Things leave, but nothing goes away.
-Nanny Chu

I have been writing a book every day for twenty five years
(the actuary of words takes no breath for Christmas).
I write the number here in longhand because it is a long number.
Not quite half my life, but very close to being so.

It is some first draft, this life I'm having now.
Characters arrive and then depart, pursued or otherwise.
The Art Director is aging, he dresses me differently as we move along.
The Cinematographer has eyes that are less precise in their focus
compared to when he was first hired.

I stay with him because we are friends,
and we are comfortable together,
and because -at this point- he has the intangibles
those things that any new man might not bring.

This is what we say of the old players; not as quick on paper,
not as sharp in the light, but look at the intangibles:
He is good in the clubhouse of me.
Patient with my own failings.
Forgives me when I slip from metaphors made of film
to those found on fields alone.

In the beginning I was a Location Scout.
It's how I got into the business.
Start at the bottom or off to one side.
Get involved, do something.
Be an intern in your own experience if needs be.
Work for nothing to be yourself.

We argue over this here.
She puts a fridge magnet up (on the fridge)
which says (famously)
Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.
I disagree with this, mostly entirely.
Life is about being yourself only.
But then, of course, who we are varies over time
as does our location, inside and out.

We are filming today, in Maine,
beneath a high sky such as they have here.
There are damsel flies and dragon flies,
absurd blue wings settling to drink sweat.

High up there, now passing from left to right, a large plane crosses.
Very large, loud. Presidential cargo maybe.
Followed by four fighter jets.
Two directly behind the big plane, left and right,
two more directly behind them.

These are not metaphorical planes by any means.
Their sound hits the ground here a little behind them,
but it's a boom none the less.
They look lower than we think they should be.

The President, the one in nominal charge
of the country Americans have here
is apparently in Washington DC today
not on a plane towards Canada.
Who are they really and where are they going?

I am the President of my own ambitions.
My ambitions, at this point,
are to keep close count on what's happening.
To remember who I am and what, precisely,
seems to be expected of me.

Someone said that the life of others
is a highlight reel of babies and death, diplomas and divorce,
while our own seems more like the repetitive reporting
of some endless bake sale on occasion interrupted
by heartbreak.

So far this seems about right.
I consider my body to have become as a local paper
mostly available and for free.

On this subject of regional news
I had a friend come to visit
from far across on the other coast.
He drove himself to it.

He is also in this film business
but his specialty is the editing of lives
and I envy him that skill.
He was generous with himself
and explained many things
and then after that he left
leaving kind notes in the guestbook
but no razors there to help me.

I still have fond hopes.