Thursday, March 27, 2008

An Old Game, Maybe Not So Becoming

And so the days continue to unfold like a wet map - slow and weighty, likely to break off in big chunks. Or so it seems. The roller coaster of sleep continues - I actually slept for eight hours last night, a rarity, buffeted by dreams of winning and losing and various rationales for defining each. The images, actually, were vague and don't linger in my waking mind - a pair of Red Sox shirts, a dim red lamp, a crowded roadhouse in which every word I whispered was visible, tangible, a smoky tear fluttering from my lips.

Sophia's horse lesson at noon, a desire to walk the dogs en route to the post office, and also make one or two morning phone calls keeps me at home instead of at the office. "At the office." I'll head down later - first to Forbes to read and transcribe portions of Dear Hattie, a collection of local correspondence from the nineteenth century, then take Jeremiah to the office to hopefully complete this thing on Ken Goldsmith that I'm working on.

Yesterday I mulled the possibility of breaking the rules here. Posting more than once a day, for example, or allowing each entry to expand considerably. Because of Josh Corey, I think, and the desire to copy and link to some of his thoughts, particularly on the courage necessary to introspection, deep introspection, and its attendant risks - being mocked, getting lost, missing the world, et cetera (he is reading I think Jennifer Moxley).

But I decided - am deciding - not to. Part of the allure of form to me is always to break it. Setting up boundaries, borders for the simple joy (the savage joy?) of just knocking them down, leaping past them, like a yearling maybe, who flees the barn and turnout, just because he can. Yet what happens when we stay inside, allow ourselves the pleasures of, the obligations of, the massaging of, the what of, defined constraints. I can't say, can only speculate, because I so rarely adhere to them. And since I've got so many other venues for writing, and other opportunities to play the wild young thing (an old game, though, maybe not so becoming), I'm going to stick with this. One post a day, twenty or twenty-one lines.

The benefit to me as a writer (a rider I wrote first!), which is not the same thing as the benefit to anyone who happens to read, I don't think, is that it's a springboard. I go away from it longing to write more, my brain buzzing with lines and whole paragraphs. A good state in which to embark upon one's work. And wasn't that Harry Mathews' objective in the first place.

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