Francis Bacon A Terrible Beauty from Feenish Productions on Vimeo.
It was a quiet day. I told a friend, with whom I briefly chatted, that I feel like I've been waiting for this--for the quiet, when I could sink into the project of a poem--for such a long time. It was wonderful.
I made my breakfast and read the paper. I set to work. I retrieved a book I have about Bacon and his studio. I read multiple accounts and interpretations of the studio reconstruction, the moving of the studio at 7 Reece Mews in South Kensington to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin.
I realized I didn't have an idea for the beginning of the poem. That's okay. What's wonderful to me about this process is that sometimes the poem comes to you, overtakes you, the shape of it and most of the words or tropes, and you just channel that overtaking and get it written down. After that, you can revise and revise away. But sometimes, the idea of a poem crystallizes slowly. Layers and layers, arriving in stages. Once, Larry Levis, in a workshop, told another poet that his draft was one of those that you could work away on for awhile, a slow process, like making stock for a soup. You would work on it but it would need time to develop. The way he talked about it, it sounded like pleasure.
I had a day filled with this pleasure.
I also had lunch with my son, where we talked about basketball. When we got home, we took a look at one of the couches in our living room--Bruiser had, in his goings and comings, basically disarranged the entire cushion set up. Also, the cushions looked dingy. We agreed, basically on a dare, to take the coverings off and wash them. They are hanging dry as we speak, much brighter and cleaner. Also, I vacuumed copious amounts of dog hair in the bed of the couch. Wow, is all I can say.
And made carrot soup and corn bread. The carrot soup had onion and garlic, some sweet peppers and a jalapeño, all sweated in olive oil then simmered in stock, then blended. Coriander and cumin as well. The corn bread, I made in a pie tin. It's a recipe I have been making for decades:
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. corn meal
a little sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. safflower oil
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry with a whisk with a few strokes, till the batter is almost smooth but not quite. Bake at 375 for 25 min. or so, till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Butter, honey, etc.
I want weeks and weeks with days like this in them.