Saturday, 23 January 2016

On Writing and Discovery

These outpourings  come both bidden and unbidden, these bidings and bindings, these flows that can only ever be temporarily stemmed.

Writing is a rare thing but is also not/no/never a rare thing.

A rare thing indeed is to make the most perfect sense, as if to draw a sigh from the reader.

Like those blank/dry months of unsatisfying reading, when you suddenly and unexpectedly (after almost having given up all hope of ever being moved by poetry again) come upon something so right and profound that it makes you want to leap up out of your seat. throw the book into the air and shout: Yes that's it, that's exactly it! And then you want to read it again, over and over.

And it might be a mere simple, a distillation of the essence of something: a revelation of the true somethingness of something.

Or it might be a big thing, like the biggest, most exciting, most explosive use of language poem that warps your mind into a shape that it can never fully spring back from, that changes your relationship to the world/word.

And you might read it over and over.

It's a bit like sex in the excitement of that first time - the tentative and not so tentative exploration.

But it's also not like sex, because sex has room to get better and better, but although a mega exciting poem is still mega exciting on the second or fourth or sixteenth reading, you can never better that YES moment, that moment of revelation and discovery.

It must be like being an archaeologist or an explorer or an astronaut even.

That first moon-step is always going to be the one you most remember.

And these moon-steps; what are they but a doorway to another world, another way of thinking. They break the mind wide open like a rock cracked apart to reveal its crystals. They send the writer scuttling sideways for pen and paper.

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