Friday, June 17, 2011

On not writing.

The people, I am not writing. Not currently. (sparing you the obvious caveat, that I am writing, writing this. Not writing poetry. I think you knew that's what I meant.)

Why? That's the question on the lips of the people. Or of me, one of the people.

Here's my latest assessment of the--I'm not even calling it a problem, not yet:
  • sometimes you let writing get far away from you. (by "you," I mean, obviously, "me.")
  • when that happens, you have to be patient while you find your way back to it.
  • "finding your way back" means agreeing to be a rank beginner again, facing your lameness, pressing on. You've got to be strong for that business. Or resilient, same thing.
  • I don't worry--much--that I won't find my way back. I've been here before. I know how to get there.
In the meantime, I am working on feeling good most of the time. This means, for me, right now, walking with Bruiser, taking my bike for a spin, reading, cooking, stepping out into the green world, cultivating a feeling of unhurry, and most of all, letting go of the belief that if I'm not working really really hard, things are falling apart.

Philip Levine once said that if you take care of poetry, poetry will take care of you. Maybe that means, at this point, letting myself be open enough to it; making time and space for it; then getting down to it.


  1. I am sure this is true for you because you have been true to the writing. But what if you (me) are always running away from the writing and never have been true and fear you never will/can be true to the writing and maybe everything is just falling apart?

  2. You nailed it with the having to start over from scratch. How can one forget how to write poetry? Even in one day, I forget and start over again every day.
    I look forward to your writing again although I do not blame you one bit for not.
    I just wrote a poem about Jane Smiley and Kraft Singles. You should write so some actual good poems enter the universe.

  3. I love this post. Found myself nodding--in agreement, not sleepiness--all the way through. My own lameness-facing has determined that I fall in the bottom third of the fifth tier of poets. Not where I set out to be, but there it is.

  4. I don't believe in Not Writing. Everything's a part of it: walking with Bruiser, taking your bike for a spin, reading, cooking, stepping out into the green world...this is all writing. It may not be typing. But it's part of it.

  5. Perhaps you just need pancakes?

  6. I like the thinking of RG, seems wise and compassionate. Perhaps she knows something about poetry. ;)

  7. I love what Renaissance Girl says. Everything is a part of writing. I think of what Dean Young says, too, about how no one can harm poetry by writing it. Writing is "frolicking in the alphabet." Walking with Bruiser, stepping out into the green world sound like just the thing to put one in a frolicking state of mind. That and cake, of course.



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