Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams

I am tired. So, so tired. I have been working so hard these past few weeks when I came to a point of questioning why I am doing this, and for whom, and if it’s something I enjoy doing, or, like things in my long history of Things I Want Or Don’t Want, if it’s something I really wanted for my life.

I tried to come up with a list of things that people say one should have to feel secure: success, money, fame, power. Such ugly words. I tried to come up with a list of things that I need to have at this time: to stop feeling awkward about my body and the space I occupy; to avoid second-guessing my thoughts, my decisions, and my feelings on things; to refrain from comparing myself and my life with everybody else’s because, really, there’s just one me.

I don’t know how to consolidate these two lists. I think there’s a point I wanted to make when I started writing this down but I’m just tired. So here:

Danse Russe
William Carlos Williams

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,—

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?


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