antidisestablishmentterrianism, good grief that’s a long word! Quite the mouthful! I think your speech would be awesome. Maybe the clerk would enjoy it, if i was the clerk i’d enjoy it and not call security. It’d probably be the other customers that got aggravated the most ’cause they just wanted to get through the line quicker, or get faster help from the clerk with whatever their question was…

    2. Thanks. I like chocolate chips too. I think I’m in the mood to confuse myself and everyone else just for the thrill of it. It’s an odd thing: I can look something up and for a few seconds think I know what it means and even if someone who should know confirms it, I still forget what it means and how to use it. I guess I get very little practice or…. I don’t know I should have excuse X2347 ready — yeah, I have to get out the list again.

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