Saturday, October 18, 2014

What Is the Boy Now, Who Has Lost His Ball

Buns in Delaware Ohio is celebrating its 150th anniversary, that's the sweet pint glass I scored (and not shown, a sweet 150th Buns tshirt emblazoned on the back with the famous street sign) at dinner last night. It is not a self-portrait - I am bald. In background of photo, Bryce's playlist from yesterday, two pieces here today. I highly recommend the Pigeon. Thanks to three friends for very Kind emails yesterday, beloved L who encouraged me in the Fuck It/Me/This here, and the brilliant and generous Tom (here, as he put it, "on a subject that is currently pre-empting mood swinging here in the immobilized ward."), who in his own way encourages me in the Fuck It/Me/This here. E, the third, has seen some of what I've recently done, but I haven't posted there since I stopped posting there, she encourages me to Fuck It/Me/This there, or at least put there back on the Me and Mine. Not yet, not yet, we'll see. Yes, of course Fuck It/Me/This, in format, reminds me of You? Me? Us? There are no accidents in free association. Yes, I know Berryman's birthday is a week from today, have this poem anyway, it is needed for this post. Think about that comma in the first line.


John Berryman

What is the boy now, who has lost his ball.
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over—there it is in the water!
No use to say 'O there are other balls':
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him,
A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. People will take balls,
Balls will be lost always, little boy,
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up
And gradually light returns to the street,
A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight.
Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark
Floor of the harbour . . I am everywhere,
I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move
With all that move me, under the water
Or whistling, I am not a little boy.