Tuesday, April 9, 2013

HOW to Write & be (except) not SUCCESSful

Hmm. Writing poems, or watching oneself write poems is, in my experience, an exercise in continually not so much writing or whatever one might write, but noting what one sees in oneself writing. I can hardly grant it the title of "process." I mean, I have started something new for which I thought, well, this might be something for which I could seek normative publishing, etc.

This was a fine, novel, sensible, adorable idea. Turning then a day or two later to actually writing, and I could do nothing until I thought in terms exactly opposite to any that might appeal to anyone. That is, I sensed a palpable thrust away from what any sensible person would consider as reasonable. I really do hate, hate, hate success in writing. I do not trust it. I do not feel it. I do not like it. I admire it in others, this is true. It is true even at this moment. I admire it in others more now than ever in my life. To publish a "real" book, to be reviewed, respected. I would like this. But for some more purposeful reason or cause, such a purpose is a non-starter. I cannot write with any desire to be admired, enjoyed, respected, or remembered. I cannot be annoying even to be successful or enjoyed. I will write whatever I can to avoid exactly any success. I will write this:

I had a cat named red carnation
whoz paws were white as hemlock
blossoms. Every day I am  a bit
fallen apart so in and out. The
temple stood despite the clouds
and the fire, then it fell like
a solitary hemlock petal. You &
I are making good time and over
the hill seas. Stay speaking my
heart says stay says Peter stay
this will be short work fr once
This poem, as I understand that term, is a perfect map of critical failure on multiple levels. It is what I live for. To express oneself in art as falling off a cliff, over and over again, only to brush oneself off, ascend the purported heights of poesie, and do it again. That is no mean task! Rudeness is easy. No, the art is in not advertising one's purpose and yet, coming clear. And so the trailings or detritus (symptoms) of sense infiltrate and abide. Like light. Campfire and the scent of magnolia. Hah!
Perhaps I do too much to please otherwise in my life? But, no. I have always been like this, blah blah. I love writing these poems. I love writing them and sharing them and publishing decent coherent books that few read, though those that do are my dearest friends, including my wonderful wife, Endi.
One more notion. I actually think everyone who knows my work to whatever degree pretty much understands all this about me and my writing, in more or fewer or different words, of course. That is, I resist the notion that I am some kind of  gatekeeper to the Secret of Me.  No. No no no. No no no, not at all. No.
I will say, this is the tempo. Everything else is color.

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