Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I am very pleased that I can write like this. When I sit at the keyboard and play my music, that too pleases me. Sometimes I am sure I am only a channel, that I really am not able to do any of this. If not this, then as a channel, I am pretty good. Pretty good for a bozo on the bus. This was another unfinished poem. The last half took extensive rework in the middle of the night.


A rhyme and scheme, scheme
beyond meter to story
and beyond that too,
my liege, my lady
sets her intention within
the words to build it,
to build the walls and
seal the roof, ignite the fire
blazing in the hearth,
and quicken my words.

April 22, 2009 12:45 PM
March 16, 2010 2:44 AM


  1. I liked this work on progress (ain't life and all around it a work in progress as well).
    Pretty brave to post that, I can barely stand publishing a personal work, and even less an (un)perfected one (although perfecting never ends sometime)

  2. Live is all about revision (spoken like an old English teacher)!

  3. I love the weave of history and the medieval through this poem here, Christopher. It works well for me. Thanks.

  4. Mariana, mostly I think of my poetry as a live art, like a music performance. I am much happier if I can make it work the first time and wander off. I have hard copy printed off and my style is to have six poems per sheet, or five if too many were too large. I do not have the print out indexed at all. I never fix that. If I ever publish, I will have to do more editing, I think. I print off as a new sheet of poems is filled, and do not keep the electronic copy as printed, only the individual poems.

    I am not sure how to respond to your comment about the personal aspect of my posts. I have always struggled with a particular criticism that arises in my life, the one about how if I am in my head "too much" I am not quite real or honest. I am accused of intellectualizing, as if that is a defense against honesty. In all my life I have never found any crack in my intellectual process to show that something different lies hidden underneath for me. I emote and intuit too, sliding in and out of logic and poetry and vision and effusion easily. On the other hand, I recognize it is difficult to follow this if I am too undisciplined.

    What I mean is, I tend to view all my posts as rather personal in some naked way.

  5. Karen, my best guesses:

    Life is about revision
    Live performance requires revision
    Living requires revision

    I like the first best.

    The next phrase, because of the ambiguity of the first,

    you are speaking like the English teacher you have been in your life,

    you are speaking like a teacher of Old English.

    One of the things I try to do is recall that I am not actually speaking here even though it seems like it in my head sometimes. This is writing. Certain parts of it can become endlessly complex beyond speaking. Other parts become really ambiguous because it is not speaking, lacks the context of voice and hearing.

    I don't mean this reply as a criticism. I am writing as one trying to understand how to stay clear as I write. This is me trying to know how to write.

  6. Elisabeth, I see what you mean. Thank you. I did not place my poem in time. You are right of course, this poem lends itself to daub and wattle walls, to thatch roofing, to a time before electricity as a power source.

    I can easily add the animals and the pests in, the thresh on the floor, and all the rest, the chamber pots and all. The furniture immediately becomes sparse, the gadgets sparser still, and the presence of my computer becomes confusing.

    :D I love a good anachronism. I mean, I should have written this one with a quill pen on some parchment scrap.

  7. A channel...yes. I feel this most intensly when I sing. Wells up from somewhere, not of my own spring. Writing sometimes too...when it comes easy, fingers flying in abandon. When I have to work at it, that's when I feel it all me.

  8. It is probably like the farmer's reply when a passerby remarked to him that God's bounty was treating him very well...he said, "you should have seen this field when only God was working it."

    Annie, I am thinking about this in other contexts too. When it flows as if it was not me, the flow is coming through the training and practice that is me, decades of it now, though I freely admit that I did not entirely choose my way through my training. It is hard to actually remove me from the source of my work.

    Instead channeling is an expression of something felt about the work, that it in some real way is beyond me. I have this experience all the time anymore. I am just not this good. I can't wrap my head around what happens. I wake up at the end and say, "oh THAT'S what I was saying." and then, "WOW!" Because I often have had only a vague idea. I was just adding words that seemed to fit, and only had to do that once.

    But every single thing comes from somewhere I have already been at least in my imagination. My work would not come out without me having been in all those places. My main conscious job is to keep the grammar in place, to keep the other rules of expression from being violated, to stop the runonandons like this one from happening too much :D


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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