Dream of anger. Conflict—every kind—sometimes settles something else. Banging your head against a wall opens a trick cabinet you didn’t know was there.
In the dream. Speaking to my father, stating something calmly and clearly. No response. An obvious injustice—I’ve asked for something that is denied that I later discover a sibling gets without asking.
Not a thing but understanding, allowance.
I present my case again. I am dismissed. To get anyone’s attention I have to escalate, and escalate, until the youngest part of me is speaking.
I don’t like this urgent voice. A toddler’s anger magnified at scale. I grab bread, an entire loaf, tear it, throw it to the floor. I am noticed but now a disappointment—as if it came from me alone.
But I am noticed.
Provocation as communication. It has served me but it has taught me the wrong lessons.
Now I am the one who hears cases. I do not have to do it distantly—I can have more understanding for the self who wants to erupt.
What I would have done. We have different ideas about that. I can imagine it so easily, carrying forward the momentum from the summer. Before it moved into its final months. I felt I was seeing with greater clarity than I ever had before. I believe that, though I know you don’t.
What you thought I would do. Closer to how I have responded. All of the ways I betrayed myself, and you, stuck on the same responses, the same questions.
Wrestling with the sage. Retreat to a stronger position. Act with humility. Maintain your composure. Do not move out of desire.
Receptive force to enthusiasm (contains a warning). Great treasures to splitting apart (when I see the open lines stack up I always know it is coming). Retreat to bonding (but what is retreat? from which position am I strongest?).
Answers are also sought in poetry. Lyric poetry a repeated failure. An incapacity to reach the beloved, even if they like the poems. Always reaching toward and always falling short. The failure of language to measure up even as it exceeds its strict bounds (in for instance the sonnet).
In these lines too something is undone. I cast them like the I Ching: hexagram four to forty-four. Inexperience to compulsion. Making up distance that can’t be made up.