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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Snoring and Good Poems - Creeley and Dead Beat Crash


So I am crashing with Bob (see Getting to Know the Poems -Robert Creeley) in his dorm in the Black Mountain and neither of us can get to sleep. Too many evangelists outside our window.

"I'm wondering Bob," I say.

"I'm trying to snore, Dead Beat."

"Wait a moment, I'll introduce the topic of poetry, you can snore then."

"Go ahead, send me to sleep."

"What makes a good poem good?"

"Oh God, yawn. Okay, one sheep, two sheep, three sheep ...Williams puts it best in Paterson: "Because it's there to be written...." If one only wrote "good" poems, what a dreary world it would be. "Writing writing" is the point. It's a process, like they say, not a production line. I love the story of Neal Cassidy writing on the bus with Ken Kesey, simply tossing the pages out the window as he finished each one. "I wonder if it was any good," I can hear someone saying. Did you ever go swimming without a place you were necessarily swimming to—the dock, say, or the lighthouse, the moored boat, the drowning woman? Did you always swim well, enter the water cleanly, proceed with efficient strokes and a steady flutter kick? I wonder if this "good" poem business is finally some echo of trying to get mother to pay attention... one hundred and forty nine sheep, one hundred and fif...snort, humph, zzzzz!"

1 comment:

gunesvara said...

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