Sunday, March 8, 2009

not sad or empty


I am not sad and empty now,
for I have got a song
for you, my darling, about how
I love you much, and long
for you to always go on filling
my life as you have done.
Say, birthday girl if you are willing
to let me have more fun
with you another fifty years,
till I am hundred twenty.
If you say yes, I’ll say three cheers,
and be not sad or empty.

Happy Birthday, darling ex-wife! This poem was written as an antidote to the previous poem, “Sad and Empty,” written in response to finishing my book and reading about David Foster Wallace’s reaction to finishing his books:

Sad and empty, having finished
something long, I now report
I don’t think I’ll feel diminished
if I now write something short.
If I add another line
to this poem it will be
too long, so I will now confine
myself by being kind to me
and you, and ending this brief verse
with this line and two others. Three
should be enough to end the curse
of being empty, sad but free.
You may choose not to listen, I
now in four more to go must add.
It’s longer than I hoped, but try
to bear with me, for I am sad.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 3/7/09

1 comment:

  1. What does a writer do but write, when sad and empty? Call forth images, friends, memories from the past, not to be sentimental, but to make them fresh, current. The writer writes in hope that he will be heard, by his muse, or ex-wife, case dependent. Usually no one hears, he is writing into a void. He either writes for himself or is lost. If his words are heard, it is a gift.
    Ah, finishing a long project. Such satisfaction! Such joy! Knowledge gained, and insight, and you are richer for it.
    Poetry is nothing but windows & mirrors. In these two poems you seem to be looking out the window, a little wistfully, at the past; and in the mirror, and saying, "Look! I am me! I am vibrant! We do have time! We have another fifty years!"
    Sweet sadness.

    James (formerly know as Hanque)