Ah, August…what kind of a creature are you? Are you about the music? What music? A dying anthem? To what? For it is music that is most visceral to the soul, isn’t it? What animal are you, August? What behooves you? Where are you heading to? For is it not death that we’re all headed toward to? So the point isn’t in that destination, but the journey. What is this journey? Isn’t it full of digressions? Isn’t Cervantes telling us something about digressions, that they are the fluff that makes the journey interesting? I don’t know about you but it’s music that brings me home.
I guess I’m having a bit of prompt fatigue. Even creative fatigue. How to go on writing? How to go on having done this over and over again? What is clear though, is that our Spring/Summer 2018 issue is coming to a close, on the last week of August I think. Then what? What new breath? What has got to die first? Perhaps we should stick to solid basics but invent a new mode? I’m thinking like that’s why Chanel the brand has succeeded so well. You’re still recognisable, as a brand, as a voice, but you’re breathing in new inspirations, giving new reiterations? Perhaps poetry needs to be that. What’s new under the sun, my loves?
Is this a fallow period for you? You know, a time where nothing seems to happen. Same old same old. But isn’t it strange, do you remember, when the same old doesn’t really remain, that things do move forward, transform sometimes really dramatically? Changes can be pretty dramatic that’s what I’m saying. But just like the illusion that the clock’s hands seem so still, and move so slow, then you drowse and the next thing you know, an hour or two had passed. Did you fall asleep? Did you get absorbed into some other thing? Time is a tricky illusion? I know I talked about time as a kind of filter, so we’re always looking back into the past and how things are so different now. Anyway this time, think about change.
July just sort of flitted itself away and we’re almost on the last week. July is very workman-like, I suppose. It just takes cares of its tasks and that’s why time seems to fly by. That’s a true gift of work. To forget time. To not have too much of it. To fall even a little short of it, so you’re always asking for more time. And if you think about it, time really is what creates our journey. I still remember for instance, John’s first dance class. And yesterday I attended his final class. So imagine what time does to one. It gives us a sense of a journey does it not? And when the journey ends a new one begins. So how about waxing lyrical about a recent journey?
It’s easy to lose track of the writing life. Distractions may even be more important and desirable. After all the writing is all fiction. Who has time for fanciful stuff? Wouldn’t you rather be living in the real world? Being with real people instead of, you know, fictional characters? Real life or fiction? Real life of course. So what use is fiction? What sort of value does it give? Well we all know writers use fiction to tell truths, and by the same breath, use truths to tell fictions. So fiction keeps you grounded. Get it?
Hello there! It’s July, so technically we’re heading into the second half of the year. Also technically there’s roughly seven weeks left before the current issue of Red Wolf Journal ends. Any pressure? None whatsoever. When I first started out with the journal, it was like going in blindfolded. I’m surprised it went on for as long as it did. It lost most of its passengers, if you don’t mind me using the train metaphor, but then it picked up new ones, then some more persons alighted, and some new ones came on. So I guess this train has put its engine to some use. I wanted to say good use but I’m not so sure. I sure hope it was good in terms of what good poetry does. Good writing? I have further thoughts on that but I like to be brief. Suffice to say that good writing engages at some deep level. It reaches right into I-don’t-know-what subterranean places. Places you don’t really go in your normal day-to-day life. But these are exactly the places that matter. Well I did say I’ll be brief so that’s what I wanted to say for now.
Ever get the feeling that what’s said has been said before? Yea. That’s the one I was feeling. So as a poet, you’d always be imagining in ways that perhaps have been imagined by the ones before you. Which means? There’s a thread. You’re perhaps holding that thread? You’re so tempted to cut off the thread when that feeling hits. That’s the one where you hit the wall finally. It’s a chapter titled “The death of the poet”. Which means? You disappear. You do not want to be talking interminably. Hmmm. Was I even garrulous? Have I got anything new to say? That remains to be seen. Because I don’t have the answer to that yet. Does it mean I’m already home, all comfy and thus, what more to say? BS, you say. If you do not say anything you’re already dead.
I know I know, I’ve been MIA. You know when your soul is completely displaced. Well not really. The soul has to find a home in the material world. Else it may become demented. Yet deep inside I know that language is important and it can help, have helped. Whatever it is that helps you to love your life. That can’t be language right? Language is not a doing thing, although in many true aspects that is precisely what it does. You know that already. Truth is always ironic and life is a paradox. So how do you find a home in language? That is a topic that has always interested me. That’ll be my lifelong vocation, I suspect. I hope all that is coherent even if in many ways it isn’t.
I have to say, I’m slowly moving away from poetry. Perhaps it is that I’ve said what I wanted to say. To say anymore would be to flog a dead horse. That actually goes against what I believed. That poetry is endless. So I’m contradicting myself. So it’s a matter of choice. Again it’s not really that I chose poetry but that poetry chose me. The latter feels more true. In which case poetry has done its work for me. So I’m no longer attached to it as much. I can always come back to it if I want to. If I wanted to. Why would I want to though? It’s not for fame or fortune but then neither fame nor fortune moves me. As a medium I think poetry remains a way of expression for me. Is the energy no longer there? That is definitely true.
I just watched the Royal Wedding. What a stunning tiara, what a stunning wedding dress that was so without embellishment. And how emotional Harry was. And how in love they are. And Meghan’s mother looking so visibly moved! It’s like a match between America and England isn’t it, a breaking of barriers. In a way it’s perfectly scripted and spectacular–yet it’s a performance that is filled with feeling. You feel it don’t you? It made me feel that life is filled with gravity, the gravity of love. The US bishop spoke movingly of the power of love. Yes love is the moral measure of all things. Love removes barriers. Love it is. Moral failure is the failure to love.