Thursday, November 29, 2012

After being sleepy all day, I'm wide awake. Yesterday I received unsolicited advice on what to do with the third collection I am working on these days. Due to my own self-doubt, I'm inclined to listen to advice too often. I think this time, I will trust my gut. I listened to too many voices re: SEVEN early on, and had several versions of the manuscript floating around in my head with different sections, different titles. Not good in my opinion. Trust yourself. I don't mind a second set of eyes at all, but having many eyes on a manuscript doesn't seem like such a good thing anymore. One guy who called himself an "editor" took forever to get back to me with his edits, and constantly questioned what I was doing with the title and the sections. I'm so glad I finally came to a point I could just ignore him. No doubt he will be highly critical of the book. Fact is, he rarely publishes and has an ego rooted in a high I.Q. Something like way over 170. Too much confidence coupled with insecurity. Thing is he insults everybody. He was homeless too because he couldn't get along with anyone including his bosses and landlords. Seriously, a whole string of them. So much for a high I.Q.

Anyways, I want to trust my process and my instincts, though it is difficult these days to remain confident. This can become difficult even when one is lavished with praise. Work seems key. When I am working on something hard, I can feel it improving, but it isn't good to work something to death or work the life out of something due to insecurity. This, I have hopefully learned.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Here's an early Dylan song. A favorite line about the rain needing no applause and "lay down the song you strum." Woke up startled this morning. Will try to work on some poetry today among other tasks I have to do including looking carefully at a few poems in SEVEN. It is with the book designer now. Also I have to gather some emails for interview questions I will be asking soon.

I sold a piece at the art show and am tickled. I bought some chalk pastels and will try working with those over the holidays. I've been using oil pastels and have improved significantly from last year due to someone who has taken mercy on my soul and begun to teach me techniques.

I've ordered two books by Noam Chomsky that I'm looking forward to reading. I've listened to a number of videos on Youtube and find them interesting, but I suspect he's a better writer than speaker.


Still reading Nietzsche and enjoying it. It's still a trip, kind of reads like a thriller rooted in defiance. I like it.

Yet here, "'What do you matter? You are not yet humble enough for me. Humility has the thickest skin.' I dwell at the foot of my height: how high my summits are no one has yet told me. But I know my valleys well.
... 'Do you not know who is most needed by all? He who commands great things. To do great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to command great things. This is the most unforgivable thing in you: you have great power and you will not rule.' And I answered: 'I lack the lion's voice for command.' Then again as a whispering it spoke to me. 'It is the stillest words that bring the storm. Thoughts come on doves' feet guide the world.'O Zarathustra, you will go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus you will command and in commanding go first.'-- And I answered: 'I am ashamed.' Then again voicelessly it spoke to me: 'You must yet become a child without shame.'"


When one is raised in shame, a shame that overcasts everything, one clings to beauty and creativity to overcome it. Shame creates envy and much more. Shame casts its shadow deep into the bones. This is why Nietzsche is so interesting to me.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tickled that Obama has won re-election. This gives me hope that the majority of Americans are reasonable and are not behind policies and rhetoric that is,(on the far right), bigoted and full of blame. I was weary of Obama being referred to as "Hussein" Obama among other things. I was weary of the hate towards food stamp recipients, disability recipients, women, minorities, immigrants, veterans and so forth. Mostly, I'm thankful Romney and gang won't touch my social security, turn it into a voucher program or tax it. Today I am proud of my working class background and family! Despite the fact that some are Republican out of fear and out of what I consider to be misplaced rage and internalized racism,  I love my family!

This song is a remake of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero," and I think Green day did a good job with it.

I'm in a funk about my writing lately. Lots of insecurities, fears and uncertainty, but as they say, uncertainty is a good place to be as a poet.

I've been reading Nietzsche's THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA, and secretly loving it!!! It is unnerving, even though all this time has passed since he wrote it. That the far right clings to "God" as much as it clings to the things stated above, Nietzsche's Zarathustra so far appeals to my sense of self-confidence, passion and
daring! I know from reading the introduction that Zarathustra at the end, returns to his cave and solitude, so I'm not sure where this path of wild preaching on this character's part is going, but I am loving it. Nietzsche is often quoted out of context, but I have truly been thrilled by much of what Zarathustra has to say. His commentary on poets and scholars made me laugh last night. He essentially challenged the dichotomy of good and evil, Some of it is vervy and makes me feel awkward. For instance, he writes, "I do not want to be mixed up an confused with these preachers of equality. For justice speaks thus to me. ' Men are not equal.' And neither should they become so!"..."Life wants to build itself up into the heights with columns and stairs: it wants to look into the far distance and out towards joyful beauties-- therefore it needs height, it needs steps and conflict among the steps and the climbers! Life wants to climb and in climbing overcome itself."..."Thus asssured and beautiful let us also be enemies, my friends! Divinely will we strive against one another!-- And later..."But I live in my own light, I drink into myself again the flames that break forth from me."

Zarathustra seems to be saying that we must be creators, "And he who must be a creator of good and evil: truly, he must first be a destroyer and break values...Let us speak of this, you wisest men, even if it be bad. To be silent is worse, all suppressed truths become poisonous."

"But it is precisely to the hero that beauty is the hardest thing of all. Beauty is unattainable by all violent wills."

As for poets, Zarathustra dislikes them even though he considers himself one. Poetry, he acknowledges much the same way Keats did, is essentially feminine. He goes so far as to call it the "eternal-feminine in us." But he writes of the poets:

"I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new: to me they are all superficial and shallow seas. They have not thought deeply enough: therefore their feeling did not touch bottom. Some lust and some boredom: these have as yet been their best reflection. All the jingling of their harps is to me the breathing and coughing of ghosts; what have they known so far of the fervor of tones!-- They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddy their waters to make them seem deep. And they would like to prove themselves reconcilers: but to me they are mediators and meddlers, and half-and-half and impure! Ah, I cast my net into their sea and meant to catch good fish, but I always drew out the head of some old god. Thus the sea gave the hungry a stone. And they themselves may well have come from the sea. ...They have learned vanity too from the sea: is not the sea the peacock of peacocks?"

In any case, this has all been fodder for thought. It feels good to be reading carefully again, feeling interested in what I read, too. I also have been reading AMBITION AND SURVIVAL by Christian Wiman and am finding much there which gets me thinking. It seems so far, Wiman is an advocate for form, traditional forms, and yes, the control and ambition one needs to write in form has always impressed me, but I fear I am tone-deaf, maybe a bit lazy. Okay, well a LOT lazy!!! hahaha.

Well, I've gone on to long and nobody is listening, but I'm having a ball!!! LOL