Monday, September 20, 2010

Agamemnon and Diane


We want so much to love and be loved, but we destroy those who endeavor to love us.


We do it out of ignorance and fear. On our good days.


I am no stranger to inflicting pain on my beloved, I  do it all the time. Insensate, I thrash and rage and draw blood, metaphorical perhaps, but still....and I bear the marks from my beloved on my own soul.

The two of us are lucky in that we have used the bonds that enslave us to bind us tighter together, in a rapturous bliss of love and despair and longing and freedom and stupidity and neglect and passion and, and, and.

We are all fragile creatures, diffident and unreliable.

But we love in our small ways, and row for shore, and that, in the end, is enough.


I am blessed to have found my helpmeet.

Nor will I quit her, or let her flee me.


here is a poem for today by my good friend Alan Dugan, whom I do not know, but admire greatly and imagine he would be glad to have my friendship if he knew me, but not too well, and if he had not died seven years ago, which he did:

Love Song: I and Thou

Nothing is plumb, level or square:
the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature, no piece fits
any other piece without a gap
or pinch, and bent nails
dance all over the surfacing
like maggots. By Christ
I am no carpenter. I built
the roof for myself, the walls
for myself, the floors
for myself, and got
hung up in it myself. I
danced with a purple thumb
at this house-warming, drunk
with my prime whiskey: rage.
Oh I spat rage's nails
into the frame-up of my work:
It held. It settled plumb,
level, solid, square and true
for that one great moment. Then
it screamed and went on through,
skewing as wrong the other way.
God damned it. This is hell,
but I planed it I sawed it
I nailed it and I
will live in it until it kills me.
I can nail my left palm
to the left-hand cross-piece but
I can't do everything myself.
I need a hand to nail the right,
a help, a love, a you, a wife. 

Alan Dugan
Son of a Bitch Poet



May you find what peace is yours in this life.



Blogger Elisabeth said...

I think of the words of a song by Paul Simon or was it by Art Garfunkle?:

'I bruise you, you bruise me
We both bruise too easily
Too easily, to let it show
I love you and that's all I know.

Thanks for a beautiful post and poem, Dishwasher.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Mim said...

Dugan fan: I'm one too.

Do you know this Irish saying?:

"There is no feast 'till a roast. There is no torment 'till marriage."

Printed on Irish linen tacked up on my kitchen door.

Super post!!

1:13 PM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

some weeks are rougher than others. we're in far too deep, immersed to drowning in the follies of love. somehow we flop ashore, find the will and hope to limp along.
and then there are the days, we cant believe how easy it is to breathe underwater.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like that poem.

5:56 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Good quote, thanks. We do bruise easily, don't we?

5:38 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I'm not surprised you're a fan. There is the same flinty, unsentimental core in your work, although the surface is different to his. But his work shows, in its refusal of sentimentality, how poisonous lack of rigor is to poetry.

I love the quote on the linen!

thanks for the good company.



5:41 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Amazing. You are a stunner, girl. And you're right.

Sometimes we can breathe underwater.

Thank you. I'm glad you found me.



5:43 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Dottie bones-

I'm glad you like it. He stands next to Jack Gilbert in my mind, although Duggins would find Gilbert maudlin and indulgent, too physical, not cerebral enough, and Gilbert would find Duggins a cantankerous nancyboy intellectual and would probably try to seduce his wife.

I think about you out there in the swampy heat and rattley palm frondy, electric weather, doing your thing in the amazing way you have, and it does me good. To know the struggle goes on, and there are everywhere good people engaged in it.



5:47 AM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Sort of everything you say and quote makes me want to put on a piece of linen, hang on the stove handle. Keep where I can see it, use it, many times a day.

9:11 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

I'ma get a swolled head.

I know what you mean, though, I feel the same way about you.

It's like we're both looking out the same window and seeing the same astounding and retarded things.

I hope we can row together for a long spell.



5:41 PM  

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