Anyway, J. e-mailed me, since we both just happened
to watch Network. It's astonishing to me to see a film that
speaks of something the culture has only hastened
to become. Hard to talk about the movie without getting
up on a soapbox, so I won't. J. quoted the Beatles
in his e-mail though, and I'll print it here, because it's
always great to see in print something you have cherished
for years without somehow knowing why: "He's the all-American,
bullet-headed, Saxon mother's son..." All the children sing!
Zone 3 has taken two poems, and so the first big batch
to go out, the testing of the new poems, since late July,
seems to be working out. I say "seems." You never know.
Knock on wood and all that crap. But poems taken at
Barrow Street, Green Mountains Review, and Zone 3
in the last week. That's all right. Anyway, "Walking Catfish"
is one of the taken poems. No problem there. But "The Other
Water" I sent in my usual bluster of premature excitement
and now I have no idea which version I sent. It's a poem
I posted, became frustrated with (Charmi mentioned
that one draft had no music in it--she was right) and
took down. It marked my return to writing this "suite"
of poems after a small lay off. I have a couple drafts
somewhere. I'll just e-mail an electronic copy and see what
happens. If you revise a lot, and I do, this can happen.
I still think revision is a very good thing, but O how often
I send out, say, a second quick draft only to have it snapped up.
In the meantime I've written ten subsequent versions.
Well, so what? I know I sometimes over -write. And
quite often I come all the way back to the original poem, only
I've got a great couplet to add. Such a long way to go to
get such a little kernal of "rightness." But often all that revising
makes a piece of writing that is nowhere close to the original
but is in fact (to me) astonishing (in the sense McGuane said
it--when asked why he writes he said "I write to astound myself").
And so it goes. It's process, messy and often a pain in the ass.
Now I must thumb through coffee-stained drafts and do a little
busy work. It's sunny out, after a misty Halloween. On with
my running shoes. The stock market is taking a dive. Way up
on Wednesday, way down on Thursday. Speculate away.
Thanks to all the good wishes from folks on my birthday, by the
way. Okay. Time to go.
33 minutes ago