A Letter To the World: When I Try To Write A Poem
…trying to create a shapely classical monument in words, leaning them against one another in a way that creates a permanant verbal structure.
…trying to extend my mind the way I extend my arm, making words the living extension of my mind.
…trying to incarnate, in words, the images which have formed themselves in my mind around the shape of reality
…trying to write with all my mental faculties, and not just with one or two.
…trying to say something so good that it can only be said beautifully.
…trying to defy death, destruction, disintegration, cynicism, doubt, contempt, disinterest, incoherence, hatefulness, indecency, licentiousness, nonsense, blasphemy, contrariness, and darkness of all kind.
…trying to compose the perfect combination of form, content, substance, and effect.
…trying to remind human beings of the music that runs around the roots of the Family tree.
…trying with all my might to join an ancient company of poetic practicioners in a way that the founders and greatest constructors of the art would not be ashamed of.
…trying to commit an act worthy of volitional intelligent feeling being whose substance is formed around the rational will of the Eternal Word.
…trying to speak to other beings of my kind about the things that matter most to us in our brief burning careers through time.
I AM NOT…
…trying to express myself
…trying to share my feelings
…trying to change the world
…trying to therapize myself by dumping my feelings, raw, unexamined, and unfiltered, on the page.
…trying to make people feel a shared sense of shame, guilt, or any other feelings that would make them more suggestible to cultural bullies.
…trying to induce approved social change.
…trying to excuse the fact that my poetry does nothing for the State by writing in a socially responsible way.
…trying to equalize good and bad, happy and sad, significant and pointless, high and low, shapely and shapeless, refined and monstrous, beautiful and ugly, true and false, or any other pair of opposites.
…trying to make other people constantly reconsider the apparent, thus keeping them in a perpetual state of delicious and indecisive imbalance.
…trying to write literature that revises life.
…trying to do anything that can be described with the formula “A as B.”
…trying to substitute process for product.
…trying to prove my superior self-awareness of my awareness of doing what I’m aware I’m doing.
…trying to publicly ask myself whether I can really say I’m doing it.
…trying to confuse the average self-satisfied complacent burgeois reader by making my art an occasion for the sort of public vulgarity he would never indulge in while implying that if he doesn’t abandon his principles to approve of my work he is lacking in sophisticated aesthetic sensibilities.
…or innovating myself off the edge of the cliff in any other of a wearying number of ways.
P.S.: Please don’t anyone tell me that I’ve written a poem here. This is not a poem. When I write a poem, you’ll know it. Thanks!