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Page 131

Have you noticed, despite the apparent
one-page-per-poem format, that this book
is all one poem, one repetitive, self-indulgent, discursive
amble (or romp?), a format for a door-mat reader
(and welcome to you!), mostly chatter, with, here and there,
tight image or witticism?

Many have told me (at least 5 of my 6 readers), "I like
your short witty stuff best -- your long ramblings
lose me." But if I publish only my pinnacles,
you miss the sweep of my landscape. Do you think
of blankness as a surface with a poem on top?
To me blankness is a sea, covering the topology
of poetry, as if we were Noah, at mercy of wind
and critical currents, with no idea what mountain ranges,
forests and prairies and towns full of
drowned neighbors slip beneath our keel.

(Writer's block: a stormy sea, but revealing nothing
beneath the broken surface. Once, pissed off
by the failure of my words, I pressed so hard
my ballpoint tore the page. Beneath the surface --
my jottings on the previous leaf.)

I try to evaporate blankness, drop by salty drop,
revealing first only the peaks (very sharp! May pass
for wit, restraint, intensity), then islands, eventually
letting it be seen that they arise from continents,
woods, plains, swamps, endless canyoned
and mesa'd horizons...

but this is a lousy metaphor, a landscape
strewn with dead, stinking fish. The truth is,
this IS self-indulgent. I yield to myself.
I am kind to myself. I give way to myself.
(If I don't, who will? Will you?) This is bad for me
and will be bad for you. More hot fudge
on your banana split?

Note: How about a hot-fudge hair-split?

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