Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I posted three poems on the poetry site - one that I wrote 13 minutes ago, a better one that I wrote in 2000, and an even better one from 1995. I used to be a poet.

I'm reading Roberto Bolano's 2666. It's pretty amazing. I'm 23 pages in and have over 800 to go. I recommend reading his notorious and beautiful 5-page, 2247-word sentence from early in the book, reprinted here (follow the attachment). There's a riddle hidden in there. And potatoes, sausage, and beer.

Maybe I'm still a poet. And a writer in other forms. Maybe this little piece I found, something I wrote 10 years ago, maybe it was written to myself and not the other (older, bigger) writer I imagined. This is what I wrote on 10/13/98:

And when you get there, when you get there, those that will see you, those that will not, those that cannot. And in heaven the fruitless and fictional are eternalized and beautiful. Are you dead?

Or just not writing anymore?

Or just not caring enough to write anymore?

I am writing. I am caring. I think.

The pluralistic, the cultural, the whole streets, the back alleys, the back lots. This was your city and it will be forever. I couldn’t take it, I couldn’t live it, I had to leave and will I come back? Can I? I am writing. I am caring. I think.

The confessors sleep the sleep of the spent and weak. But it is a sleep.

The shrouded and guilty sleep like wasted chances and unread menus and boast relentlessly of the smell of the rain of the trees on a street.

And if you break the code (this one), if you break the unbreakable, the unreachable, where will you be then? A reader (not a writer) and his obsession. The writer (being read) and his raggedy youth, his faltering adulthood, his old age, and perhaps (don’t know yet) his death.

The code (in its uniform descent into self-efficacy): portraits of uncles, unmet goals, sleeping diagonal (because you are too tall), forced lies, unforced truths, painted legends, hometown pride (and the scornful rueful looks that entails), envelopes full of money (cash money, check money, play money, new money, old monkey money, and the deadest of all: no money), the imagination, the off-white of her eyes, the aging process (15 years – a long time), the instigation of abruptness followed by the wallowing (rueful, tearful, and awful), Santa Claus (and his lovable inebriated eyes), briefcases and Sammy and Rosie, the code, its uniform descent).

I wonder what it all means. I can decipher about half of it. My cat just vomited. I must go clean it.

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