the eyes have it

The lost poems, or the space of blogging – Sina Queyras – at Poetry Foundation:

But on a deep level I believe that no writing is wasted.  Cheesy it may be, but I believe in writing the way a runner believes in running: you do it daily, you take it seriously; you get your mileage in no matter where that “material” ends up, which often means the recycle bin. No matter though, even the discarded writing lives on in the shadows or textures of the writing to come…

I don't post my actual creative product very often, because there seems little interest in it. But I believe in writing the way a carver believes in rare wood. So for me blogging amounts to something more like draining the swamp so I can get across it to the old and haunted trees. Once I get there, every branch I cut is some small creature's home. I have to meet their eyes and show I'm keeping faith. Then writing becomes a kind of prayer.

A Blessing.

That being said, here's a shaving from the chapter I'm working on tonight.

            It was a squat brick building surrounded by greenery. We parked Mama’s Mercury behind it and sat while Dad took a long moment to open his door. He got Papa’s coat from the trunk. Bo and I flanked him as we walked, just a little behind him. It was ceremonial, the way we moved.        

            We approached the back door by a cement ramp lined with bloomless potted amaryllis and ferns. The door was recessed, indented, intended to be discreet, a passage where the dead could enter gliding on gurneys, without being seen from the road. So we stood shoulder to shoulder, side to side, surrounded by brick. I noticed our breathing. It was like being in church, when everyone stands to sing the Doxology. The organ plays and there is a pause, a hush, and an intake of breath as the organist lets her hands float up from the keys and brings them down again.*

In the Zen work Tenzo Kyokun, Dogen wrote:

When washing the rice, remove any sand you find. In doing so, do not lose even one grain of rice. When you look at the rice, see the sand at the same time; when you look at the sand, see also the rice. Examine both carefully.

Back in college, somebody told us something like this: A sentence is like a dog sled. Every dog in the team has to pull his share of the weight
 

*(c) 2010 by J. Kyle Kimberlin
all rights reserved
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