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Page 93

Free flow of communication -- the ability
to talk to anyone about anything:
it comes from strictures. Form liberates,
says the artist. Some artists repudiate form
(or tell themselves they do) and simply
spew words, but this freedom comes
at great price, restricting, not the words,
but the audience, which is limited to one,
or often none, since such poets seldom listen
to themselves.

Love liberates: I can say anything
to my wife (though she mocks me when
I burst in upon her to read her my latest masterpiece,
misquoting my own quip at me: "I can say
either yes or no before you read it to me, right?").

But we have worked long and (in several senses) hard
at crafting this love that can both speak
and listen. (Someday I'll learn to listen, Dear, honest!)
I suppose if I love others well enough, we will all
find more things we can tell each other.

As for simply being able to talk to anyone
about anything (and receive as freely) --
that, too, is based on a restriction, the most severe
of all restrictions: to be that free, one must be oneself
(no other) and be able to find in others (even
in mother, in a cop, or a rich man or a beggar) --
in each, the self that person is.

Note: The quip (my own) that my wife likes to throw back at me is an old poem of mine:

The child wants to know if I
want to see something. I can say
either yes or no before he
shows me.

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