a letter i wrote to steve roggenbuck out of the blue

dear steve,

please assure me you are alive. i have missed you and miss you. i, we, lost mark, and i, we, cannot lose you. at the very least, assure me, assuage me, tell me you are, as i so dearly hope, working quietly on your magnum opus, your masterpiece, your full transfiguration. i say this only as an ode, as a full confession that i feel you are so necessary for this world, for the abstract space of humanity. tell me, at least, you have not given up on poetry, on humanity and even post-humanity and even some odd future where all living things are contained within the idea of humanity, that we are, that i am, that we, are a planet, not humanoids, but a planetoids. i send this email to assure you that you are a crucial cardiac muscle, or a particularly pretty memory node, but more than that, i feel it would be a true tragedy (and i am a skeptic of truth) but there is a woman who is pregnant a little ways from me in this oddly silent auditorium, and her swollen womb makes me wonder at life, makes me all the more hope that you are still in this rather large womb within the stars with me still, that i might wander about and serendipity into you. assure me you are a machine of beauty, a poem. let me know this is just a stanza break, a walking from one room to another. i want to assure you, that what you have made so far, is so close to my inner unspokens. i have a friend who i worry has stopped writing, and the beauty he wrought sometimes fills my daydreams, sometimes i sit quietly in my car as i drive and i think of what he wrote. i have no ocean to literally sail across, or any plains or deserts to travel through, but sometimes the metropolis i live in feels barren, and when i walk down side walks and cannot find an open fountain, cannot find an unclaimed berry or burrough, and i feel in a warped land, i feel lost but i don’t know from what, and there amidst the power lines, i feel my mind is also owned and farmed and and warped. i cannot hold still in this world. i cannot, though i have tried some afternoons, gain the moss i envy on the back of a stone i see in a river when i am on a hike with my wife. maybe you have fallen in love, and in the stead of loving so widely, you’ve narrowed to one very acute beauty. who am i to suppose that you should live the way i would hope you would, who i am to even be so much as thankful for what you have done and so hopeful that you would do it all the more. why would i tell you that i need you as a poet and not as a doctor or not as both, or tell you that i need you at all. perhaps you have lost hope and this should be beautiful. but how could i ever suggest anything, and at this moment i almost move to erase this entire message. i didn’t know that i expressing gratitude would be so complicated, and i know the strenuousity of poetry, the difficulty of drafting beauty. i don’t ask assurances lightly, but if anything, i ask it sincerely. at the very least i want to say thank you. thank you, steve. thank you. 

zach t power