For several years, since writing
"Explications" I've been trying
to figure out a way of writing-
like that one- where I can
move freely from tone of essay,
to tone of poem, to quotation,
to reflection.But when I try it-
invariably I get something which is
"preachy." I don't get exactly
what it is I keep slipping into
which is not at all what I am
envisioning.When this starts to
happen I have to wonder why.
It could be I am lapsing into
writing cliches because I am actually
not feeling very motivated. Right
now I have 6 weeks left & I
think I've already allowed myself
to avoid this (as usual) as long
as possible. My reading is in
late January- 3 months away which
I am feeling is a tremendous
luxury of avoidance. As Charles
put it, "procrastinatioin is the poetry
of our lives." This is actually the
luxury of waiting to get a really
exciting idea.But excitement of this
type involves risk- and
avoidance of anxiety is a big part of
avoiding that risk.
A few days ago I got an inner glimpse
of what this text might look like-
then I've been avoiding this.It is
hard to see because everything
that I've been told is criticism &
poetry I am countering. That is really
why it feels so hard to do. It
really should be easy to do- easy
if I can only let go of all those
stupid assumptions that make me a
slave to the rules of the past. At the
same time I feel a sentimental
nostalgia for all that- which also
makes me feel like one of the gang.
This doing exactly what I want
to do- which feels so dangerous
when I contemplate it- but oh so
easy and pleasurable when I do
it- consists exactly of letting all
that old baggage go.
Book I is a book with no beginning.
It proceeds as a series of
postulates, as disembodied from
a moment-to-moment recounting
as could be imagined.
What I want is continuous
access to theoretical speculation
with simultaneous continuous access
to visual and aural imagination.
This crosses over into "just thinking"
but "just thinking" is just as
accumulative as anything else. Simplify,
Sven Birkirts advised me. Simplify
and thus amplify. And more time for
Stop to do what?
Stop to stop thinking.
Stop to go back to thinking.
What other kind of thinking?
Stanley Lewis.Great bookman.
What was my book to this man? Now
I'll never know. What was I afraid of ?
What was he afraid of ? Now I'll never know.
Actually composed of hundreds and hundreds
of everyday observations. Thousands and
thousands. A minute, an hour, a day,
week, month, year, decade, a life,
a random string of such experiences.
The feeling of uniqueness of each
constellation is the freshening breezes of
right now. At a distance, they are
less and less illuminated by such freshened
aliveness. Real memories- full memories
contain some afterglow of this
life-textured vibrance. Just the
pushing- forward, the moment after
moment accumulation of time also
contains some of this spirit.
Never, in a thousand
years could so-called
progress repress what is native
to the human spirit. It
will cry out for the most
vulnerable ones who are suffering-
a cry of mercy. The young ones,
as they told us, would lead
the way, but this is the
only thing they were right
about.This intrinsic thing,
this spirit cries out in
some root part of everything
that exists. Someone, or
something has to say this
always to say this.
We are wrapped about it,
and it is wrapped about
us.There are only
indications, inside the
All things eventually rest-
and still will reappear.
*Listen*: what is it that's calling?
Listen again. Then you don't
have to avoid it.
It spreads out, it
takes over, we breathe it
and it breathes us. An
inhaling and exhaling, just
like us. the "anthropomorphic
argument" is a way of
measuring this way of measuring.
(Meanwhile a small bulldog has
taken notice of me, and when I
look up he is looking down on me
from the hill and just across from
me.Then he runs off).
If you serve writing raw
it is bitter. It has to
Someone called us
and asked for