It is so
To just let it stand
It is so
To just let it stand
I would come more often, but also I love the total and absolute quiet.
Just the little fountain bubbling up for the cat. Or the refrigerator hum. Faint movements outside the window.
Even just the air. There’s a rushing sound like a freeway, but only like distant, blended waves.
I would talk more. I would put myself out there.
Sometimes I do. But I take solace too, in this total and absolute quiet.
I love you, but also in total and absolute quiet together, love beyond entertainment.
It’s not a silence I mean, just a quiet.
An absence of unnecessary noise or movement.
For life, in honor of life I speed up, but also I want to be slow.
And so incredibly free of mind.
Everyone wants to be right and it’s the most important thing in the world. It feels exciting and invigorating. But this hardly resonates.
To be right, has a temporary glow… but also, to be right… sucks. It sucks the life out of everything. The way we are treating it now. It’s rigid and, the way we’re treating it now, unintelligent.
To be right has become the most banal aspect of contemporary existence.
Writing is more difficult than ever. And also easier. Because of the culture of RIGHT.
It’s enough to make you feel done with language, with writing. To give up everything. To just give up. Because to write, to use your words – this involves taking a position. Do I need to be right, to write? Because there is more to life than being the one who is right.
We’re dealing with an actual and deliberate detachment from reality. Because as much as we propose to speak truth, truth is not only what we are speaking at any given time. We’d like to believe that it is, but truth changes as quickly as we figure it out.
What is truth? You can’t only be right and also have the truth. It’s impossible. Truth is filtered through the material world, but it can not be caught by you. Truth is a phenomenon created by the sum total of an infinite multitude of ideas and perspectives. Truth is a multitude.
And this is why we need poetry.
Poetry calls us to remind ourselves how foolish we are in being so right. In pretending to have all the answers. In our righteousness against the assholes.
Because there is no right answer in poetry. There is no “figuring it out” once and for all. No one single truth or perspective. And there isn’t supposed to be. Because this would not be possible, and it would not even reflect all that art is capable of – nor all that we are capable of. Art can understand us even beyond ourselves, because art is perspicacious. Because art is a universe, within universes. Because art reflects reality as this complex multitude beyond one single ego — one single ego whose tragic flaws art is also sure to reveal, so that nobody can be a God (but perhaps, merely part of the god we envision).
The “one single ego” of the artist or the writer – that’s just a personality. The artist, or one who creates, serves as a medium for an aspect of truth. Like all beings — except that the artist occupies oneself with this phenomenon specifically. But this doesn’t mean that the artist is supposed to be right either. To be so right and so perfect, even so irrefutable — that would be the creation, ultimately, of something stagnant. And what would be the point of that? To end ourselves?
…What is the actual end game of RIGHT?
We don’t need to be right, much as we act as if. And artists don’t need to be right to create, nor writers – especially not to write poetry which neither needs nor strives to be right — it just needs to show. And this is why we won’t give up. Craft will continue to excel at creating more questions, than answers. There’s people out there who really wish we would, just give it up. We all know them. And we can’t help but disappoint them. Truly. And this is okay. In fact whatever we do, it will disappoint someone. And that’s marvelous.
This is the reason it is worth it to keep going. Not to make more points. Not to be more right than they are. But to imagine. All of what is possible. And in doing so, we will not please all. If we existed only to please, then nothing original would ever get made or done. Because so often, what is original begins by embodying what is not-right.
And as for the whole? Not just the artists. The “everyone”? There is the idea that if we compromised on everything so readily, then nothing would ever change. And we could not dare to hope for a better world.
But this does not mean we are the god of intelligence. Is our opinion seriously, honestly, the highest intelligence possible? Does our opinion represent the highest world order? Please.
We’ll do better, in today’s climate, to celebrate how wrong we can be.
There’s so many things to say, 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. No rigid and tired principles and values to cling to. If only we could better accept ourselves the way we accept water.
And 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. And 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 this element, water, that most reminds me what living is. Is to change. Art is this thing that has to 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. Which in some historical sense matters, but in an absolute sense means absolutely nothing.
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.
Poetic consciousness is the recognition
of the sacredness
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.
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.
*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.
*new, original, and smart.
*good at thinking of new, original, and clever ideas.
*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
*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.”
*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
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 too 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.
Even though cursing is a part of real life, even though we all do it, even though it’s funny and legitimate, it’s still evident that cursing in poems
can often feel a little disappointing.
We respect the known, the definable. But we also hold this too tightly.
A stable foundation prevents total chaos.
But all that gives life so much meaning – exceptional meaning – comes by
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.