Thursday, September 15, 2005

Blocked

The last week or so has been very busy. And I've been completely distracted by tasks--all types of tasks. So much so that I've lost the thread of my writing. And I find myself blocked.

This is an odd situation for me, as I haven't felt blocked for several years. Our lives were so rushed, the sword of Damocles was always over our heads, we never knew what the next day or even the next moment would bring.

Now life seems oddly stable, and I don't know what to make of it. The rhythms that drove my poetry--memory, recent observation, 'real' life--no longer feel quite so urgent. I don't feel particularly worried, just a little frustrated. I've been through shifts like these before, albeit not quite so long-lasting. The questions I have for myself are, what's coming next? what impulse(s) will make me want to start to write again? what will this poetry look like? feel like? sound like? I find my brain casting about for some sort of rhythmic energy, some phrase that piques my interest, but nothing's really coming.

This kind of thinking, of course, leads to this sort of existential contemplation: what is my poetry about? Is it about what I see or experience? what I remember? what things sound like? the essential qualities of things? rhythm and music, but not sense? rhetoric? who knows? All I know is that this is either a very good place to be, or a very bad place to be.

For me, writing has become about building structures. And not necessarily semantic structures, although that certainly plays a part. Not necessarily traditional formal structures. Structures of sound, rhythm, lineation, syntax. I look back on my previous work and everything looks so sloppy.

Sometimes, when this break or block happens, I think that something really interesting is afoot--and at some point it will make itself known.

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