Thursday, January 5, 2012


I cannot write without living. This is what I must keep remembering, when I grow anxious about not having written poems, about having instead squandered time in going to the zoo, reading technical books of linguistics and psychology, cooking, selecting produce at the grocery store, sitting at the dinner table, just being, being with my husband. (That word still astonishes me.) Life is experience. Life is learning and attention and presence and activity. Life is light and noise and heat. Meanwhile poetry is a pause, a stillness, silence taking shape as words. Poetry is thought, incarnate: a thought become word become flesh. And thought is darkness and silence. But it is a darkness full of stars, and a silence surrounded by music.

Perhaps one may write poems without loving life. But those poems are not the poems I love. Those are poems that do not touch my skin or ring in my ears, and so they do not touch my heart. They do not make me live, they suck away at my life. I shut their books and walk away, hoping the wind will wake me up. I do not want to write poems like that.

I want to write poems that, like the wind, wake me up. Poems that splash like the sea, and make me shout. Poems that taste, that burst on the tongue like pomegranate seeds and then crunch between your teeth.

And so I will live and rejoice in living, and I will not grieve about not writing. The words will come in their time. I will not sit still, sadly, waiting for them. The words will creep out into the world where they will find me chasing lizards and being bitten by a parrot and eating mangoes and getting sunburned and building sandcastles and getting sand in my fingernails and toenails and hair and swimsuit and underwear. When the words find me, and I stop to write them down, I will still have sand in the crevices of my ears, and the hand holding the pen will be sticky with juice:

This is my New Year's resolution.

(Also, I resolve to write 100 posts before the end of 2012. But I will not worry about writing them: this too I resolve.)

1 comment:

sarawr said...

meant to post this comment earlier, but: i want to write like this too :) and in response to the next post, i'm still reading!