Been scanning old photographs and I suppose melancholia is an archiving hazard. What would I remember if not for these photos? They are precious indeed. As a child I must have learned to disassociate as a way to cope with physical abuse. Numbness becomes second nature, so transparent that I could not see this tendency in myself, or ability, depending how you look at it, the ability to remain untouched by pain and fear. You become untouchable even in the midst of a beating. You ultimately lose touch with reality though, become passive. Loss is the key word here. You lose recall and thusly, your memories. It’s not as if I can’t remember anything as my sisters claim, but many things remain obscure. Safer that way. I wish there was a way to retrieve it, all the life experience I am seemingly not in possession of. It belongs to me and I want it back. My past. I have no idea how to achieve that or if it’s even possible.
Coincidence? A sign perhaps? While considering using “Sky Busting” as the title for my new collection of verse I often find myself leaning out a window to take photographs of clouds in motion and the ever-changing tableau. I refuse to put up a curtain in the bathroom because I want to stand in the centre of my room and see only trees and sky. We can traipse around in the nude if so inclined. We have a long driveway to clear when it snows but that’s the trade-off for the privacy we enjoy.
“Sky busters” are yahoos that take long shots at ducks or geese. It’s noisy, obnoxious plus a big waste of ammunition and game. I suppose I’m drawing parallels between ignoramuses and terrorists that bomb the sky with planes. Too big of a stretch. Another aspect I’m agonizing over. A lot of the poems in this collection are about travel and post 9/11 dread and guilt. (Nearly typed “post 9-1-1!”) I’ve been agonizing over everything: word choice, line length, structure, poem groupings/order, the title! I was becoming very ineffective, burning out but the manuscript needs narrative authority. I have sent it to my fellow poet and friend and editor, Heidi Greco who is going to provide her proofing skills and input.
I’ve experimented a fair bit with this outing, writing my first real concrete poem, “my mountain” but I have two versions! Neither is perfect because I don’t know Word well enough to manipulate the text properly. I think you need to be a graphic artist though I know poets have traditionally done it themselves. In any case, one is too small and the other looks more like a tree than a mountain but at least the type is readable. Will have to sort that out somehow.
What is this thing I have with birds? I dreamed the other night of a creature in my house that morphed from a hawk into a boy.