Monday, October 18, 2004

Daily political link here.


For whatever reason, this poem of mine:

The Boothbay Glassblower

It was the way he quick-spun the tube
into flame and pulled by eye the filament
into an oblong lobster-trap, boat
or pot. It was how the fig-shaped globe
expanded on the glazier’s breath, thinning
from bell into bulb into fist into hope into cantaloupe
into the child’s eyes hard as soft and rapt
by what they watched become; creation
mattered, a convex clarity; and he said so,
stout arms shooting out from his body
in arced imitative stabs, and stuttering;
and his Poppa's powerful bulk broke in,
in his measured breath asking how much;
and the glassblower stared clear through him, as if glass.

I've been remembering writing. I wrote it in frustration with my first mfa workshop, seven years past now. I don't think I can write like that now, on account of my health. I stayed up for seven or eight hours on it, rolling out and over again the line breaks, trying to get it right. Not that it feels like more than a slight thing, but at the time I was pretty happy with it. Now the thing is, I assumed it would just be the first of many, and there would be a kind of progress, intensification, improvement, following. But it's actually hard to find many poems (for me, at least) one can keep working on like that (though I have enough that I like well enough). Though when one happens upon/into one, it feels like the easiest thing in the world, and that like the moment which gave rise to it, so could any moment could give way and allow one's attention to endlessly consider a a flux of discrete relationships (words, syntax, etc) before 'firing' (as in a kiln) their singular (and appropriate) form set. That any moment can expand into an aesthetic consideration of itself. Though in practice so few do. It really is the tension of forcing oneself to stop tensing oneself through habit. Time is a habit. (& Why the exhaustion from relinquishing it? Withdrawal, a temporary difficulty?)

So that this poem is still with me, I find interesting. Not in a backpat way (I'm sorry if talking about my own work here seems so, but that's what my mind's on now, cold weather and all turning inward), but rather the balance of two facts: that I accomplished more then than I knew, or was told, and that I've accomplished less since than I expected, or was able to.

By the way, does anybody (Greg, maybe?) know, is that guy is still there?

Bad news but I think he died a few years ago.
Oh, well. He certainly added color to the place.

How about the salt water taffy factory, is that still there?
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