“We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.”—William Wordsworth
No, I am not a poet—and I know it. But I do sympathize with Wordsworth’s sentiment. I suspect a lot of people around my age do. Especially now.
But let us get to business.
I have hinted at this a few times in past weeks. This time I’m not hinting. Folks, I’m going to cut back on Mr. Cope’s Cave. I have faithfully supplied what I promised in the very first post 36 weeks ago—two new opinions and another chapter from The Secret of Cawley’s Skull every week. I’ve even exceeded my quota on occasion, when inspiration moved me on the off days.
However, circumstances have changed. I need to make some extra time in my life, and since time is one of the few things humans have not yet figured out how to fabricate, this means something has to go. I could either give up two or three hours of sleep a night, or I could modulate the rigid schedule I have maintained in this blog site.
Frankly, I need me slumbers more than I need to produce another opinion on Trump.
But before you start gnashing teeth and pulling out hair, it’s not as though there is a shortage of commentary on the Internet with the same purpose of content as what I’ve been posting here-in, if not the same wording or approach. And most of it is reaching a great many more eyes than my contributions. In an environment ripe with Bill Moyers, Dan Rather, the Daily Kos, Andrew Sullivan, The New Yorker, Leonard Pitts, Keith Olbermann, Rachael Maddow, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman and hundreds more—not to mention the scads of comedians, satirists and talk show hosts—I am feeling a tad superfluous.
I am not quitting, I want to make that clear. Certainly, I will continue with The Secret of Cawley’s Skull until the end of the novel. I don’t think many people are reading it, but if it’s only one bored soul who has followed the book from the first chapter, that’s enough reason for me to finish it.
And I still intend to come up with at least one fresh opinion every week. Whatsmore, if the spirit moving me is persistent enough, there may be weeks when I scratch out the accustomed two.
Plus, I am scheduled to have an opinion in the Boise Weekly once a month until the end of this year, and that piece will inevitably show up here after its appearance in the paper.
But what I have just outlined means, essentially, that I am cutting the workload for Mr. Cope’s Cave in half.
* * *
Perhaps you are wondering what is so important that I would throttle down on my small part in the incessant pissing match now gripping our country?
Several things, all at once. The order in which I will list them is not necessarily in magnitude of significance.
- It’s gardening time. And those bastards don’t plant themselves, do they? Nor do they till, weed, water, fertilize, harvest, or clean up after themselves.
- My wife needs help in her business—Heir Estate Sales; if you need someone to put a big sale together, she’s the one you need. Ex. Cell. Enté—and I have agreed to go to work for her. Could be an exciting new adventure … or could be Hell on earth. We’ll see. Today’s my first day.
- I need to move more. For those of you who have never written anything longer than a Tweet with your thumbs while standing in a check-out line at Albertsons, let me tell you, I can’t imagine a more sedentary job than writing, other than being the test subject for every new video game that comes out. And you know how those guys look.
Friends, I am knocking on the door to 70, and if I don’t get off my ass and behave more like an erect quadruped, I may never be knocking on the door to 71.
- There are other things I want to get written—things from the opposite end of human experience than the stinking sump from which the Trump crowd has oozed. As I’ve explained repeatedly over the years, both in Boise Weekly and Mr. Cope’s Cave, I didn’t set out to be a political writer. Since my earliest creative writing days in school, where I fell head-over-heels for the lonely act of transcribing what scampers through my brain onto paper, I have dreamt of wowing the world with my dazzling short stories, my astonishing novels, my rolicking humor vignettes, my deeply-insightful essays and, yes, even a poem or two.
Instead, if I am known for anything at all, it is how talented I am at insulting stupid people.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I would be all for leaving stupid people alone, were not they always getting elected to office and threatening the very existence of Life on Earth.
But this is key to why I’ve made this decision. I all-too often feel like I’m repeating myself (e.g., Trump is an asshole), telling you something you already know (e.g., Trump is an asshole), or forcing an angle simply to not repeat something I’ve heard elsewhere (e.g., Trump is an asshole). It’s not the way I like to write.
So, along with the other reasons I have cited, I want to clear some room in the “Cope” section of future libraries for my dazzling short stories, my astonishing novels, my hilarious humor sketches, my deeply-insightful essays and, yes, even a fucking poem or two.
The deal is … young writers, all, begin in gladness;
But we must get real, lest we end in madness.