Friday, August 3, 2012

Dark Times

"This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else." - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

I wish I understood this all better because it is deeply true. I am transported by my own words so often. Nearly as often the stuff is complete crap no matter how passionate I was when I wrote. What I write is not genuine in some way, or too much of the moment, or too self involved, or not involved enough, and so on. Sometimes what I write passes my own muster. I look at it all the next day and easily see that so clearly. Where is that passion then? It has gone on to something new.

This process is so accurately described in the Buddhist description of suffering that I bow before Buddhism at least in this regard.

Now I have a platform and a global public if I can draw them in. I reach them through the images and UTubes I add to my posts mostly as they are googled but perhaps a few stay once they find me. My most conservative visitation counter gives me over 78,000 page hits since March of 2010. I know most people who read do not comment.

I once used a couple images of Trivial Pursuit, the question and answer game, in a post. That is by far and away the most touched on post I have produced (5000+ hits). It has registered more than twice the count of the post in second place and by tenth place my Trivial Pursuit post has been viewed five times as much. All ten places are held by posts with over a thousand hits. I am absolutely certain it is not my poetry that is so popular.

Still, I do have some fans, and not only local friends and family who have to like my stuff. What is weird to me is how many commentators actually like these words of mine. Perhaps it is just politeness, perhaps more than that. I have come to the conclusion that what's wrong here is my own rating. I have come to the conclusion that I do not really write to please myself even though I think I do. Thus while the passion that pushes me on is essential it is not the thing and I will never have the satisfaction of that passion for long. Not ever. The real miracle is that my passion does not subside for my knowing this. It is a miracle because without that passion I would not write. I know this is true because I lost it once before for decades and I did not write.

Dark Times

If I slashed myself
for real like I think, I would
bleed out, mess the rug
instead of writing
these words, naked as my soul
receding on paths
traced by dead comets
in God's dim outer courtyard
where angels don't go.

April 28, 2010 11:01 PM


  1. wow, everything you have written here rings true for me ..... the prose and the poem.... and the string you have pulled, what a deep and authentic thrummmmm.
    thanks for this thoughtful post

  2. I for one am glad you still have the passion, in whatever form it presents itself are the catalyst that primed my writing .


    Rectrem...that could be a very ugly or strange word, but alas twas only word verif ;-)

  3. I am not sure it is always a gift to be infected with words...

    However, in your case Mr. Wander, it beats the other alternatives that were open to you before you found your words.

    I think I read once that one great writer said that you only can be a great writer if it is going to kill you not to be. If it is just an urge that won't be enough. It has to be more or less constantly eating your liver.

  4. Thank you for your constancy here Ms. Harlequin. You warm my heart.

  5. So much I agree with here. I don't know if I write to please myself, although on occasion I surely do. As you said, more often than that, it is complete drivel. But I do write to know myself, and drivel or not...that seems to happen with regularity.

  6. I'm too busy being somebody, anybody else when I write. :P

    I agree that it often doesn't work, that wherever I go, there I am.

    Loving you, Annie.

  7. I like your poems. I think part of the lack of popularity might be that poems aren't much a part of what people do these days.

    I found my way here while looking for a picture of Mary Oliver. I can see how a Trivial Pursuit picture would be a stepping stone toward you.

  8. I will take it the other way rather than the way it implies that what I do is a "Trivial Pursuit". :D

    Yes indeed, poesy is a minority pursuit. However, it would be erroneous to overlook the millions across the globe who are engaged in creating English language poetry, and the millions more when you add other languages. There are perhaps approaching a billion people on the internet now, and only a few millions engaged in poetry. I believe that the giants in this poetry business are better supported than ever, at least in appreciation.

    It remains clear that marketing is still a major contribution to things.

    There is one more curious piece to this - just because I am passionately committed to writing my poetry, this doesn't mean that I necessarily want to read yours, not at all. I don't think I am the only guy who struggles in this area. I think many, even most of us have this issue, if we are actually good poets. Reading "bad" poetry is painful and I mean actually painful for the likes of me. Further, reading takes time away from writing. I hate it that I am this arrogant but there it is. I'm not the only one this way either.

    I work best to prompts of various kinds, often the words of my friends who are themselves amazing writers, and other kinds of prompts. I seldom sit down and just dredge a poem up, though I can. Most often I am inspired. However, as I visit and work to certain prompt sites, I recognize that many people strive to socialize in this way and neither want to nor probably can succeed as poets in their own stature.

    What has happened to me, I have perfected a sort of blog post style and my writing extends beyond the poetry that way. I am more interested in producing this work than I am in socializing. This kind of arrogance I believe is rather common among creative people. Many of us will even be this frank about it.

    However, I do love passionately. I have friends I have made here and one friend who has joined me here from face to face life. In this way my blog life has become part of my wider life. Perhaps you will become a part of that in the long haul.


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

Get Your Own Visitor Map!