Those who know me, follow my poetry, or simply stumble into my website in some drunken haze, might be interested to know I will be moving soon. I’m living in Virginia Beach right now. In a month or so, I’ll be relocating to Harborton Virginia, a very tiny fishing village (Pop. 130) on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I’m moving there so I can complete my next book. It’s quiet there, very quiet there, a throwback to better times when the mockingbird in the yard was genuinely entertaining.
I mean to say that I believe I can write there, look out over a road which sees little to no traffic. I can walk the measure of a football field and dangle a string in the water to catch crabs if I want. I could live deliberately in Harborton, like Thoreau, if I wanted–though I’m sure I’ll make a bi-monthly pilgrimage to Sam’s Club, 2 hours away. I’m sure the measure of my life spent in Harborton will color my work, and with some luck, delight my readers.
It’s too loud in Virginia Beach. I can hear my neighbors, and by this I mean I can hear those activities my neighbors engage in which I do not want to hear. Almost every day there are fire trucks, police cars, ambulances passing by blaring their annoying horns. In a house across the street an elderly lady must keep falling down, because the EMT vehicles scream their way to her house, and leave after they have disturbed my life. Yes, it’s a selfish viewpoint and on good days I simply wish her well and pray everything is OK. On bad days, though, when I am already annoyed at my other neighbors, I am fussy at the old broad. “Just go to a nursing home already!” Then I spend hours unhappy with myself, personally ashamed of the man in the mirror who is aging and should be more compassionate.
My fans ask me, “When is your new book coming out?” Some ask, “Where can I buy your new book?” and I have to direct them to my last book which is more distant every day from the work I am doing now. I realize, with disbelief, that I have over ten thousand followers on Facebook, thirty thousand people subscribed to my RSS feed, over a thousand Tweeters Twitting (though I don’t really get it), etc…, in short a bunch of people seem interested in what I do. It must be because I have stood on a box attracting the attention of passersby–I have started a sentence which I have not yet finished. To those who stopped to listen, I owe something, and I do have things to say. I have stories to tell, poems to recite, asides to aside, but even as I stand on the box, my mouth is muffled. It is slightly distorted like the spoken words of the deaf man who cannot hear what he is saying. I cannot hear because it’s just too damn loud in Virginia Beach. I want to speak my next sentence and have the words come out clearly, and to do that (to honor those who are listening) I am moving to Harborton Virginia.