thinking in books
#1
When I’m writing, I’m usually thinking that I’m writing in the context of my book. And when I’m writing poems, they’re usually, but not always, part of a series that go to make one book. One of many books, but all part of my book. And I work on this book everyday. Because even when I have no pen or paper, and I’m conscious of nothing literary, eventually I’m going to return to this book. And this is the only constant in my life.

Whatever happens, and whatever’s done or said by me, or anything or anybody at all, comes back to this book to be given form. Not always its literary form; but its place in reality. That much has its place in the reality of anyone that’s willing to read my book. When I’m giving form to my reality, I mean that literally I’m carving my own functioning way of living out of this world of ready-made forms that I was born into.

So I’m saying two things: First, I’m asking how much do others here behave in their life in relation to whatever relationship they have with their poetry (and the poetry of others: from anyone to anything, from the bible to Kierkegaard, Karl Marx to Ayn Rand, Walt Whitman to Henry Miller, your father to your wife, Stanley Kubrick to Alex de large, Don Quixote to whatever the scientists are claiming, etc.) . And second, I see that I only have access to about twenty of my poems saved on this computer I’ve been using, and many of them make allusions to other of my writings that I’m currently not able to share, besides the short stories that aren’t considered ‘poems’; and that makes me think to ask:
Are you more likely to start out writing a poem for the sake of practicing the craft, or to advance and better express themes of importance than run through your life?
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#2
(09-04-2012, 11:49 PM)rowens Wrote:  Are you more likely to start out writing a poem for the sake of practicing the craft, or to advance and better express themes of importance than run through your life?
Either. Both. The one leads to the other -- the more ability you have with the craft of writing, the more easily the words will fit into whatever vessel you choose for them, and the better equipped you are to choose that vessel.

Why only themes of importance? You never know where poetry might be found. And why the poet's life? I'm not writing an autobiography. No. I write poetry because I can't paint, but if I could paint, I wouldn't always be trying to fit pictures into a gallery. It would be whatever, for whomever, whenever -- the collation can come later, when I'm dead and don't care anymore.
It could be worse
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#3
Quote:So I’m saying two things: First, I’m asking how much do others here behave in their life in relation to whatever relationship they have with their poetry (and the poetry of others:
poetry doesn't affect or have any significant effect on my life. i take life as it comes. poetry never helped me pay a bill or jump a hurdle, it never wiped away a pain or allayed a fear; other than i enjoy it if it's a poem and them if it's a poet. i'm one of those self centred bastards whose psychological circles consists of family and few friends. after that i don't really give a toss. that does contradict me starting a poetry forum i know but loving poetry and having it affect ones life aren't the same thing. i love poetry i love writing, i love them the same way i loved fishing. other peoples poetry is something i enjoy, again, it doesn't affect me apart from getting lost for the briefest of moments when i read a good or moving one. it doesn't happen too often.

Quote:Are you more likely to start out writing a poem for the sake of practicing the craft, or to advance and better express themes of importance than run through your life?

i never write a poem to better express a theme or anything else of importance in my life. though that may be the outcome. I write because i enjoy writing, i wish i could be great but that's an aspiration most people have about a multitude of things. i sometimes start off writing (if it's a form) with the hope of improvement but that side of it is irrelevant; my aim is to write a good poem. to make people feel the words i wrote. while some of me will be in the poem, it's mainly my imagination manipulating my experiences into a new story. i have no need to splash myself over the page. though i have done so on the odd occasion Big Grin. i am not my poetry and it is not me. it's aspect of me but not I of it.
every time i write a poem whether i'm challenging myself with a sonnet or other type of form or even free verse, i want to write the best poem i can, i want to express what i want to express in the best possible way. i never put my soul into a poem though sometimes if i'm lucky, it may sneak out and wipe its feet on the carpet of my words.

i don't try and give form to reality i hope i create a reality (whose reality i don't care) that others can enter and understand. if they can't understand, then what's the fuckin point?

