They did this for any number of years

After a Morandi still life, watercolor by William Eaton, 2018 - 2They did this for any number of years.

She would tell him, often with tears,

She was suffering—at her job, in her

Personal life. He would say or try

As diplomatically as possible . . .

“Were it me, . . . maybe to find I would try . . .


A good therapist.” She then managed

To get angry at him. “I’m not damaged!”

Was one of her lines. That is, she was

Not damaged like he was. She did not help

Need like he did. So he—suffering less?—

Went silent. Until, after months without help


She’d be back. She was suffering at her job,

In her personal life. For years, she sobbed,

And he—damaged?—too gentle of mind? . . .

Absorbed the accusations that came his way,

Trying, afterwards, to chase them from his mind.


Some people spend their lives this way.

— Poem and watercolor, after a Giorgio Morandi still life, by William Eaton.

For more about Morandi as a painter of relationships, see Morandi, Relationships, Fascism, Still Life (Zeteo, November 2015). As for what I have taken to calling “matter of fact poetry,” more anon, perhaps.

Now available from Amazon: Art, Sex, Politics

Art, Sex, Politics cover from AmazonIn a new, provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts. “That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave! And how affectionately rub up against one another. How, desperately, make love?”
Five-star review: “ . . . remarkable collection of essays. . . . insights which carry the reader into a world of mindfulness. One of the pleasures of reading a book by Mr. Eaton is to witness the author peeling away the layers of his stories. His essay concerning “savoring,” for example, first touches on food habits, yet is in fact a call to live with intention; to savor life as one would savor a meal. . . . lovely prose . . . delightful book.”


Kind words about Surviving: “Entertaining, yet packs a quiet intellectual wallop. . . . so thought-provoking and poetic I didn’t want it to end . . . beautiful and wise and moving . . . engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded. . . . William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places. . . . The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing.”


    • Glad you liked it, Nina! And good to hear from you. How are you? Your trip to Ireland? As for the poem, I categorize such as “matter of fact poems,” perhaps a good field to plow. I also seem — as I gray? — to be moving from more brassy rhymes to slyer ones. Best, William

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