Nov 30- bright sun

by | November 30, 2004 at 7:51 PM

Today the sun is bright here at Muir Beach. I have been moving boxes around preparing to relocate my study from Marc and Lee Lesser's house in Mill Valley to our home here at 48 Charlotte's Way. You can see the ocean from here. So much stuff accumulates in a lifetime! I think there must be about 1,000 pounds of notebooks dating from the 1970's. Maybe someday I will look at them. Every day I write more. How much does one think, write, imagine, in the course of a lifetime? It all goes by so quickly. Life may consist of nothing more or less than moving stuff around from one place and time to another. And thinking writing saying things that have been said before. And must be said again. I have also lately been hard at work on a new poetry collection tentatively titled "I was Blown Back." Thinking about my poetry work over the last twenty years or so I note that I seem to be getting more serious! These recent poems (2000 and beyond) are quite serious, possibly to a fault, all about life, death (and how there is no having one without the other), perception, not knowing, the general all-round strangeness in being alive that I experience all the time. In the 1980's, when I began in earnest as a poet, I was fascinated with the surfaces of language. I had the idea that my writing ought to be (and it was!) literally superficial. About words and how joyful it is to sport within language. I think I also had some ideas about Zen- looking at Zen painting, as I had been doing then for about ten years, (work, for instance, like Hakuin's) I saw that it was quick, cartoon-like, and superficial in the sense of being about surface, without something deep being expressed. Just the moment of composition. So that's how I began. But somewhere along the line, just living more, seeing how much suffering there is, that suffering is life's poignant necessity, my poems had something they seemed to want to say. So the new work is ponderous, profound. Maybe I was better off being funnier! Oh well, poetry is never a matter of one's deciding how it is going to be. The poem has a mind of its own! One's life seems to be in the service of that.


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