For the Daughters of Eve
I need more than sympathy or pity
but I'll settle for them
and even look for them.
Why can't the blind girl see
the tears in my eyes
or the drowning man inside me
clinging to waves?
12 July 1985
This is the second of the Drowning Man poems. Once the idea of a part of me drowning in emotions became fixed it was a long time before it left me. I think the last poem in the series is ‘Drowning Women’ (#633) which I finished in March 1989.
There were a lot of women around me in the eighties. F. was still very much a part of my life and our clandestine relationship continued with all the associated guilt but the immediacy of those first few months had gone. I wasn’t bored with her. The problem was I needed more that was practical and so found myself turning to other women but not for sex. Sex was never that important which is an odd thing to say when that was what propelled my relationship with F. but it was more a matter of cutting our cloth. I spent a lot of time without her and so, like the emotional vampire I became, fed wherever and whenever I could.
All we are told about Adam's offspring is that his first son was named Cain, the second was named Abel and, after Abel's murder, another son named Seth came along as a replacement for Abel. After that, according to Genesis 5:4, Adam “had other sons and daughters.” None of the daughters are named which was typical enough at the time but I chose the title for this poem because I wanted to underline the namelessness of these women in my life. They all have names and I can probably remember them all but the thing was I wasn’t really fussy. We all know how powerful the sex drive can be. What I was discovering was how powerful my emotional drives were.