Friday, May 1, 2009

Maybe Later

Danny Gans passed away. I've been to Vegas twice, once staying in the hotel where he was performing, but never saw him perform. Everyone told me that he was the guy to see. I planned on it. Next time, I thought. That come to think of it, sounds a lot like Gideon's "maybe later" reply that is code for "no way, fuck off." He's 4 and has already declined on a whole host of things that shock me. You don't know what you're missing! I often tell him. You would love this. or There's more to life than pizza, grilled cheese and noodles.

I'm reminded of the time as an undergrad when I skipped Allen Ginsberg's reading. He spoke to our class in the afternoon, and yeah, he was kinda cool, but the reading was Friday night and I wanted to go out-of-town with my boyfriend. Out-of-town was Northern VA and my boyfriend is now my husband. So far I've spent 15 years in Northern Virginia with Chris and will likely spend many more. But I'll never have a chance to hear Ginsberg read. I unknowingly chose the considerably less unique experience. Maybe one could even say I chose love over poetry and perhaps on that instance I did. But here I am married and writing poems, so it really wasn't a choice after all. It was one missed opportunity. I've missed many.

Today I'm thinking of someone I recently met. Someone who was incredibly warm and kind to me. I was kind in return. I thought, "I like that guy" and that was that. It was a busy time, I was distracted. We could get to know one another some other day. You know, "maybe later." Now I'm thinking that might be another one of my many missed opportunities. Maybe I won't get a chance to develop a friendship with that person. Maybe I really missed out.

Obviously we can't follow up on every opportunity that comes our way, nor should we. There are definitely opportunities best passed on. But I'd to be more open to what I haven't been.

I want to approach life as a novice again.


  1. Your new blog is loverly. Yay for new starts.

  2. I was luckier (?) less lucky (?) different (!) – in 1980, I had no girlfriend, but I did have the Beat dream that infected every other 20 year old in the country, I think. I told my parents that it didn't matter if they didn't like it, the good thing about hitchhiking was that it was free and didn't require parental approval and that was as easy a way to get to the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (do they still call it that?) as any, so there! Off to Boulder I would go! Weirdly enough, my parents wired me money for travel & apt., which I used for travel and food, and slept on the floor that the Buddhist janitor Sandy let me stay on for lo those two months. It was wonderful – and one of the things I don't regret (I have a small list) – and probably the last time the following people were under one roof: GInsberg, Coros, Whalen, Burroughs, Kesey, Orlovsky, even Burroughs Jr. (the year before he died.) Ginsberg was the best teacher, Burroughs was the most revered (and kept at the greatest distance)as well as the best reader, Orlovsky the most serious goof (when I asked him about why he used such unusual spelling in his poems, he stared at me for a serious thirty seconds and then said: "I don't spell good.") Best of all was the opportunity to ask questions like: "What exactly did Frank O'Hara mean when he said..." and get a straight, reliable, almost or actual eye witness response. Sometimes, but not usually, it's good to have no attachment. Well, just sometimes, mind you!

  3. Wow, yeah, very different ways of entering poetry.