Eleven days out from the last round of chemo, I feel something like my old self again. Despite another desert heat wave (107° yesterday), I took the dog for a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood, sticking to the shade wherever it could be found. Later, my wife gave me a splendid haircut (see below), and I did something else I haven’t done in a much longer time. I wrote a poem, which had been percolating through the night in my head as I half slept.
This resulted from the influence of finding and listening to the poems of Robert Bly on YouTube. It was spring of 1984 when I spent a weekend in the Poconos at a workshop with him, as he talked of Grimms’ fairy tales and the ideas that were going into his book Iron John (1990). As an advocate of what came to be called the men’s movement, filling what then seemed to be a waiting space next to the women’s movement, Bly was attempting to fathom gender issues as a poet, not an academician.