We are in the mountains.
It's cold in our cabin,
so the girlfriend and I light a fire.
Sitting there watching the amber flames chew their bark,
my mind starts searching for metaphors.
I think to myself:
Having a fire in your fireplace
is like having a raging, orange monkey with arthritis
locked in a crate,
hissing and popping and cracking its joints.
But then I think to myself:
No, that's not what it's like at all.
Nobody will understand that.
Derek, you won't even know what
you're talking about in a week's time.
But then I think:
Yet, there's got to be some way to
harness this fire, poetically, outside the usual
literary terms and devices?
Here is this thing, that is engrained in our history
as a savior of mankind.
It brought us warmth and light, security and nutriment.
Yet it is also this dangerous beast, capable of destroying
entire civilizations, and even the entire human race
if the conditions were right.
And it's right here in my house.
There's just this CAGE OF FIRE in my living room.
And when it gets hungry, I feed it logs.
Because it likes logs.
And even though it seems alive,
it's okay to kill it.
I'm just not supposed to let it out of its cage,
because it's kind of crazy
and has a very broad appetite.
There's nothing like fire.
Sure, there are beautiful parallels:
Her bright, redwood hair unfolding in the sunlight,
A flurry of cardinals in a windstorm, spiraling into the clouds,
But we've heard it all before.
And I need to let this go
and stop trying