"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday & Not Writing

Friday at work. As usual, my appts. have mostly canceled so I've spent the better part of the morning checking the same 3 websites over and over again. I have kitchen duty this week so in a bit I'll get to go clean out the fridge, which should be fun. Last week I accidentally threw away my boss's lunch. That was fun.

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You know you could call me: (541) 346-2172

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And then there's the Not Writing. I haven't written a poem in months. The poems of Brief Weather... were really the last writing I've done. I talked to an old mentor yesterday and she suggested that maybe my poet years are over. Maybe I've done all I can do. And that thought doesn't upset me much. But the fact that it doesn't upset me much upsets me a little.

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Check it out. I actually like the poem on Poetry Daily today. This is a rare thing.

2 comments:

Larissa said...

Your mentor suggested you might have written all that you can write? Do you find that challenging to your identity as a poet, as in, "I'm no longer a poet," or is it more like "I'm no longer writing poetry, but I'm still a poet"? I can't imagine her advice is very helpful for you. Was she urging you to finish your dissertation instead of writing poetry, or to join a cult in South America, or to get a "real job"? Or is it a commonplace of the community of poets that at some point your creative well runs dry and you hang up the pen?

Ginger Heatter said...

ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS

There is something missing in our definition, vision, of a human being: the need to make.

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We are creatures who need to make.

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Because existence is willy-nilly thrust into our hands, our fate is to make something--if nothing else, the shape cut by the arc of our lives.

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My parents saw corrosively the arc of their lives.

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Making is the mirror in which we see ourselves.

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But being is making: not only large things, a family, a book, a business: but the shape we give this afternoon, a conversation between two friends, a meal.

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Or mis-shape.

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Without clarity about what we make, and the choices that underlie it, the need to make is a curse, a misfortune.

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The culture in which we live honors specific kinds of making (shaping or mis-shaping a business, a family) but does not understand how central making itself is as manifestation and mirror of the self, fundamental as eating or sleeping.

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In the images with which our culture incessantly teaches us, the cessation of labor is the beginning of pleasure; the goal of work is to cease working, an endless paradise of unending diversion.

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In the United States at the end of the twentieth century, the greatest luxury is to live a life in which the work that one does to earn a living, and what one has the appetite to make, coincide--by a kind of grace are the same, one.

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Without clarity, a curse, a misfortune.

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My intuition about what is of course unprovable comes, I'm sure, from observing, absorbing as a child the lives of my parents: the dilemmas, contradictions, chaos as they lived out their own often unacknowledged, barely examined desires to make.

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They saw corrosively the shape cut by the arc of their lives.

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My parents never made something commensurate to their will to make, which I take to be, in varying degrees, the general human condition--as it is my own.

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Making is the mirror in which we see ourselves.

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Without clarity, a curse, a misfortune.

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Horrible the fate of the advice-giver in our culture: to repeat oneself in a thousand contexts until death, or irrelevance.

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I abjure advice-giver.

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Go make you ready.

(Frank Bidart)