Abraham Lincoln

Between this house and the next

As our 16th president crowed, “No man may possess what we may possess.” Perhaps it was Frost who said it. I can’t remember.

Do you remember when Lincoln said, “There is a house, and between this house and the next, there is a fence”?

Perhaps it was Frost. But you know what he meant, yes? That houses are distinct by nature, and must, at all costs, be separated. It was a presaging of what was to come—that is, the era of distinction.

It was said that Lincoln rose from his postered bed with a wide yawn and a look of designated malice. For that was the nature of the beast—to stretch his wide gait across the floor of America and say in steel-eyed surety: “My friends, my colleagues, there is no room for this possessiveness.”

He meant, of course, the slave. Whereas we mean the woman, the gay man, the cross-dresser, the independent, the teacher, and so on. At times, even the Republican and Democrat. At times, we mean what the times have crusaded against.

I would that there were a fierce and bearded Lincoln in our ranks today, pummeled by the rocks of politics, though ever stiff and strong. It is unnatural, I confess, but such vileness deserves our utmost—the hardest throw, the largest shield, the sharpest cuts. How else are we to conjure evils and turn their cheeks around?

Now it was said Lincoln fell to sleep the same way he rose—with eyes open, jaw clenched, teeth at attention. His eyes bustled with the makings of his moral passions, while his calming hands gently lingered by his bony sides. He stuck out first his neck, then his chin, then finally all his limbs until they crawled beneath the quilt the Mrs. made him.

Beneath those coverings he looked very much like an infant, coddled before colic. But there were no screams nor grand eruption. Just a quelling of those fierce eyes, sliding into dark, ears perked for evil lurking, and all of him awaiting in impatient toil for the moment when the sun convened another day incontinent. He would not rise to see it.

“That fence, that dear fence, lets us sleep at night,” the honest sage said to the ranks and file of senators ages before he fell. “Keep it wide and high, beyond the reach of wish or wanting, whim or Wednesday follies. Make it thick as stone, bleak as the Cross, awesome as the pyramids at Giza. Promise it will keep us out and leave them in, that no one man may possess what we may possess.

Make it impenetrable as the walls of Jericho.”

I remember when he said this, because I was standing at the edge of that great legislative house on a rainy Sunday, wondering how far down it would be if I should some day jump to the seats of power below.

The city

The city

Sometimes, I have the opportunity to watch a tired city come to life

under me [it] so quite new

under me [it] so quite new

At 40, the hunt for a relationship has become a top priority

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