Westerberg, one of only two people younger than me who get an Egoslavian birthday post, is fifty-five today. Yes, I pulled down the poem What I Don't Write About yesterday. I don't remember having pulled a post before for reasons other than having accidentally published a draft, and I haven't done that but once or twice in recent years (when beginning each new post I first go to Schedule and change the date to a year hence so if I plunge publish rather than save I've a year to fix). Right before I pulled the poem I got an email from a digital friend and a chain started (presented here, redacted for the same privacy issues that led to the poem being pulled):
Him: Thanks again for all the times you've linked to my silly blog. I confess I'm reaching the burned out point rapidly. How many times can one argh?! I try to keep up with stuff but the news media is so bad it makes my eyes cross. I'm concentrating on my music these days, it's much more fun.
Me: Oh, you're welcome. I use other's argh to keep mine alive. Don't know if you've seen today's post, but I've a dose of impending damnlessness too. The things I want to write about (or rather, I do write about but won't ever publish) are starting to dominate. I anagrammed them today, but fuck it.
Him: It's a funny thing how you meet people on the internet but all you really know about them is their internet presence. People actually have lives. Can I ask why you won't publish what you like to write? Are you into creative writing like Mr. Ioz?
Me: I actually pulled down the anagram poem: it's a matter of respecting the people I would write about (xxxxxx, for example, xxxxxxxxx). Etc. I admire people like Ioz who can imagine a system as large as a novel. It took me twenty years to realize I was a poet not a novelist and only ten more years to realize I am a shitty poet.
Him: I usually visit your site once a day, but I didn't get to see your anagram poem. I admire Ioz as well, he and a few others changed my outlook on things. But I'm glad he decided to finish his book. Sometimes I think art is the only worthwhile pursuit for humans. My mom and brother don't understand my views on politics and that sort of thing. I used to consider myself a liberal, now it just makes me wince to think of it. I've become much more radicalized than I was in my youth. I'll bet your poetry is better than you say. Not that I'm an expert on poetry or anything. I was going to be the next Charlie Parker but that never happened. That doesn't make me wish I never pursued music, far from it, and now I don't worry about stuff like if there are people better at it than me. That's just a waste of time. I got to the point where I was playing in bands as well as teaching, I think music is the best part of my life. The fun is in the journey, I'm better than some and some are better at it than me, the cool part is being as impeccable as you can in your art form, that's where the satisfaction is I think. Part of that is being able to be critical of your own stuff, which I can see that you are, which is why I think you're better than you let on. I had students who thought they knew everything and wanted to be coddled, they were always my worst students and a pain in the ass. If you have no humility you never get anywhere. If you don't put your poetry up on your site, how can I link to it?
Me: VNTY'SJNKYRD has stuff going back years. My ambition is weird. I actually think of BLCKDGRD as one long, never-ending poem. If it was never my intention to be too black licorice (and people do tend to strongly like or dislike BLCKDGRD) I did intend for it to be it's own brand. I will always be nobody - I say this without bitterness or pride - because I really do it solely to make me happy.
I come from a family of teachers - both parents, my wife, my favorite aunts and uncles are teachers - so I think I know what you speak of re: students (and I work at Illhoptay University Library with a huge collection of self-entitled students): my father has always said if you get three out of a hundred students engaged and interactive with you as a teacher that's at least one more than most teachers.
The conversation may - I hope it does - continue though I'll end it here for here. This posted as a year end bleggalgaze. The date is arbitrary, the intent is not. I am disappointed in myself for having pulled the poem while simultaneously certain I was right to do so. That it was written in anagrams doesn't mean it couldn't be deciphered. That I liked the poem, and liked placing it on the image I chose, doesn't make writing it in code and posting it any braver than not posting it at all. And then there is the related matter of VNTY'SJNKYRD, why do I need a second joint? My fuck-it-ness needs reexamination. I mean more than usual. As well as my why-the-fuck-ness. I know part of that - see/listen to this Gabriel song - this one too. Which is to say I hope to write both more autobiographically than before while simultaneously opening up huge new swathes of what I write about that I don't post here, the latter hopefully making the former better. So yes, more bleggalgazing - black licorice that it is - seems inevitable. As always, thanks for reading, thanks for playing, and if you are Kinding me and me not you please let me know.
had i a blog with birthday observances the principal musician younger than self who would be held up for admiration would be todd rundgren, who is exactly 364 days younger than iReplyDelete
i wrote about him, back in the twentieth century -
and speaking of autobiographical exploration, a 6 minute video by ted nottingham is relevant -
he says, in part:
This video is intended to offer you introductory teachings so that you may begin on this path through the methodologies that we are working with here in this group, methodologies based on the 4th way teachings which are rooted in Eastern Christian mysticism and other universal teachings of humanity.
The first step to initiate you into what can be discovered here is what we call self-observation—and that is the discipline of will and attention to become aware of your inner activities. That is to say, when you get impatient, or irritated—be AWARE of that occurring, don't just BE the negative emotion that you're feeling. So that you begin by this simple focus of attention to SEE what is going on within you more objectively. And in so doing you begin to create an inner space, an inner separation, where something within you, some higher quality of awareness which we name Observing I, as in 'I am', the Observing I is watching the habitual reactions that each of us has in life and has developed unconsciously, in the lower state of consciousness that we take for granted and which is called, in this system of thought, 'sleep'. So—simply begin to become aware of yourself.
And in doing that you'll find that you have to divide your attention. You have to be aware of the world outside of you, the people, the circumstances, AND be aware internally. So, as you're listening to this video, you are aware of yourself sitting in a chair. You're aware of your state of mind, of your mood, AND you are listening to these words.
We are able to split our attention. Imagine one arrow going out, and one arrow going in.
So you have self-observation, divided attention, inner separation.
These initial steps, these 'baby steps' actually have tremendous power, because they begin to make possible the awakening process, the expansion of consciousness into a higher state of consciousness, where the more authentic Self resides ...
Periodic wish you'd up a blog.Delete
There's Todd on the iPod. I'm afraid I'll always think first of his disastrous production of XTC's *Skylarking* first, then Hello It's Me, but he has some great songs.
I haven't forgot the Mason & Dixon but my free-shipping department has been on winter break and will be until next week.
i urge you to see todd's videos of "change myself" and "fascist christ"Delete
Happy New Year!ReplyDelete