very often my poems are of great themes of my life's importance but only in as much as they make you smile. my pain and sufferings that i have sometimes wrote about were never important life themes, nor were the happy times. nothing i write about is, it's just writing. I look back on my my life sometimes and inwardly smile., amazed at myself and how i got here. but it was never important, it was just life. once you've rested in the arms of someone you love and told them good bye, nothing is or ever was that important. not poetry, not sex, not money...okay maybe the sex thing is a stretch; but it isn't, if anything, life is the real poem, the real poetry and when we write or speak or paint pictures to depict it, we only dilute the poem. much better to create new life in new poetry i think. and like a dash of Tabasco sauce in a chille, add just a small amount of ourselves for the purpose of taste.
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#4
Sometimes with stuff that's hard or impossible to understand, somebody might be going for a magic effect. Like mixing a brew of eye of newt, slime of a toothed frog, chin hair of a ginger midget, and so on. And some people are susceptible while others aren't. And that goes into manipulating reality; while some are happy where they are. My questions here concern philosophy in art rather than philosophy of art. The responses so far have answered those questions. But it's true that when I say my life, that includes other people and other ideas and situations I know or make up or think about that I'm not necessarily a character in. And I'm not always satisfied simply mocking or satirizing or questioning the ready-made forms that don't work for me, and I'm talking about the institutions of reality that use many forms on a worldwide scale as ridiculous and pointless as any forms I might slam into when I'm drunk or losing my mind.

Though many times I am talking about more than just institutions when I say reality. I like things that go bump in the night. It could always be God saying, “All this time you thought I was dead. But I was only joshin ya.” Or it might be a sexy vampire that wants to give me a hickey and make me immortal. Or my Lenore (nameless here for evermore; or “I love she who hates me more”, thanks to Lou Reed’s plagiarism).
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#5
Quote: And I'm not always satisfied simply mocking or satirizing or questioning the ready-made forms that don't work for me, and I'm talking about the institutions of reality that use many forms on a worldwide scale as ridiculous and pointless as any forms I might slam into when I'm drunk or losing my mind.

it's all a bit zen for me at this point Smile i'm to simple a person to even bother about form or non form poetry or lives.
while i see myself as a complex minded man, i don't see reality or the world as such nor poetry. i use them form or other as i wish, i don't question how or why i do. i like to think i see things and people for what they are, (and each one's different) i can usually spot a wrong or right un. i know that everyone's mind is as dirty as mine. even if they don't. i seldon write the book or part of the book as i see it. that would be way too boring. i write it as i imagine it could be.
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#6
Then your imagination's doing what it loves. And Leanne will do well to keep sending down well fed poems from her tower of brilliance; while I'm over the rainbow in a Bizarro Mad Max territory smearing purple textured shit on God's windows. Because God tells things to U.S. presidents and University founders like Jerry Falwell, you know? And he tells the love of my life's mother things too, and sometimes characters on TV call her by name; and though God doesn't talk directly to the daughter, cats tell her to kill things, squirrels hurt her feelings, and when she asked the trees if she should stay with me they said weird things that left her disturbed for weeks. My poems are thick with allusions and delusions that rarely conveniently rhyme. Because I'm trying to be true to my muse. And sometimes I can relate to this poem by Yeats:

Words

I had this thought a while ago,
'My darling cannot understand
What I have done, or what would do
In this blind bitter land.'

And I grew weary of the sun
Until my thoughts cleared up again,
Remembering that the best I have done
Was done to make it plain;

That every year I have cried, 'At length
My darling understands it all,
Because I have come into my strength,
And words obey my call';

That had she done so who can say
What would have shaken from the sieve?
I might have thrown poor words away
And been content to live.


But mostly I relate to poems like this:

Legend
by Hart Crane

As silent as a mirror is believed
Realities plunge in silence by ...


I am not ready for repentance;
Nor to match regrets. For the moth
Bends no more than the still
Imploring flame. And tremorous
In the white falling flakes
Kisses are,—
The only worth all granting.


