A brutal cold bug has bitten me like a big dog. I’ve been sick nearly a week.
No more chills, at least. Headaches and sore throat have eased, though my throat is dry and sometimes a coughing fit feels like I might choke. Feeling shitty. And it’s been raining. At first I was happy, happy, happy — Yay! Rain! Now, I’m like, shit, more rain. It’s damp, everything soggy, the sky is gray, mud everywhere. It looks dreary, and I feel dreary.
And this morning first thing I learn is that David Bowie died. My son told me. I said, “Naw, don’t tell me!”
“Yup,” he said, nodding his head sadly. “He planned his album around it,” he added.
“Yeah,” I said, “No doubt. That’s exactly what I’d expect.”
“He went out with a performance,” my son said. “That’s Bowie. He loved theatrics,” he says, a little smile of admiration crossing his face.
I smiled too. “Yeah. He had such genius,” I said.
“Yup,” my son says.
What a loss. But he leaves us a gift, his brilliant art. R.I.P., Bowie. I salute you.
Last night I woke at three in the morning from a dream of debauchery. Seconds later, a poem began to stir in my head. I sat up and grabbed a piece of scrap paper and a pen, which I keep at the foot of my (queen sized) bed, just in case, and began to jot the words that already were beginning to fade from my memory. I tried to net the gist. I hope I can shape this into a good poem.
On Sunday there were two poetry readings I wanted to attend, the type that come around rarely, the can’t-miss-it type, and I couldn’t go. This week is poetry week, the monthly second Tuesday and second Thursday readings, but I won’t be going, not with this bad dog of a cold. Hell.
I wondered if Freddie Freeloader would attend this weekend’s big reading. The American poet laureate was going to be there, and I know anyone and everyone who thinks him/herself someone would want to be there and rub elbows. A professor/poet was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer and they are friends, as is our SF poet laureate, and they have history here in this neighborhood. It was a reading to honor the ailing poet, to send love, prayers, and good wishes. That’s the only reason I wanted to attend. Oh, yeah, and a friend of A.D. Winans was one of the readers, Neeli Cherkovski, and I was hoping to go up and meet him. He also knew Bukowski, and in fact wrote a Bukowski biography. It’s been many years since I read it. I was disappointed that I couldn’t go.
If I had gone, and Freddie was there, I’m sure neither one of us would have acknowledged knowing each other. That’s if we even recognized each other after all these years. Hell, I’d know his energy, his smug ass trying to act like his shit don’t stink, the lying, conniving, self-serving, manipulative exploiter. He prob would’ve had his ball-busting bitch with him, that ugly dog. It would’ve been slightly awkward, but I would’ve liked for him to see my aloof ass there, just to know that I am doing all right, living my life on my terms.
It’s quite possible he totally forgot about me. But I really doubt it. Really. Because of the writing. For no other reason than that. Drunk and abusive, he told me my poetry was shit, that I was a wannabe, that so-and-so (won’t name him) hated my poetry, that I wasn’t going to amount to anything. In a poem I wrote:
You tell me to eat my dreams.
I take a hard drink,
and eat you.
I feed on the shit he hurled at me, after I treated him with love and tenderness. He left me feeling like Alanis Morissette, and the fucker oughta know. ‘Cept, of course, I was glad when he was gone, even if I was a wreck for a while. He will forever disgust me. And I guess I will forever feel disgust at my own self. I didn’t tell him to fuck off, like I knew I should. I was too in love with self-destruction.