Tuesday, January 14, 2003

OK! I copied all my blog to a Word file. Now blogspot can't just oops away all my precious whatever.

I am not going to write every day on this thing. Not a goal. Not.

I've done the poem-a-day thing. David Lehman has talked about writing a poem each day. I guess he titles them by the date he wrote them. So has Robert Bly. It's not a bad idea exactly. It's an interesting discipline until it's not. And that's the thing. When I've set myself to doing a poem every day getting something on the page is the goal. OK. One has to have writing on paper in order to have written. Otherwise it's dreams, right? No novel ended up bound in covers that hadn't first been word by word put to page. Ditto the poem. Shorter. So my problem is: I resent it. The page becomes a wall. Fine. Throw a stone at it. But that's interesting only a couple times. Goal: every day throw stone at wall. You forget one day. Redouble your determination to make sure you strike wall with stone every day without fail. Another day you forget. Or you think, What the --? I don't want to throw a stone at a wall and that's that.

And that's that. I stop writing the daily poem. I come back to the page when the acquaintance needs renewing. We're interested in each other. The blank page does not intimidate. The blank page is wonderful. It is more interesting than anything put on it. It is a welcoming thing. It does not want or need or dislike, complain, urge, or insist.

One of the ways the yoga teacher tonight was talking about the body: reach out, we're reaching until we're putting our hand through the post office window across the street, he said. The page is where the body ends. But we reach out beyond the body. With the body? Yeah. With the body. So the page is a screen that catches a record of what has reached beyond it. Cloth. Cloth through which smoke has passed, the cloth retaining the color of smoke, the smell of smoke.

Uh oh. Cat on desk. Imminent danger of return of blank page. Friend? Foe?

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