“If you do something in the spirit of non-achievement, there is a good quality in it. So just to do something without any particular effort is enough.” Shunryu Suzuki To make something of these times I must make something so I will find a frame in which to nail my thoughts. I cannot beat this lone silence and I cannot take this seedless greening anymore, this yearning growth that knows only down and in, only dragging my thoughts into the night where I cannot find them though I remember having them, remember how they felt if not how they looked, remember them close and warm, and thought them somehow grand or at least telling at the time I barely had them, but now? Now I barely have them even less. Now I am not sure if I have them or if they have me. Now they are lost in their own depths, swimming silently in the rolling black medium of their making. Now they haunt me in their bare being and unmake me and swim through me and I will make nothing of them.
“You can't force it intellectually. You spoil the poem. You mess it up. When you've worked through to the real poetic level, the connections webbing together every single word are quite beyond intellectual arrangement. A computer couldn't do it. You've got not merely sound and sense to deal with but the histories of the words, cross-rhythms, the interrelation of all the meanings of the words—a complete microcosm. You never get it quite right, but if you get it almost right, it insulates itself in time. That's why real poems travel.” —-Robert Graves
The city as dreamer of its own history.
So many meanings lost in the layers.
Layer upon layer of the past, inarticulated but felt.
Dreams and ghosts of the past, bleeding one into the other.
Shades that clutch at the heart of the urban roamer, le flâneur, stopping him in his tracks.
“At streetcorners, before housefronts and shopfronts, in proximity to particular doorways, particular stretches of cobblestone, particular entrances to the catacombs, particular cafés and cabarets, he experiences an uncanny thickening and layering of phenomena, an effect of superimposition, in which remembered events or habitations show through the present time and place, which have suddenly become transparent, just as in film an image may bleed through one or more simultaneously perceptible, interarticulated images in multiple exposure. It is a dreamlike effect, with the moving imagery characteristically yielding, in the flâneur’s case, a “felt knowledge” that is not yet conceptual.”
–Howard Eiland, “Superimposition in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project”
(This is a project that I have been ruminating over for a couple of years. I owe many thanks to Timothy Moss, fellow flâneur from the other side of the world, for the impetus to finally get this under way. I strongly encourage you to stroll amongst his truly phenomenal images here. His is the eye of “an intensely heightened kind of receptivity” and makes my eye look like mud.)
“Never use the word ‘audience.’ The very idea of a public, unless a poet is writing for money, seems wrong to me. Poets don’t have an “audience”: They’re talking to a single person all the time.”
–Robert Graves, from the Paris Review, The Art of Poetry No. 11
(Another one from Mr. Graves...because Lynn and I were talking about the "P" word... and with a photo [for phoets?] because lucking into the fatherhood of this little girl is the closest I figure I'll ever get to achieving it and yes.....it is more than enough. ) “Though, of course, a perfect poem is impossible. Once it had been written, the world would end. ” —-Robert Graves
“Never write the first line if you already know the last. The best poem is the unwritten poem.” --William Logan