I’ve been told many of my entries here are sad. I don’t think that’s true, I think it’s just the opposite- they are perhaps a bit too gushy about my love affair with Seattle. So, I love Seattle. That’s out-of-the-way for this post.
I now work just an easy walk from the downtown library, and I have to say I’m stacking up books I keep meaning to get to, but the active life of sun-outside, live-music, and in general social-occasions keep tempting me away. The past few days have given me a chance to dive back into pages, and I’m glad for the return (though my body might be unhappy–getting too deep into a book on a very sunny day means I’m sunburnt in odd patches….)
One of the books I’m working my through is Inger Christensen’s It, translated by Susanna Nied. Anne Carson wrote the introduction, and the best I can liken it to is strolling along a beach looking for sea glass. Most of it, so far, is nice but sort of repetitive. Phrases return and return, and I find myself skimming along for a while. And then there’s a glittering smoothness, transparent bright green against the round pebbles and waves and I am brought sharply back to the page. Can a projects intent be to be shoreline with small moments of gleaming treasure? I think so. If it were all at the same pitch, that pitch would lose its urgency and resonance.
Reading It I am struck not only by the repetition and the sharp glittering moments, but also by the odd lack of specificity. The book is making me take more chances with my own work and I am allowing myself to leave more details out. I’m working on a collection titled snowheart at the moment, and I don’t know that it’ll ever make it into anyone’s hands but my own. And I’m ok with that, it is just something I have to put together, to see how the pages butt up against each other. I need to submit work out again, I need to look into fellowships, but first I need to pause and re-evaluate what exactly I have and where I am going with it. I am learning to slow down.
I find I keep writing love poems these days, which is to say, I think I’ve always written love poems. The difference here is that I’m not feeling indebted to adhere to the truth of a love affair. The longing was part of it//because the truth was never part of it//because the truth is never part of it
I don’t know how much truth there is to love, to longing. I find I long for the story of longing, for the unobtainable love, more than the thing directly in front of me. So snowheart is dealing with that, or attempting to. It’s a bit narcissistic, a bit confessionalist, and a whole lot of lying. But if I find it does get at a larger truth, then maybe it will be shopped around. For now, I’m retreating into my own journals and not worried about it.