Monday, March 24, 2008

This Light Here

I had planned to begin this blog at my new office in Haydenville in about twelve hours but insomnia, devoted companion of late, suggests an earlier, more private inception. This is the prerogative of a blog, no? Public writing at any hour, from any location that affords an internet connection and a word processor. Yet I had hoped to gaze out tall windows at the stately Victorians on the other side of Route Nine, the crusty piles of snow framing the Brassworks parking lot, the lumpy - and given the weather lately, lumpier - sidewalk. Instead there is the moon, a few days on the wane now, low on the horizon so lost in the interstice of the young maple near the driveway, its light tired (or am I projecting here, asking the moonlight to bear me up, to be with me). If I turn the lights on - which I have done, for some reason I find typing in the dark to be inordinately frustrating - then I can't see much of what the moonlight exposes. This light here makes that light there less present to me. So in the window I see a tremulous version of myself, sitting cross-legged in a swivel chair, with my new haircut, fingers perched over the keyboard like cranes in a low pond, and beyond the bright glintings of the cars in the driveway, the pale blur of the road, and then a mile or more away, someone's light - perhaps the Pollard's - fading in and out as some breeze no doubt moves tree limbs back and forth across it.

The objective here is akin to Harry Mathews Twenty Lines A Day. Though I just learned that about an hour ago, when I was still in bed, and wondering if sleep would find me again, or should I just get up. I knew the blog would have some objective - some form or other, one that would preclude a lot of rewriting, and obligate me only to write, not to follow in minute detail other bloggers (i.e. politics), or in any way feel professional. "Writing writing," as Stein says, and as Douglas reminded me in his last letter. It was Douglas, actually, who suggested Mathews, one of those offhand reading suggestions of his that has proven wonderfully a propos. Peter Handke being the other, and maybe Biting The Error. So that for six months at least (which is the duration of the lease), I would show up here and write (will write, now, twenty lines or so a day) and let them be, more or less.

It seems some kind of comfort, that the blog begins its augmentation pretty much on its terms. Announcing its desire modestly contrary to my intentions for it, and assuming a form that literally hadn't occurred to me before. Though counting sentences (am I there yet?) feels dubious. I've been writing a lot of poems over the past few months that are essentially paragraphs comprised of a predetermined amount of sentences, and have spent as much time counting as creating. Maybe this is what you do as you get older, more mortal - you tally.

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