Heading Out

Tomorrow I'll be leaving idyllic South Colton for the even more idyllic Blue Mountain Center, a place where artists and writers spend a month working free from the distractions of . . . What? Exactly? Well, anyway, we call it work so our spouses will let us go. What was that old New Yorker cartoon? Guy with a pipe in front of a window with a woman looking through a door at him. Caption: "A writer is a man who has convinced his wife that staring out the window all day is working." Anyhow, I do have a project -- a big folder of drafts of poems in syllabics that I have been working on, off & on, for more than twenty years. I hope all those rough pages want to become a book -- I know I want them to. We'll see. I also hope to rough out some of my ideas regarding poetics & some of that stuff may show up here on the blog. Or maybe not. (I will have internet access, but I really want to focus on the writing & plan to stay off the internet for the most part.) There is one piece of prose I've been working on, about who is responsible for torture done in the name of Americans and about how we ought to think about such acts, that I'm going to post as a draft this evening or first thing tomorrow morning. It is a kind of writing I want to pursue, but for which I have had insufficient confidence until recently. It's not that I'm all that confident now -- I just don't worry as much about how my thinking / writing will be received. Maybe that's what confidence is in the final analysis.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Heading Out”

  1. Hope you have a productive retreat. Drop a line if you need anything (to enhance the focus).

  2. years ago 1974 i spent some winter months in the macdowell colony and wrote (and ate those lunches and drank the niagara grape) and was lonely for home (and almost burned colony hall down with a chimney fire)-(don’t ask me anywhere). now years
    and chin hairs gone white, i’ve found since 70 the
    (duemer’s http://www.sharpsand.net
    sventitsky’s http://bigstarlet.wordpress.com
    trinca’s http://napanest.typepad.com
    and i blather in response (not always apparant
    because my thought elide/glide on my/their own)

    some times i go over there to manchester, eng.’s guardian blog (mark thwaite’s) & glob/glom posts at http://www.readysteadybook.com

    what does an internet blog do with for me it is an itching in my thought box expressed as if in a letter or page hot from the churn.
    it may never endup posted because in my fevered wing
    my fingers falter and i mis-hit. or it is so strange and idiotic sounding the place i’m sending it mercy-kills it.
    i could have just gone with the thought, and let it distill and clot into a set ‘piece’ but i am a bleeder and i spot the wind. be it surrender or the overactive peristaltic brain whatever issues may leave a stain to waft and drift that like even a bad smell dilutes away as the day wanes. even the ugliest blot’s an antipoem and is unremembered
    without any need to foget.

    here’s one of agroup a grope of small poems on the theme

    This far life has seen me out
    even to gobswipe and guttershite

    as the details interrupted the way
    ideas abandoned themselves

    the way I cannot change my pulse
    as I stutter cooling to my dew point

    rising higher or jelling my ideas
    about words made up spittleshot

    with drips, drabs, dribbles, drabbles
    the way each generation harvests

    its/my vocabularies erasing futures
    their custody averted with crave/ leap.

    edward mycue

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