Monday, November 15, 2010

Loving Social Reflections

I had a very nice time tonight. Thank you to KP. It was a delightful evening.

I just love to be around other people.

I very much enjoyed my walk to and fro with my boy RG. We chatted, we purchased, we lived together. It is lovely to live with others. To live and to know that this isn't some silly circus. That this is all we have. Good stuff.

On the walk back Mr. G was able to provide some provocative comments on my current writing project and the reading project that I have chosen to take up. Who knows how to answer those questions. That is why it was so provocative. Because my current writing project isn't yet clear enough. And the way that my current reading applies isn't clear. My current project is alive. It shifts, it breathes as I think.

But I'm a little drunk. So now I will sleep. But thanks again. Dear. Ms. P. Thanks. Dear Mr. G. Thanks. Good night.

I just want to be full of love.

Soon I will write a post that will analyze the progression of my reading and writing over the last year. I think that my reading and writing has followed a certain logic. More specifically, I think that I have been trying to answer certain specific questions, each one leading to the next.

But my biggest question is, What is the big question that underlies all of my smaller questions?

I think the question is this: How do I lead a good life and help others do the same?

I think the answer is this: Transform, become something new.

So the question is this: How do I transform? How do I live a creative and original life?

All of my reading and writing, in one way or another, comes back to this question of personal transformation. I don't know the answer yet.

But I do know what I want the answer to revolve around: love.

I want to love. How do I love?


  1. Your post reminded me of this Richard Hugo poem.

    (I'm sorry to be a jerk and post such a long comment)

    Duwamish Head

    That girl upstream was diced by scaling knives-
    scattered in the shack I licked her knees in
    where she tossed me meat and called me dog
    and I would dive a dog at her from stars,
    wind around my ears--violins and shot.

    With salmon gone and industry moved in
    birds don't bite the water. Once this river
    brought a cascade color to the sea.
    Now the clouds are cod, crossing on the prowl
    beneath the dredge that heaps a hundred tons
    of crud on barges for the dumping ground.

    My vision started at this river mouth,
    on a slack tide, trying to catch bullheads
    in a hopeless mud. The pier was caving
    from the weight of gulls. Wail of tug
    and trawl, a town not growing up
    across the bay, rotten pay for kings--
    these went by me like the secret dawns
    the sea brought in. I saw the seaperch
    turn and briefly flare around a pile
    and disappear. I heard bent men
    beg a sole to look less like a stone.

    Beyond the squatters and the better homes
    stars were good to dive from. Scattered
    in the shack I licked her knees in.
    Diced, the paper said, by scaling knives.

    River, I have loved, loved badly on your bank.
    On your out-tide drain I ride toward the sea
    so deep the blue cries out in pain from weight.
    Loved badly you and years of misery
    in shacks along your bank--cruel women
    and their nervous children--fishhooks filed
    for easy penetration--cod with cracked necks
    reaching with their gills for one more day.
    Last year's birds are scouting for the kill,
    hysterical as always when the smelt run thin.

    Jacks don't run. Mills go on polluting
    and the river hot with sewage steams.
    In bourbon sleep, old men hummed salmon
    hoe to mountains and the river jammed
    with blackmouth, boiled in moonlight while the mills
    boomed honest sparks. October rolled
    with dorsal fins and no man ruled the runs.

    When I see a stream, I like to say: exactly.
    Where else could it run? Trace it back to ice.
    Try to find a photo of your cradle.
    Rivers jump their beds and don't look back
    regretting they have lost such lovely rides.

    I could name those birds, see people
    in the clouds. Sight can be polluted
    like a river. When this river asks me:
    where were you when Slavs gave up their names
    to find good homes on paved streets west of here?
    I talk back. What are you, river?
    Only water, taking any bed you find.
    All you have is current, doubled back
    on in-tide, screaming out on out.
    I am on your bank, blinded and alive.

    Where cod and boys had war, a bolt plant roars.
    Sparks are stars. Next Sunday, when I die
    no drunk will groan my name in spasms
    as he vomits last night from the dock.
    I have memories of heat upstream.
    Her arms and eyes had power like the river
    and she imitated salmon with a naked roll.

    My vision started at this river mouth
    and stuck here (bullhead in the mud)
    a third of what could be a lifetime.
    The city blares and fishermen are rich.
    Tugs and trawls repainted slide to ports
    and perch found better color in the sea.

    My fins are hands. The river, once
    so verbal drifts with such indifference
    by me I am forced to shout my name:
    backing up on in-tide, screaming out on out--
    river, I have loved, loved badly on your bank.

    Scattered in the shack I licked her knees in--
    beyond her, nothing, just the Indian
    I use so often infantile in dreams
    of easy winters, five-day runs of silvers,
    festive bakes, the passing of the jacks
    to sand pools promised by rain.

    To know is to be alien to rivers.
    This river helped me play an easy role--
    to be alone, to drink, to fail.
    The world goes on with money. A tough cat
    dove here from a shingle mill on meat
    that glittered as it swam. The mill is gone.
    The cat is ground. If I say love
    was here, along the river, show me bones
    of cod, scales and blood, faces in the clouds
    so thick they jam the sky with laughter.

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  3. wow! Engaging that poem was an intense pleasure, thanks to the poster.
    I felt the speaker's intense desire to feel strongly enough for both him and the river; to fill up with anger at what has happened to the river and himself. The identification he has for nature and a simple/unconscious existence is just so, so sharply clashes with some of the cruelty of consciousness/humanity. At the same time, there is such a simple, simple yearning for the simple but powerful emotions of love and trust. It's always a little hard for me to empathize with old-age speakers, but this poem was just delicious.

    Razzle Dazzle, I don't mean to hijack your blog.
    I've been dabbling with engaging here, and this poem just called me to jump right in. My thoughts on the limitations of words are growing. Perhaps I should start a blog; a community is already more stimulating than diary entries to myself. I miss you Riley.

  4. P = Phil? Word. Blogging is fun. I like getting to know other people's writing and getting feedback on my writing. Words do so much.