Notes in a Time of Not Writing, #1

I imagine the tough things to say like I would tell a friend. There’s so many things to tell you, so much to catch up on. I don’t know where to begin or end, so I’ll start somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the middle of a bath on a Saturday night at the end of March or beginning of April.

Water. I love it. All water. The mesmerizing and meditative quality of water. An implied unknown in its depths. The movement, the sound of it, its independent ever-changing form that can’t be shaped or molded, and the overwhelming mystery and vastness of its quantities. Creating patterns while resisting routine. Possibility is the word that comes to mind. When I look into it. Possibility. One place to another, never stagnant.

It calms and it stirs me up. I drag my fingers through it and watch the rings of light flicker across the surface, feel the movement on my knees and legs.

If only we could accept ideas – accept each other – accept unexpected circumstances – as much as we can accept water simply for what it is. This

independent and ever-changing form. That can’t be shaped or molded

beyond what it is doing momentarily.

Water responds but can’t be entirely controlled. There are no rigid and tired principles and values to cling to.

If only we could better accept ourselves. The way we accept water.

We could experience more freedom. And the paradise before us here on earth. Embracing us. All of us. No it is not stupid to have this thought. It is absolutely not stupid. And

it is not even for you or me to decide

what is stupid. I don’t even care what you are against. That’s tired. I want to know what you are for.

I start with this excerpt, this particular piece, from the mess of words I wrote for months and didn’t post, because I had the kind of writer’s block that tells you so many lies.

Writing reflects the mysteries of life and consciousness. I can’t tell you what makes me feel so timid and afraid inside one minute, and so bold and carefree the next.

I, too, have been afraid to express the total fullness of life.

And I admire the element, water, that most reminds me what living is. Is to change. Art is this thing that must embrace a state of allowing. Total and complete. Allowing is really the state of creativity, of touching creation. But original creation encounters resistance from pre-existing, established entities.

I consider the fears and the insecurities and the haunted dreams. I consider the histories and the responsibilites and the rebellions and the failures.

And I gather all these thoughts in my hand, with all the feelings attached to them, every single feeling, and I open my hand over the river, and I lean and bend my mouth toward them, I inhale and bend toward the light with all these thoughts, toward the water’s direction, and I blow.







Early Rising

It’s 4:30 am. Not sure why I’m up but I don’t fight it. I decide my colors for today will be lavender and midnight blue. I pull on my black leather jacket. For breakfast, something creamy and green. Matcha tea. Color is what drives me, every day. What gets me going, what wakes me. And the quality of light, and the character of light, on the color.

There’s form – lines, shapes, relationships, concepts – and there’s words. But first there is color.

First there are flowers. And then there is the street. First there are the lime-green trees, the terra-cotta tile, the wrought-iron chairs. And then there is the parking lot. And then there are the words.

The words for these roots of existence.

I’ll wander over to Peet’s, the first place that will be open.

I decide not to write, I mean not to edit something more serious. Thinking is tiring sometimes. I want to do something simple right now. Something easy.

Spanish classical guitar music. This is life, real life. Life is passion to the core. We’ll never truly give it up with age, as the myth goes. But we can pretend. We are free to create our own tragedy.

This why we need poetry. This is why beauty exists. Life is passion.

To the core. It’s the one thing you’ll never forget.

I step out into the dark, the first light just peering through.



How to Be Unserious In a Very Serious World

Every once in a while it’s best to have a night where you break all the rules.

Stay up until 4 am, eat dinner way too late, drink fine wine and too much, blog something that nobody wants to read, make a big mess and don’t clean it up, text the toxic/perfect= intoxicating people and laugh it off, say something outrageous online somewhere, let people think whatever, indulge in all sorts of things you shouldn’t have, ignore everything, call it a success of a night, and move on

To the next even more successful day.



Two Words, Two Worlds

prac-ti-cal (adj.)

*of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theories and ideas.

*relating to experience, real situations, or actions rather than ideas or imagination.

————————

im-ag-i-nat-tive (adj.)

*new, original, and smart.

*good at thinking of new, original, and clever ideas.

————————

prac-ti-cal-i-ty (noun)

*the quality of being adapted or designed for actual use; usefulness or convenience

*the quality or fact of relating to actual activity, especially ordinary or everyday activity

*a detail or consideration involved in putting something into action

———————


imag-i-na-tion (noun)

*the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality

*ability to confront and deal with a problem; resourcefulness

*the thinking or active mind

*And the André Breton quote, aptly quoted in Barbara Guest’s Forces of Imagination. “To imagine is to see.”

