What I used to do was read poems with the sense that they would contain a right way to write. I still do this, but know it is wrong. I still do it.
Sometimes I will read just the first line. And look at the shape that hangs beneath. Sometimes this is enough. It gets me thinking in the right way.
Sometimes I think I haven’t enough content. Just the days I am getting through and the people who are coming with me. Then I’ll remember Morandi and his few pottery jugs coming to wordless conclusions on canvas.
Sometimes I’ll write a couple of hundred words in the shape of a poem and think yes, this is a poem. And I can leave the room with a lightness that makes me feel that more poems will stick to me without even having to tense and usually that is what happens.
Sometimes I worry so much I haven’t written that I don’t write some more which makes me worry even more.
But this week I bought a book of Simic’s poetry and it has re-educated me.
I have just read his prose poem which starts with My father loved the strange books of Andre Breton. It is almost nothing. Just a lot of words. Not even a lot of words.
I have the sensation that further along my timeline I will look back to this first reading of a bunch of words which will come to roost in me in the same way as some of my own poems have.