Quote of the Day

burning-girl

“It’s funny what time does: each day a drop of water, and without you realizing it, the stone below the drops wears a smooth divot.”
–from The Burning Girl by Claire Messud.

I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately, as a medium for action and growth but also as a deteriorator of these same things. Every moment accumulates within us like an uncountable number of births. They engrave themselves in our skin, in our eyes, in our mind. However, they carry with them a promise of expiration.

The more time we incorporate, the heavier it weighs upon us. Our most troubled relationship is always with fate.

It becomes easy to get stuck in one place, one small rut in life, because somehow you fool yourself into believing time is not really passing if there’s no new experiences to be had.

I’ve stopped trying to figure out who I am and what I am supposed to be. The heaping of moments will determine that. Ours is to arrange them into a compelling story others will want to retell or rewrite for themselves.
 
 

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Red Skies at Night . . . But This?

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This picture doesn’t come close to capturing it, but the sun is a hazy red around here because of massive wildfires. Not as bad as Los Angeles is faring at the moment or the Gulf States for that matter. But chilling.

At any rate, my job has been a nightmare of long days lately and my wrists have been killing me, so I’ve not been on here much the last couple of weeks. Hopefully normal posting will commence soon.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me.

A Rant: Poetry

The critique of poetry I’ve heard most often in my nine years of blogging can be paraphrased thusly: “If you have something to say, why don’t you just say it?” I presume this refers to the metaphorical and discursive qualities of freeform writing. My response to this is simple enough:

“I am saying it.”

Beyond the artistic possibilities of poetry, I am mainly attracted to it for the opportunity to express the world as I truly see it, without the imposition of the strictures of grammar and proper phrasing that prose implies. Am I heavy on abstractions in my writing? Yes. Yes. And yes.

Because that is how I see the world.

Perhaps that makes my mind an obscure entity and communication to the average person a near impossible task. However, it is not a failing on my part. Someday we may all meet in the muddled middle and find a deeper understanding of one another. Until then, we all need spaces in life just to be ourselves, and to find comfort from others amidst the confusion of navigating this strange universe.

Poetry is home.
 
 

Raymond Chandler on Writing


 
 
Via Roy Edroso, I found this interesting bit of commentary on the art of writing from novelist Raymond Chandler:

What do I do with myself from day to day? I write when I can and I don’t write when I can’t; always in the morning or the early part of the day. . . . I’m always seeing little pieces by writers about how they don’t wait for inspiration; they just sit down at their little desks at eight, rain or shine, hangover and broken arm and all, and bang out their little stint. However blank their minds or dim their wits, no nonsense about inspiration for them. I offer them my admiration and take care to avoid their books. Me, I wait for inspiration, though I don’t necessarily call it by that name. . . . The important thing is that there should be a space of time, four hours a day at least, when a professional writer doesn’t do anything else but write. He doesn’t have to write, and if he doesn’t feel like it, he shouldn’t try. . . . Two very simple rules, a. you don’t have to write. b. you can’t do anything else. The rest comes of itself.

This is quite the interesting thesis. Though many of us don’t quite have the luxury of four hours a day, does it make sense to set time aside only for writing (whether you produce anything or not?) I wonder how many people operate this way.
 
 

The Rejects

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Rest peacefully, my dear words,
In the pit of this musty drawer:
You’re no picture, no memory,
Without light or rallying song.
A belief is no use
Against well-illustrated desire.

So, rest deeply, my dear words,
Vowels and consonants nestled:
I know that I’ll see you again
In the next obstinate verse
(We all go there someday,
Beyond the cloud, that impenetrable cloud . . . )

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