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white river poems 305
he comes here from a distance -- '
He: `Think of the stars this way:
steady burners in distance,
a housing for the small earth
absurdly vast; and the heart,
fashioning for itself room
too large for its future....' She:
`You spoke of them as barrens
of bright distance, I recall.'
-- `That is how I think of it.
Mere unoccupied desire.'
But his attention has turned:
`You, though, are inseparable
from the places you lived in.'
And then an afterthought: `We
are no longer important.'
Which seems not to interest her.
Again there comes a silence.
Then she: `Do you get lonely?'
And Meeker replies promptly,
`I was not good with people.
I never lasted with them.
Though there were times when I'd see
myself with people -- distinct,
each one himself completely,
all perfectly together
in their separate movements ...
I had learned at the Fourier
Phalanx, long ago, how much
cooperation people
would bear, in less than a year ...
I was at my best alone.'
And I say: `Think of that time
you wrote the piece called "Lonely."'
He says, `And I would call that
maybe the best thing I wrote --