Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fictive for the Future

This is what is supposed to happen at the end of July as the trading deadline in Major League Baseball approaches.

The manager gets together with the owner at his office or over dinner. The owner asks the manager, Do we have a shot at the post-season, and (before the manager can answer) how far can we go?

The Manager shrugs.

The owner says, I need to know whether to go after Pitcher X and what we're willing to give up.

The manager says Pitcher X is a great addition to any ball club.

The owner is getting a little annoyed here, and says, Look, what can we do to make up the 6 1/2 games we're down on the Braves?

The manager says, Fuck the Braves.

Owner: Fuck the Braves.

Manager: That's right, Who gives a fuck.

Okay, says the owner, You tell me.

Now the manager can tell the owner what the owner wouldn't have even heard when the conversation started. His team is at best three years away from competing meaningfully in Post-Season. Three years at best, meaning it will take three years of acquiring and developing young strong arms, pitchers who can throw quality innings. Maybe even a closer. His team (says the manager) needs to stockpile AA talent - right-handers and left-handers with solid mechanics and a live fastball, in the hope (the mere hope...) that two or more will pull it together three, maybe four years from now and form the core of a staff including one or two veterans that will take them deep into the playoffs, maybe even the Series.

The owner is of course skeptical. That's a lot of maybes, says the owner. What about this year?

Fuck this year, says the manager. We're not gonna get there with this rotation. Adding one guy, even Pitcher X, won't do it. But we can cash in and trade some of the older guys who might help out here and there while picking up young arms. As many as we can.

The owner will ask, You have an idea who you want?

The manager will say, Yes sir, I do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Observation during Wars - a poem

Sometimes during a war you will
see a bit of brick lost amongst
some ferns, suggesting confusion,
or at least a mutual disturbance
of seemingly irreconcilable objects,
whose characters neither suggest
the other nor cancel the other out.

Analogically, a shadow suggests a
different interpretation, or disturbance,
than does a silhouette, though
silhouettes are a species of shadow:
a shadow thrown (thrown) onto
a translucent or impressionable
surface, and at a perpendicular
angle so as to render the outlines.

All the while you will from time
to time think about the war, its
causes and possible remedies, the
culpability of this and that party,
extant now under this name or
another. You will want to get
the facts straight and you will want
to be able to express an honest opinion.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Labor Vapor

My challenge is to recognize what I am - to perform that labor - rather than piss on (self-inclusively, of course, with occasional hints to the close reader) about what I should be.

It can be useful at such a time as this to recall my thoughts or opinions as a young man concerning writers about my current age who appeared "discontented," especially with themselves. I recall, they were loathsome to me. A man or woman of 51 surely has made of themselves what they can; if they have work, that is their legacy, good or bad or indifferent, and if they appear to be trying to justify themselves - or are carrying on more or less obviously about what they deserve (that others don't, of course), they are pathetic.

This opinion which I held at let's say 22 of people like myself who are 51 was the result of a well-rounded education in the arts and sciences. I couldn't agree more. 'nuff said.

And so, I am what I have done - which is a difficult truth to accept only in that I am not God or some weird self-signifying manly water-breathing unicorn.

Suppose or imagine then what's left to me. How about...I don't care. (Take that, me!) I can't miss. I obviously can't function or produce through want. Rather I am in a place - and what? I wil let you know when I get there. No re-makings or worried fingerings of this or that. Not silence, which signifies "shock" - no mere disconnection or lateralizations - criticism, politics, prose.

I may live alone and write three more books of poems, then die.

I would have liked that at 22.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Say Capture

It is true and I hope good - tell me it is good - that my window for writing is somewhat narrower than it was 5, 10, 20 years ago. True, because I know it having experienced what need only be true to my experience; good, I hope, because the less one writes as one gets older, the better, I suspect.

To clarify, I do not look out of a window when I write, God forbid. This opening is flexible, fugitive. It is not a thing to see through, or use, or master. I cannot plan on it or prepare for it - let's say by getting up early, or avoiding distraction. It is a terribly flexible window that twists and turns. It is latex to my steel intent, which lingers, farcical, for such an opening to itself.

To write, I must feel I am at the edge of my understanding, which must be at some remove from my common understanding of my daily life; that what I write cannot otherwise be captured or remembered. Check that: that the writing is the understanding, though the "act" in itself is nothing unless one or another meaning has been provoked or relayed. That I will not capture or understand unless I write, and write well, and write thoroughly.

At 51 I am chock-full of all sorts of understanding. These do not have to be communicated through writing. Writing requires that the act is all that is left to me in order to capture or understand.

Writing suggests itself as the only possible activity at those times when no other activity will suffice.

And so I am at the edge of my understanding and therefore removed from myself in coherent ways. The window lasts for a time - not for days and days as it once did. I would like very much to somehow maintain this remove - but really, in my daily life I am already at constant risk for putting everything to the side but love and languor. And my daily life is good with family and work and a prompt, earnest ethic. I can describe all that, for all the good it would do me or you.

Writing (and drawing/painting) is the only means I have to capture what I love that lies outside of my reach. It is all I know that is peculiar to myself, call me what you will.