DEEP THOUGHTS UPON WAKING

I might be digging myself a hole here, but here goes.

On November 1st this year I gave my talk about the material in the book I self-published in 2014. After I scheduled the talk at the library, NAMI kindly stepped in and sponsored it. My daughter flew up from Atlanta to support me, and counted 25 in attendance. I gave them egg nog. Almost half those attending were friends, come to support me.

My book is actually quite good, and failed to be puchased widely because I was unable to push it. This morning I realized that my synonym for push is manipulate, and that’s something my father was good at.

Then it came to me that this is what capitalism is all about, manipulation.  I don’t believe I manipulate, and am touchy when I suspect others might be trying to manipulate me.  Oh I could dig down deeper and discover times when I may have unconsciously manipulated, but if so I apologize.  These reflections led to the “poem” I published on my blog yesterday, and some of the feedback.  I embarrassed myself by the stanza:

Poems mirror the mind, you know.                                                                                                            What are the parts we’re willing to show?
Blood from a refugee’s eyeball
pooling on the floor at the mall?

I might have done better if I’d taken more time.  But, still waking up this morning, I began to wonder who we write poems for.  If we post them publicly on a blog, surely we write for others?  After five years (omg, has it been five?) my readership is miniscule, which suggests that I don’t write for my readers.  (Sorry).

Tho it sounds stuffy, I write from my own muse, who does a good job of comforting me.  I guess I write for the echo.  I recall my tidbit from the past:  Here’s the thing: I’ve been talking through this loudspeaker I found in my crib 80 years ago and just now notice it’s not plugged in.

I realize a line might be drawn between therapy poetry groups and straight ones, but where does a blog fit in?  And now I wonder what’s the difference between trying to make my point versus manipulating you, but at least I’m upfront about it.

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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