What I Write

Having addressed, as it were, most recently, Why and How I write, we now turn our attention to What. Yesterday, I said that when and where writing is written are not important. I rush now to correct that. When and where are maybe more important than why, how, or what. Consider, for example, Beckett’s Watt, written in double exile (from Ireland, his homeland, and from occupied Paris, hiding out in Southern France). But Watt does not seem to be about the war. But I don’t want to write about Watt this morning. I want to write about what. But it may not matter what’s intended; readers are notorious twisters of words, collecting twine into a ball, where to twine is to moan, complain, whine.

The problem lies with linearity. Where there are no straight lines. At the moment, I’m typing on the keyboard of a laptop computer. A MacBook Pro, circa 2010, so an old one, as these things go. Directly into a WordPress block. Such my brass. I watch the cursor flicker, waiting. I should slow it down, but I forget how that’s done.

When, yesterday, reader and old, old friend Dan commented regarding paper and pen, “it almost seems a quaint nod to a passing phenomenon,” I thought of McLuhan and his analysis of the printing press (see his The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man), also now a passing observable fact or event. A machine we understood how it worked. It made everything the same, uniform. Straight lines. Single point of view. That sort of thing.

Outside, through the second story window, I can see a Camelia, pink and white, just coming into bloom, and a weeping Cherry in full bloom, and some scraggly plums not boasting just saying bring us your bees, your flies, your birds, your squirrels. The plums are just over the back chain link fence, up against it, ignored. Occasionally a branch breaks, ice or snow laden, or heavy near the end of summer with fat purple plums that fall into my yard, more than I can eat. I should learn to make plum pudding, jam, or some sort of plum soup. Plum Clafoutis. That’s it.

There you have it. I would not have mentioned plums this morning had I not decided to write from the upstairs window instead of the downstairs nook where I usually set up.

Without you tonight

A seeking breeze softly slips
under the sleeping cherry tree
a cursory note, “I am too busy.
Too, too, toodle-loo,”
smiles, hushes, and sounds off.
A branch snaps, and a cat recalls the night
when the owl, the nightingale,
and the toad went out walking.

The moon follows the trio into the tea garden, pulling
behind the sounds of the rollicking ocean waves.
In the garden, two women sit talking:

           “I wrench or hammer or pull or push
           To disassemble and repair
           To build in empty air
           The sound truth that is not
           Sound enough.”
           “I don’t believe the truth
           That there is no truth
           There are two truths
           The one you reject
           And the one you embrace.”

Drowned out by the singing waves slopped with frothing beer,
An old, lost surfer takes a hearty long piss on the briny rocks
At the water’s rough edge and mutters a half assed poem
To pass the night in song outside walking the dark beach
While the women sit talking with the cat in the cove of the garden
Under the cherry tree awakening and petals falling all
In one great breath the ocean waves belly laughing full.