The email also reminded me of this old poem, a little different from my usual. The last two lines say what I meant better than the blog comments did.
in memoriam W.W.
Walking over the bridge to the post office, the wind
raking trash against the steel fences, I saw a carpenter
hoist on a nonchalant frame of ropes and wood – intent,
healing a wounded wall, a gash of red bricks
curved like a crazy smile beneath an empty window.
Maybe this carpenter is cruel – rough, cold
to his children, beating his wife. Maybe cheats
on his taxes, scams his customers; maybe
he harries gays and poets and femmes like me
in order to prove he can still get stiff,
or get those lingering rumors off his back
about his adolescence. . . maybe this man is evil,
in all the ways an old sinner like me can imagine.
The wind smashes newspapers, election notices
across the road, over the bridge wall. The world
rages in throes of death and thirst echoing
over the tough skin of the rooftops – the scream
of an orangutan, stuffing a broken body up the shaft.
Scant light from a failing sun penetrates the clouds,
glows a little against the face of the wall.
Unexpected beauty, like this faint light
holds firm that workman on his floating planks.
Unheralded, unglorified, the earth is secret.
Mundane eloquence, whispered every day.