Sunday, October 28, 2007

Los Angeles

I like city, smooth drive down with Bicky past alarming fire-blackened hillsides, a glass of wine with Murray on the sunny terrace of his Malibu condo looking down on the sparkling ocean, fun working lunch in Abbot Kinney with Ignacio and an architectural walk through charming leafy pedestrian lanes, beach walk at sunset on the way back, feet grimed with soot and ash needed scrubbing when we got home, after pizza, "Mrs. Pritchard" and the Caffè Cino on tv teeming with old friends.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Good Sentences

Then what? An award ceremony: Marion Soil and Water names Carol Cooperator of the Year. I was pleased to be there. Today I flew to Santa Barbara, not really wanting to, to light "The God of Hell," glad to see sister, son, theatre friends. Oregon sun, California murk. I cried for Julia Child. I am as old as the old woman across the aisle. Place is meaningless, except home. Going through motions: airports, rental car. The play is creepy, evil wins. Writing is necessary but unsatisfactory. What use good sentences? Now it is bedtime. Then what?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dead End

I never meant this to be poems, that's just what happened. A poem a day. Some of them are good. Charles Simic's essay on Robert Creeley in the New York Review (10/25/07) shakes me awake. He respects "the prototypical American proclivity since Whitman and Dickinson for speaking in the name of an extraordinary single self, which nevertheless feels itself to be representative." (I did that as a critic, too.) But Creeley "convinced himself that the only authentic act for a poet is to report what is in his mind at the time of writing," which is exactly what I have been doing. "He continued to believe that some bit of language that came out of the blue could be a poem…" Indeed it can. That's what I do, grab a couple of words and follow what arises, with no content but myself; the solipsism implied is false, shallow, craven. Of Creeley: "It's a pity that he felt the need to remain faithful to ideas about composition long after it became clear that they not only were limiting him but were a dead end." Take that. I have no ideas, by which he means theories, much bandied about with Robert Duncan and others. I just write. No more poems (for now).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Perfect Fig

a day this beautiful is a weather event just as much as rain and wind pleasure overbalances pain if you measure time I imitate a person enjoying a perfect fig who is convinced his own memory fits agreed facts adjustments quite as good do you need inspiration no and I forget what I use instead jump out the window

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Only If

unrevealed it didn't happen except to the actual person forgotten movies were not seen except then books not read but the hours passed pleasingly engaged in vast imaginary possibilities if I say this then that only if someone tells records can I mean what it was I began

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bad Example

too many of everything to describe any one bad example why make more O.K. already expressed never quite like this considering death O.K time to go strong happy stuff a concern how inconvenient survivors busy far away nothing after O.K. books memories plangent dreams internet presence love lasting longest make a present future no future past

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Winter Nights

what if not children living elsewhere unfortunately culture of scattering but actively carrying on what if not wondering vaguely question suffering doubt vaguely dissatisfied not doing enough quite right children existing is what might relieve console is that what Liszt thought music for winter nights

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Opening Night

my real body is young smooth lithe fresh as fifteen strong as thirty-five white hair thick age draped over it ill-fitting irrelevant pay it no heed my real self is outside time capable of anything fearless just beginning to understand this is opening night irresistibly attractive art enflamed look through immediate repetition wear damage faulty steps my real thought is this flowing momentary stillness striking clock my father's I am not he as you are not me we meet at ten to tell our woe we wed again as one the other brief quick kiss hot tip be in this all together

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Necessary Explanation

head above water body below large whitish thrashing everything on earth spinning along gravity necessary explanation suspended illusory which way backward afloat in time sleepswimming in tandem harmonious mergers welcome challenging tasks imagine treasure waiting flexible connection redefines perfected union some come easily jaunty tunes readily expository as if short words better express uncomplicated stories unimaginable restraint complements warmer depths

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dream Possible

terminal frustration finally I know how I'm too old start anew desired collaborators busy stamina limited mostly time stands still nothing changes pleasures are repeatable patterns persist same old clothes wear out slowly present reprises yesterday tears avail not reenact what didn't work the other times choose good habits be comforted hope youth creative energy freed start now remake dream possible

