Upriver From the Poem

Always this implausible and resolute desire to write. Who would do such a thing when there are such fine alternatives? What is this resolution? Go to the poets and they’re seldom any help. They become high minded what with God and love and the soul. You know the drill. It’s wonderful when Philip Larkin says “books are a load of crap.”

But the resolute voice pushes the body to its resolute desk for it doesn’t merely belong to the American president and the voice-arm insists on the loveliness of meanings. And sure the matter is more urgent for the hopes of life hang by a thread…Langston Hughes:

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

So I say the desire to write and its resolutions have to do with keeping dreams alive. And some mornings this work is like mouth to mouth resuscitation; other days it’s a damned lucky thing, the words come trippingly and as Theodore Roethke would say you’ve been struck by lightning.

But whatever it is, you’re trying to mend the broken winged bird.

Then of course there’s the muses meet schadenfreude thing, again best depicted by Langston Hughes:

“Looks like what drives me crazy
Don’t have no effect on you–
But I’m gonna keep on at it
Till it drives you crazy, too.”

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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