Distribution Automatique

Thursday, June 17

Going Backwards

Sometimes I have wished that I
could compose my poems completely
out of ellipses or blank space.
As soon as I think this I realize
that my "poetry" consists as much in what
I have refused to say and do-
than in what I have actually done
or written. This heightened awareness of this choice
is a very so called modernist
notion, but it's still true. If there are
politics for a poet they exist in the kinds of
choices one makes as a poet because
those choices are the tough choices.
Most poets are very good imitators.
This is as easy for a good poet
as it is for a good musician to
whistle a tune. You don't have to be
a good musician to whistle a tune
so it's that easy. As easy as it is,
it is that hard for a good poet to
refrain from imitating. Now, it is even
much harder for good poets to not
imitate themselves.

The further along I go, the
more often I feel like I am at a
precipice. That I am actually backing
into a precipice because I want to
keep moving but I am conscious that I
must continually be aware that I
am backing away from something.
Also- I've been aware for a long time
that the clearer I am about something
the quicker those who listen to me take
my ideas for their own. This is
because I am making clearer the
situation that we (myself & my listeners) are actually
in. This is about the best thing you
can do in a hard situation. Where there
are few obviously good answers you
try to become aware of what is making
it so hard.

This growing number of options
is backing me into a corner. I am
more aware of the things I can't choose
to do. I want to keep moving so
I keep backing up. Although the precipice
is said to be in front of me, it
is actually behind me.

I am backing into the future, I
am going backwards because it is
actuality that takes me where I have to
keep going- me and my quick embraces
with actuality. When I let go & really
move I must fall. This fall is
the free flight of future time.
This fall is the surrender to the
non-existence of what I want. How
else might I create? I can only create
what does not yet exist. In order to
create what does not yet exist I
must resist all
imitations to previous directions. These
other ways may be in light or darkness, but
they must not be immediately
recognizable. Do I tremble? No. Am
I disoriented? Yes.

This is what I am waiting for.
This is the starting point I've been at
all my life. This so called courage is
none other than the willingness to get used
to being scared. If the other poets
haven't told you this- the ones who
ought to know- it is because they didn't
want you to leave them stranded out there
alone. They've gotten used to having
you around. You've been there all
along. So come on in, the water's
fine. Don't hesitate- just