Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

When I Find Myself In Times of Trouble

It's my boxes that comfort me. When I find myself in times of trouble, I go to the garage and start hefting. Despite the cursory labeling, often supplanting a crossed-out predecessor or two, I'm rarely able to guess what's inside. And that even applies after I lift the top. Every time I move them, I battle the entropy. Yet I always tire before I've won a decisive victory. I rearrange four, sort through two, exhaustively organize half of one. But the leftovers get shoved in whatever box happens to still be open at the end and the process of dispersal begins once more. Still, I invariably find something "special." Tonight I located much of what I was looking for and a whole lot more besides. Not only my notes and photocopies from various Julian Boyd courses I participated in -- as student, reader, auditor, or T.A. -- but a sizable portion of my junior and senior year coursework. Best of all was finding some of the poems I wrote for Thom Gunn's English 143 poetry-writing seminar, including two for which I have both the annotated copy that reflects, however imperfectly, the comments made during its "workshopping" and the one that Thom handed back to me later. While those two poems have never completely disappeared from mind, it's nice to have them back without the blank spaces of memory that had transformed them into the equivalent of Sappho fragments. I didn't write enough poems for that course. Most of the time I felt blocked. But some of the ones I did write, while not wonderful, have held up decently over the ensuing fifteen years.
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