It is to be learned—
This cleaving and this burning,
But only by the one who
Spends out himself again.


Twice and twice
(Again the smoking souvenir,
Bleeding eidolon!) and yet again.
Until the bright logic is won
Unwhispering as a mirror
Is believed.


Then, drop by caustic drop, a perfect cry
Shall string some constant harmony,—
Relentless caper for all those who step
The legend of their youth into the noon.
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#7
Leanne does not have a tower of brilliance. Leanne has more than twenty years of bloody hard work and a back catalogue of many, many dreadful poems that have helped to contribute to writing a few that don't suck.

People suffer in different ways. One should never make assumptions based on appearance or indeed based solely on poems.
It could be worse
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#8
I thought she had a sense of humour though. An I do my thing, you do yours is always more lively with a spar over an innocent tease. Anyway, how do you know I didn't consider all the long hard work that goes into constructing a tower?
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#9
i got something from the poems of crane and yeats. so im okay in as much as i can see it. i'm not a follower of either though. i'm still trying to come to terms with what "being true to my muse" actually means. i'm pretty much true to myself and what you see is more or less what you get, but my muse if i have one is at this moment, giggling behind snotty fingers at me and thinking 'he doesn't even know i exist'

my problem is that i can seldom decipher delusions, unless of course they're intelligible ones Smile
and we all, even me, have towers of brilliance in, around, or under us. i find it isn't the quality of work that makes a good poet, but the improvements they've made with each successive bout of poetry they wrote. good poets grow and we're all capable of that, thankfully, i've never had tower envy ;P

i know someone said,

"if only you'd walked in my shoes; you still wouldn't know me, all you'd know were my shoes."

naw i just generated that from my years of suffering. but it gets the point across. pain isn't a problem, not emotional or physical; sure it hurts when it it's given, dealing with it is the real problem. i like to use it in ways that make me happy,

the belt buckle gave me an understanding of people. the hug an understanding of what people want to be. my muse if i have one shows me that all the bad things that happen don't really matter, they're just stairs we climb to happy hour.

my book if i have one, only has blank pages, my book will never be written, my book at this moment is making me cry as i type, well, my eyes are wlling up ready to do that awful deed...and i'm happy. i see in an instant all those bad things i've been through and i'm so happy. my history isn't my book, it's just a reference to look at while my blank pages tell me why i'm happy.

we never had much food as a kids and when i had kids, i made sure the cupboards were stocked to the brim, my kids never went hungry. the never got molested, and they were and are always loved. i like to think my poetry went along the same lines.
at first it was about all the ills of my world and then i saw i was writing about someone else's world,