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lap Work

when will I begin overcoming all my galling limitations mystery intention locking me inside self belief barely relevant God dog (barks all night) oh books I could write wit wisdom ready eat be rich and famous last no what I mean is sit at my desk or lap work here month on month registrar of being analyst meaning built from words

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Three Meals

illusion of nothing what is something actual this and that post office recycling varnish table scrub legs pick up walnuts dream mow Mozart three meals friendly reading journalism Drabble write letter Julian sons are real

Friday, October 12, 2007

Too Many

too many words meaning lost what is work promise wake up come back O. K. I'm awake what too many ideas about what I like generalized good take in crimson foliage glorious too bright I squint don't want to know how bad it personal mortality enough happiness too many each unique rehearsal machine like appreciate value added every day

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Table

president of poetry I offer Kenneth Koch blank looks why can't I talk about things people to call business coming events it's not as if everything settled mind emptied editing Ignacio I recompose his childish memory flashes vanish around corners sand away my children's dings family dinners this historical artifact a table

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rushing Tires

arcs of light wet sidewalk shining rushing tires on nearby motorway machine always running bedroom filtering air stretch leg's ligament crossing ear crickets tug memory future nostalgia encroaching ever miss present sensations changing

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Our Best

The process, reality translated into bits of pure form, courts incoherence but sustains meaning. (Kimmelman on Stein) linen letters further virtues wish the truth orbital or belt soft recovery sudden click ignites my heat again restored who new strategy exhausted reforms implies positive spin as if carefully placing every word materializes something someone wants make it they will buy for plays see website pictures Magie's manifesto every one of us doing our best Be superior by cultivating your intellect and taste. (E. Waugh to his son Bron)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Too Hard

what if I worked on it all day instead of snatching fragments from oblivion made something of myself I do then what it only why then keep writing as though Waugh family publisher never shortage readers too hard work outside put up shit shed gutter who is it for what motivates compulsion identity spiritual obligation fulfilled still hungry obscure desire arising even now which current carried me here this way how productive be if not so scattered free choose lawful mosaic ordered mind

Sunday, October 07, 2007

At Peace

the best part this being awake at peace lucky me loving loved leave it at that if I only could thinking reality not the same historically personal promise pain and worse undeserved yet the night is warm inside again as if this is expected

Saturday, October 06, 2007

After God

seems if nothing start somewhere before God what after God we are not the first only begin where are words that mean essence existing none fatherless or unmothered conditional past precedes myself admit you know unforget choice composing deaf melody arising sun over clouds swim upstream effort required creates results

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wising up

difficult music special day worth driving to be among sophisticated listeners who trouble to appear Herbert Muschamp missed already none to write like that everything that matters to me is personal formerly prime now divisible two three four six eight nine twelve twenty-four and thirty-six I'm ready for autumn descending strongly play piano better more even wising up no alternative

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Only Me

birthday doing list missed flu shot awaiting gasman helpless whip up nice lunch Ignacio book talk story life all outsiders find our way back formed so family carried forward individuality a myth only what we do distinguishes still same person Pew-Smithily blunders tender shy only me now sync sister siblings half regeneration barren yet time sons potential forward in present theatre enough this one even old

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Serpent Kiss

dental reprieve relief paralyzed terror subdued rain sun swim giving in being here whatever it means enjoy plug away editing novels coming in Schumann Berlioz Wagner updating website train attention outward reflection inward learn doing being new age different phase reversals resistible urgency chosen balance leaves room quietly persevere until serpent kiss kicks back

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vegetable Truth

empowered being beyond oneself details absorbed shared vegetable truth berries painted music what is the lesson he said harmlessly invited can we open confidential tapes degraded unnoticed wack moments I will never renounce always thinking some emptiness redress of allergies lost lovers daring art procedure employed as if no one else can ever exist