Is all of poetry all just interesting because they are crib notes for the back story of what the personal life events were of poets at the time? I feel like I’m missing a whole cultural chunk somehow. Maybe I am trying to look too deep and discipher something profound when there is only surface or sound. Am I just hard to impress?

Deep dark fear of loss of constancy of self: Could words cease to be my thing? Or is this disinterest and narrowing of interest exactly because words are my thing? Blase is out an outcome of passion aging and narrowing as it goes? As I narrow I will be less of a generalist, care less about being a generalist. Or am I overextended the case of one poem, one moment being a bad fit. Like the perfect outfit but the fit of chemistry missing. Nothing else approaching it on the rack. I want it but I can’t have. I’m spoiled at usually getting what I want easily. It floors me that I can’t get into this idea. Failure is out of the question. Stupidity is not. It must be my fault.

The beginning of wisdom is knowing how little you know but how long can I sustain the sense of being infernally stupid without it just being my being stupid, not beginning any wisdom at all? When does the shame stop and the curisosity kick in?

Is this being curious? I remember more lighthearrtedness with Curious. I’m trying to hard. I know it but I can’t back off. I want to rope in the entire world to stand trial and explain to me why this isn’t working.

Maybe I finally am starting to know something about poetry now that I sense my profound lack of knowledge of movements and major names. I have reading lists but I blank out alone. I have no idea what I am supposed to be seeing. What is the big picture? What is supposed to be distinctive or significant? I love patterns. Maybe I am ticked at not getting a gratifying pattern and I should just hold course until it pops out. I’ll gain nothing for character or progress by quitting.

I am becoming aware I am in a vacuum (which would explain the roaring noise). I am missing the sense of real-time community, like-minds who care about word stuff. Not just their own words and Being an Individual. But about the business, the craft, the culture, the history. I can’t move forward in a vacuum. I can just float around with no up or down.

I feel an ache to connect or get success, either/or. Playing twister with myself gets boring.

There is nothing inherently incomplete about competent works of heart and art. They all serve. It seems wrong to say anything against the effort that went into them. If I am not reached by them, the responsibility should be me not the object of furniture, or humor, or poetry.

I don’t want to be like a movie-lover who slays and picks apart and harshly judges what she professes to love because she has filled her own head with too many examples and worn out her own cliches.

I feel like I’m spun off on another dynamic, like I’m color blind and everyone else is seeing something I’m missing. Like I’m in a movie theatre and this wave of laughter swells through the people but I’m caught on an odd angle and knocked off into a funk that I don’t want to feel but whammo, I’m feeling it.

Maybe that’s what happens to passion as surely as fruit ripens, passion leads to cynical dismissal. The more you love, the more you stop tasting and the smaller part of the whole you see.

As someone new to wine can only taste the ferment and alcohol, without subtly, by drinking habitually, need and desire exceeding what you can access, you get dulled and bored and create cliches in your head to not see what becomes common and can only perceive small differences. In a way first naive pleasure is gone. That kind of freshness can it ever come back?

I can’t say I have become an expert or connoisseur. I only can say I have begun to dismiss and I don’t like that in myself. I want to open the comics and laugh at 8 or 10 of them outloud, waiting, anticipating the highlight of my week. I don’t want to skim and scan and feel that blankness.

I used to love all materials of chairs but now I breeze through interior design showrooms having seen most of and the out there things look like they are trying to hard and leave function behind. Occasionally, once every year or two I see a piece that makes me flush and my heart beat out of my chest. Is it worth maintaining any interest for that ratio of bored-frustration?

With chairs or poetry, I can’t snappily rhyme off creators and years and places of practice. If my memory could access names and dates like that I would have pursued a history degree and become an archeologist or curator.

Maybe that out-off focus, slightly off center of frame is just how I am, the perennial space cadet, absent-minded professor, always drifting off to abstract topics. I love numbers and sounds of names but my retention of topic or data has been plagued with flukiness. Maybe I’m copping out. Maybe I’m BSing myself and selling myself short. Maybe I’m buying into what others labelled a me I used to be decades ago.

Maybe it’s just my insecurity talking and when it’s done bawling I can get back to normal. Maybe everything just feels distorted out of proportion now. When anxiety goes up, there’s often this sense of “reality” because emotionalism makes the neurons fire hard, deep, emphatically enough that the sense that they must be ringing true reports, distorts.

I am probably overreacting. Blowing it all out of proportion. Petulant at not getting my treat, sweet hit of joy. I’m just disappointed that it doesn’t taste as I remember. Maybe my palate shifted. Maybe my memory drifted. Maybe if I just applied myself more diligently…or maybe it’s just how I’m built. Maybe its a passing thing and I’m here petrified that because I made a face, it really will freeze that way.

I feel woefully uneducated, unoriented. But maybe that can’t change. Maybe that’s only going to intensify. Or maybe that’s up to me to decide and interpret. Maybe I am choosing to feel this way. But why in the world would I want to do that? There are other options.

Am I flipped back to the retro-sense of drawing equivalencies between authentic and having an emotional response again? Passion or caring doesn’t line up with a requirement to know what I’m talking about or to what I’m talking about being real. Those’re whole other dynamics. The discipline and rigor are a separate thing from passion. A talent is a separate thing from effort.

Maybe the try is to no avail. Could it be I don’t care? If I cared, surely I would have already committed everything it took and got what I wanted. I would have all the infrastructure of habit in place. It wouldn’t be something to consider, just natural action following the passion.

And if you read all that, I’m utterly astounded. If you can sort out my head for me, that would be marvelous. Mail the sorted results in an 8x 11 1/2 manilla envelope.

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  1. I read it all 🙂 I think once you start asking yourself questions about what you’re doing, it’s a good sign that you are open to learning. It’s the ego-ridden folks who pat themselves on the back and seem so proud of writing that seem to create the worst poems, at least that’s what i’ve found. The way in which you react is the way you react. Others may have obvious passion, while for you, this passion may present itself in quieter or more subtle ways. Don’t hold a measuring stick up to yourself and find yourself lacking…you’ll get splinters. Good seeing you tonight!

    1. Thanks!

      I don’t feel so utterly thick and isolated.

      The night was wonderful. Stuart Ross and Daphne Marlatt were spell-binding.

      And I love the measuring stick idea. That’s beautiful. Maybe I can make a huge poster with that on it.

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