i think i read somewhere that ernest hemingway was called papa in his 30s. that makes ol' hem a very young old man. along with a big ego that demanded he be the patriarch. still, as i race toward the very very very mid-point of my life embracing age might be the healthier option. who really wants to be 20 forever?
don't answer that. because our mental age stops at a point. for me that age is 25. so i am quite surprised to see an older gentleman gaze back in the mirror. i wonder, who is that old man!?
then there is that larger part of me that is quite happy to be middle-aged. as my father reminded me we live in an age where growing old is common. it wasn't always so. in the not distant past humans would drop dead in their 30s and 40s. by 50, you were considered a real geezer. growing old, my dad said, is a privilege.
then there are the quite old among us who are still very much alive, kicking and creating. i read this wonderful article
by roger angell in the new yorker
about his life in the 90s. desire, lust, abilities are still possession for angell and, for me, knowing that even in relatively pretty advanced age one can still enjoy life is a great source of happiness for me.
after a long day yesterday i found myself at the late poet billy little's blog
. little passed away from cancer in 2009 and wrote his blog during his treatments. the poet with the moniker zonko lived so fully that the words are practically humming with the live energy. i love his disdain for being correct in grammar and spelling. these are texts in bas-relief against the dreariness of what we think of as our ordinary days. for zonko even the ordinary is exciting.
would it be a conceit to take that great noun antipoet from vicente huidobro and nicanor parra? can we use it too? and if not, why? should antipoetry disappear if we don't practice it too? and what is antipoetry? well, i think a life in poetry is an anti-career. poetry is an obsession and passion and intellection. it will not pay your bills or provide for your mortgage. in fact, if you are serious you will arrange your life, in whatever endeavour you choose to pay your way in life, so you can practice poetry.
which is a long way of saying that the great antipoet nicanor parra was born in 1914. he's almost a hundred and is still writing the good shit. there is a good website with his work both in spanish and english here
. old age is a privilege. embrace it finally!
oh and because i love it here is parra's milk commercial broadcast in chile a few years ago. i've posted it before. i am doing it again.