Distribution Automatique

Thursday, March 11

Notebook: 7/22/89

The world is the exciting and dangerous sea I embark on
to make my voyage as a poet- but the sea and
the world as it is given are not the
objects of my investigation as a poet. I know that
the powers I summon up from the deep can have immense
political consequences for myself and those around me-
but I cannot take reponsibiity for the outcome because
it is partly an accidental byproduct of my search.
Like the scientist, while I may be drawn to support one
or another tremendously significant political strategy or
cause- I am far too concerned about the
"individual case"- far too fascinated with the
particularity and the exotic connections between
things- to provide much impetus for those
concerned with immedite political action.

As a poet, I am a phenomenologist of the
inner socious- I must leave it to others to discover
what benefit might derive from the strangely shaped
fossils I discover there. They may have significance
for the politician, the political activist, the political
scientist or the political theorist- but as a poet,
I may be the least able to see this in my own work.
When I look at the work of others, I am most likely
toi frantically search through every word for the esoteric
information I am strongly driven to try to find.

I view as essentially political the readiness
to take action- and though political action
is completely conditioned and informed by writing at every turn (and
writing as such is profoundly influenced by every political
reality) - I think to be realistic about
relationship between the two- you're looking at a
stormy marriage- where both parties often want freedom
from each other more than they want a committment.
Politics and poetry cannot avoid each other because
they are both great talkers. You could never miss
with one at a party, for instance; the politician
will say many things meant to test your
reactions- the poet will say things leaving
you very unsure of all your reactions.