Monday, August 5, 2013

Working Poem & Principles, too

Ah. I'm into a longer poem right now. Quatrains that run in and out of present concerns, all over the map, but image/association based, touching at faith. A poem.

How would you like to define what the term "faith" defines for poets? I can't imagine a definition anything under book-length. I know poets whose faith in language, sound, form, shape, science, relevance in terms of politics, race, economic, or historical considerations - and elements of these, combined and recombined- is dynamic, active, secure.

Of course, the best definitions are in fact active, dynamic ones. To state, in language that is clear and true, what is occurring, not merely what has occurred. We tend to apply definitions to others, don't we, not so much to ourselves. I have found it a relief and even a help to state what my work is. I am a concrete formalist. And, as I have stated elsewhere, imagine my pleasure that others have contributed to the effort under that rubric with clearly visual forms. I am happy to concede control over definitions, especially such as apply to me or my work.

It is all a tremendous soup, isn't it? I wonder at critics or poets who bother themselves (and others) with arguing over terms and definitions. To me, who accepts that the wind blows, yes, it is curious to argue that it blows this way or that. For, surely, it blows as the wind blows.

But people want to establish a place, build a reputation. I do not discount or seek to undermine such propensities. We are - first principle - fragile and fleeting. Who among is entitled to criticize such tendencies, borne as they are of intrinsic needs?

Even so, or, in this context, I offer an approach of self-definition, with or against oneself or others might rally or react. A nice hard, vertical plane. Maybe a pill, or an ointment. A self, put to a thing, for anyone's pleasure or displeasure. A record of reactions conformed to a principle to forward, delete, amend.

But this is all wishful thinking, really. All of my writing - poems, books, blogs - is a kind of aspiration. I write as if to be read, but I have no guarantee or confidence of being read. This makes me laugh, at myself. All this work. Hah! What would I complain about? If you are a write then you know what it means simply to write, to write for the possibility of being read. To make one's word available. Well, for me, that's what I have. It must be made to be good enough, or is good enough. Frankly, I can't tell the difference from where I sit.

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