Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My big thought from this weekend arises from a conversation I had with Danielle Maveal, one of the contributors to Shift & Switch, who now lives in Windsor. She said (and I apologize if my memory has altered or embellished in its digestion) that she hasn't written in years because she doesn't feel the need and that to write would be to fall into a kind of routine. I'm always fascinated by stories of people leaving writing (George Oppen, etc.), I think because I'm concerned that this poetry thing is a bit of a compulsion for me (startling revelation of the week: I've mostly outgrown a case of adolescent OCD). Yes, poetry, as a way of life, helps me make sense of the world and seems a good way to conduct myself (I also feel inextricably connected to other people's work), but I'm attracted to what I sometimes think of as "the other side." (Is this some kind of mediated interest in death? I guess likely, not to get dramatic or anything.) What would I be doing if I weren't writing? (I'm guessing that I'd eventually end up running marathons.) I've planned for a while to force myself to take a month off in the summer: no writing, no reading poetry or anything related. I probably won't last, but I think it would be an interesting (if slightly perverse) experiment that might help me gain some perspective. This is just to fool myself into thinking I have a choice in all of this.

It was good to meet people like Louis Cabri and Sergio Forest. I also feel extremely fortunate to have spent some time with Gus Morin and his work. His reading on Sunday night at the Zemra Lounge felt like one of those once-in-a-lifetime events, you know? It was also good to hear more of Rachel Zolf's Human Resources, of which I'm a big fan.

The next post will be all about someone else.

3 Comments:

Blogger dfb said...

if i had a dollar for everyone who says “i use to write poems”. but that is what separates a writer from other people – writing – if you not writing (or i will cut a some slack here – are engaged in thinking about writing regularly) your not a writer – very simple. yes it is a form of ocd (but i bet you got other ocd things happening in your life too). writer is a verb – that can be a noun – but the noun is not so interesting

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think george oppen an interesting case too. apparently his return to poetry, after working as a politico in mexico, occured at or about the onset of alzhiemer's although in its later stages the disease was an obvious impediment.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kemeny meant to sign that last message from ann onimous

9:47 AM  

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