i am the tower, i write shite poetry but i do have a great tower Big Grin
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#10
You're writing poems because your happiness inspires them and they make you happy. So they're not shite. I'm writing crazy poems for crazy people, so I happily use a stereotype of crazy people smearing shit on walls or windows. The sadness comes in because crazy people drive each other crazy, so they don't have time to read each other's poems. My muse is a crazy lady, and it feels like I'm sending prayers to an absent god when I write of her. But all my poems aren't about her. But even so, sometimes I sneak her in like near the end of the Food Stamps one. I should have named this thread Philosophy If Any In Books (or Poems). I'm still "preaching" the notion of poetry as immanent in life. Poetry as the spirit of things, not just the reading and writing, which is what you said about what you see is what you get. You also said that life is the poem. But sometimes the poem is a woman, and you don't have to always understand them to love them.---Back to the tower, Leanne said there's no concrete clues about her life in her poems, so I remarked that she was sending them down from a tower. I worded it the way I did because I like to play the fool in front of women. I subtly compliment her appearance in another thread, and say she's brilliant in this one, and then she breaks a ruler over my head. That's my routine.
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#11
while i love poetry as much as i can. i'm not sure i'm inspired by my happiness. i do agree that poetry is often the spirit of things, even if it's an imaginary spirit. sometimes the women is the life. isn't poetry what we make it. do we create it or is it always there, and we just uncover it. i see poetry in a lot more than words. people look at towers and see different things. to some it's not even a tower. she's too communicative to be in a tower, even one of brilliance. i see her as a good teacher and a friend as far as friends on here can go but i'm not sure i know anyone from what they write in a poem. i suppose that's a bit of a lie, some are open books. When we write a poem often it's just a snippet of who we are, but more often, it's a snippet of who we aren't or who we want to be. so i go back on my " i suppose that's a bit of a lie" and say i don't want to know who someone is through a poem. i want to know who i am through reading their poetry. or how what they write affects me. we have more men than women in the forum Big Grin
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#12
A lot of voices going at once, sometimes. Trying to give a clear expression through a form of writing is the task. But trying not to make clear one of the voices while stifling another. There's a lot of tension in trying to make that balance, and a lot of room for confusion. I think that spiritual warfare should be held up to replace the political wars that waste lives. I'm reading what youre telling me and telling things about myself and that's one level of communication, then poems are another. With the poems though, there's that talking to ourself aspect, though indirectly. But people can somewhat hear those voices, even when masks, talking to each other. I think if more people let others over hear them talking to themselves, things would start making sense socially in new ways. That's what I think about writing poems. And if someone tells me a poem dont work, I usually write another poem considering what they tell me, and let the old ones remain with their oddities. That's simply what I do. But I admit I haven't been writing much new poetry lately, because haven't felt very stable or calm. So I've just been talking. Talking about poetry.
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#13
in some ways i envy how you can use poetry. envy isn't the right word really. i struggle to use it as you say you use it.
my real outlet is cooking, some poet i am. i don't see or hear the other voices. it's hard for me to see or hear any voice. i think poetry is something special but no more so than anything else. if a poem is wrong for me i'll try and put it right. it depends what feedback i get. for instance, i'm not sure the groucho poem needs redoing, i simply got it wrong, that was my fault not the writers. and talking poetry is good, i enjoy it, though on the scholastic side of it i do suck.
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#14
I don't like the word envy either. I'm jealous of things though. I wrote a book of letters to my daughter, though I don't have a daughter, because it made me feel happy and sad, and increased the longing for something like that in my life. And I think about it, and in a way it's a book of love poetry to a woman (that does exist, thankfully, kind of thankfully), though I've never let her read it. Not that I wouldn't let her read it, it's just that so far she's never found it. And with personal poems like that, and some of the other things I write, I try to see how much I can get away with before it makes the poem unreadable. I don't do that as often in prose. And with the Lethe poem, Chico playing cards with Satan has a nice ring to it too, but there's that balancing act of fragmented comedy and not wanting the reader to feel so familiar with what might be shades in the Underworld. They were all musicians, so you're right. I like poems that make me angry as much as poems that make me sad or sentimental. I love poetry, but poetry doesn't make me happy. Women make me happy, and trees, and dirt roads, and old buildings in old cities. When I'm away from those, I write books. And sometimes I try to make people angry, so they'll write the angry poetry that blows things up in my mind. I like cooking too, but I don't have any money right now, so I only fry bananas, and boil cheap noodles.
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#15
i suppose it depends on how we define happy. i do feel some kind of contentment when i write what i think is a decent poem, and a sadness when one dumps like a turd.but i don't need poetry to be happy. it's just one of the the many things that bolster me being happy, even if it's a sad poem.(which i'm sure is some kind of paradox). i don't really do personal poetry which in some ways makes me a non poet Big Grin. i'm still not sure what poetry is, and if i'm told what it is i probably won't believe any pat answers. i think the best poets wrote about how they saw things, and not necessarily how the things they saw made them feel. they wrote a poem full of emotion without being emotionally involved. it's why i like haiku so much. the things are just observations retold. there's no real pain even when something dies. the sun shone on the bed, my mum died, we buried her...it's all clinical but if done write the reader adds their own emotions. that's the poetry i like. the stuff where i put my own salt and pepper to it.
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