Page 23 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 23

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020





                                       Moment of truth







                                       Towards "the urge to killowatts,"

             On June 25, 1974 I was utterly depressed about my writing. I had just brought our car in
             for servicing -never a happy obligation -and taken the bus back home. I was extremely
             tired and believed at that moment I would never produce anything of any value. My life

             as a poet seemed to have ended. Glancing at a collection of Charles Olson's essays -
             particularly  at  "Human  Universe"- I  noticed  a  sentence  which  began,  "If  there  is  any
             truth at all to the idea that...." Certain that nothing would come of it, I typed on a piece
             of paper, "If there is any truth at all" and added, as if in commentary, "(there is)".  I went
             on  to  appropriate  others  of  Olson's  phrases,  changing  them  if  I  felt  like  it.  (Olson
             actually wrote, "It is not the Greeks I blame.")


             if there is any truth at all (there is)
             it is the greeks I blame
             the lines in which
             speech takes place
             & Melville did....


             Next I took a recent passage from my journal,


             a waking dream.
               Someone (me, not me) on a rooftop.  Being chased?
                 Crowds.  The man's friends below, holding a
                net which looks like an awning, urge him.
                Tremendous distance!
             The man jumps! -he misses the awning.
             I remark (it is remarked to me): he didn't check
                   which way the wind was blowing,


             and retyped it, moving my fingers slightly so I would hit some of the wrong keys and
             leaving out some of it, revising as I went along:


             a wajubg dreanL
                sineibe OOne.bitg neOOib a riiftioOObeubg cgased.
                                     Criwds  the man's friends bekiw
                                      gikdubg a bet kiijs kuje ab wawbubg 'greeb
                                                   tremendous distance
                                   yrge
                                      urge him

                                                    to killowatts





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