———————-

Writ-ing

*the activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text

*the act or art of forming visible letters or characters specifically

*doing whatever you want





Afternoon Notes Before Losing an Hour

This isn’t writer’s block. A real block is supposed to be when you want to write, but can’t. Or you’re just writing in circles and not getting anywhere. And can’t get out of it. It’s less of a choice. More of a nightmare. But this is a welcome resistance. I haven’t wanted to write lately. Sometimes you just don’t want to. Sounds kind of bratty. No. That’s absurd. Stop it.

To call it writer’s block is easier than justifying not-writing as a legitimate process. The percolating. That sounds a bit cringe but anyway. The “negative space” of writing. Negative space is important in pictures. But nobody talks about a negative space of writing. But you could say there is one. There’s a few. The one that’s between the lines, perhaps. And the one that’s between the thoughts, the emotions, during the writing process. And the silences and solitudes. That sort of makes no sense. Or it’s not very linear. Anyway. Space is perhaps what I’ve been craving. Because I face people all day. It would be funny, embarrassing but funny, if people from that particular professional setting read any of my writing. It’s a mistake to think that anyone really cares that much. But it’s also a mistake to assume they don’t at all. But let it be. Nothing of consequence will happen. Some might think I’m a bit crazy just because I said out loud the embarrassing things, but why is that so bad. Nobody is normal – unless they’re delusional.

I don’t earn money as a writer, and it’s never been important to. It seems the language in me just wanted to be a traveler, a wanderer, picking up and dropping different personas along the way. With no one to answer to. A gypsy that got me to pay for its freedom with a lifetime of day jobs. It wanted to be a spirit, not so much a material presence. Sometimes I imagine I’ll bring her down to earth. But she’s hard to pin down. I don’t even always understand her.

It’s 3:33 pm on the clock. And then it’s 4:00 and the bell tower clangs. I’ve been sitting. The refrigerator hums. The cat sleeps. The water fountain gurgles. I just want to exist. And I want to express that existence. More so than now.

There’s so many things writing doesn’t need to be. Writing just needs to be true. The most polished is so beautiful. But its place in the best of the best is obvious.

You can make something so right and so correct that you’ve sucked the life right out of it.

I’ve always liked the idea of prose, essays or stories, that sort of falls apart before your eyes.

Possibly, but not necessarily, in a literal sense.

Always admired imperfect art, even disorderly. Not in a literal sense per se. Something unexpected, unflinching.

Art that seeks the blind spots of us, and jumps in.

Art that seeks the blind spots of us.

And jumps in.

The extra light is coming.

It’s 4:44 pm.


The problem with poetry in “America” #2


Part of the beauty of words is their definitions. But poetry understands definition to be a light thing. Lightness. An inexact art. Yet also a very precise art. But art requires flexibility, mutability, permeability, transformation. Art requires the flowering of unexpressed potentials.

Poetry is obviously the art of words. But because words are also useful, because they are also practical, because we associate them with a function, a very necessary and functional part of life, we want to understand them. We must understand them. We must, essentially, conquer them. Force ourselves upon them.

Poetry can not be forced upon. Poetry will always resist conquering. Not necessarily on purpose, but by nature. Meaning can be beautiful or it can be tyrannical. Poetry resists tyranny.

This is the problem with poetry. “America” does not like to think that there is anything that can not be conquered. Poetry is an unacceptable defeat.

Where we do not win, we reject.

Swiftly, immediately.



The problem with poetry in “America,” is its strength


There’s no real problem with words. Words are not the problem. It’s the meaning we assign to them. The values we assign to them. What we decide they’re worthy of. What we decide they’re used for. That’s the trouble.

Words are not inherently stupid. It’s opinions. Opinions can be so cheap.

Poetry isn’t cheap.

And we love cheap. We treasure the truly cheap. That’s the problem with poetry.

Poetry captures the invaluable. All that is invaluable.

All you could not hope to capture.





what to say when you can not pretend

i find myself moving away from writing. but i will always write. but it’s not the grand central station of my imagination right now.

i am more interested in pictures. writing is too perfect.

so often i don’t know what to say anymore. because in an odd way i think all opinions, even the smartest ones, are stupid.

my world is full of words. communication is easy. but also i need to create in a world beyond words. i need to express without words. i know my words can be stupid. and banal.

as all words can be. and this is why poetry exists. and one is not always equipped to write it.

words are to be respected more than they are.




Observation #6

Bad art isn’t low-quality.

Art itself is neutral. It assigns neither meaning nor value to itself. Art is just manifestations of consciousness that already exist anyway.

In truth, low-quality has nothing to do with art.

Low-quality is a state of mind. Low-quality is when you think you are better than other people — or, it’s when you let yourself think that other people are better than you.