Sunday, January 07, 2007

de-spiriting

I've been trying for some time - months, it seems - to write something. Not just the occasional, but something. I get a run on, then realise that ain't working, put it away, start somewhere else, have 'grand' ideas for 'projects', and, by jingoes, it just doesn't work, none of it.

It's nothing to do with 'writer's block' - by crikey, I'm writin' and the thumbnail dipped in tar is wearin' out.

It doesn't help that I've been reading these rather dispiriting posts, starting with Ron Silliman's reference to a US poet called Bill Knott who wants most poets of a 'certain age' to go and off themselves. Now, I don't know this bloke's work (tho' all the US comment-box responders seem to) and I wondered if he was bunging it on (hey, just saying what it seems to me, no assumptions - the cove could be making a serious suggestion - as I said, I don't know him from a bar of ... but wish him all the best with his work and life, nonetheless).

And I was also looking at this rather odd US phenomenon called Foetry. Geez, there's some seriously ticked-off people on their forums. True. I'd advise a once-only visit, if at all, notwithstanding that I recently heard some mildly disturbing things about processes relating to a poetry prize. No, that way madness lies.

And in the end (not that I'm quoting The Beatles), it's got me out of myself - or at least up and dressed and onto my third coffee - with the thought that ... what ... something will work, at some stage, eventually.

I'm also in a clean-up mood and am thinking of heaving out a whole lot of old stuff. All that yellowing paper with drafts that go nowhere are not a good look (I'm giving a recent heap the evil eye as I type). Cleaning up, I know, is avoidance behaviour but it does make your endorphins do a little dance for a moment. There's also a possible storm coming. I hope it rains.

2 comments:

jeff said...

Knott's work can be interesting, though the man does have some .. er, well ... unusual obsessions. He dislikes music, for instance. Really dislikes it. In a comment to a post I did in late summer, he wrote:

"compare [Walter Pater's situation] to our current experiencing of music, how it ubiquitously presses in us relentlessly from every medium, my god you can't make a phonecall without being assailed by it, every store you go into blasts your ears with it, every street is boomboxed and car-stereoed to death with its intrusive noise. . .
there is no escape from it. It greases the gears of consumer capitalism as much as the oil our government is currently killing Iraqis to gain control of. ."

That's certainly loading music itself with a lot of other baggage.
The whole post is here.

Still, for one who started his career as "a virgin and a suicide", he's proved durable, and his work is still lively. Most of his poems are posted on his blog, and he'll provide PDFs of his current collections if you drop him an email.

You must have made a new year's resolution to write like crazy, Jill. Our good fortune!

Jill said...

Hi Jeff,

Well, thanks for the heads up on Mr Knott. I'll wander over and check him out.

Poor music, getting a bashing. There was a silly blog going here in Sydney on which some jaded journalistic hack (all of 41 years old) was claiming he hated music as well. You expect poetry to get this kind of flack, not music.

I don't know if I'll be writing like crazy. I had a bit of early year rush of blood. As I said in another post, I feel a bit at sixes and sevens with writing poetry, but maybe the blog is a good outlet.

Thanks for stopping by.