Daily Archives: June 16, 2020

3500 poems…

3819. That’s the number of days that have elapsed since January 1, 2010.

3500. That’s the number of new poems I’ve posted on this blog since then, counting today’s post. A little under a poem a day for a little under 10.5 years.

I have more than that on the blog from before that date, transferred here from LiveJournal (no idea how many — too much work to figure it out when so few had tags back then); have digital files of a couple thousand more going back to about 1996; more in notebooks and binders back to the early 70s; more lost to time and the mysteries of moving and mildew, I’m sure.

So — I don’t want to double that number for an overall total, but maybe 6000 or so total lifetime? Maybe there are only a few out of that that are worth holding onto, but I still hold on to them.

If it seems obsessive to do this, you should know that I refer to this record keeping as “the Pursuit of the Meaningless Goal.” It was something suggested to me by a therapist years ago as one way of controlling one aspect of the symptoms of bipolar disorder — I won’t say more than that.

It’s part of the continuing effort to say that the Work, the body of Work, is more important than any one poem to me.

I’m going to take a few days off, I think. I have things to do elsewhere. Just needed to note the moment.

Thanks for reading.  Plenty more to read here. 

Modern Architecture

An article 
on modern architecture
laments how ugly 
it all is, compares and contrasts
Dubai and Singapore skylines
to the streets of ancient Italian
cities, mocks physics-defying towers
of steel and glass
set into city blocks worldwide
at nearly impossible angles and 
presents the street map of Paris
and a collage of pictures
of Roman aqueducts
as the perfection of human
spirit made real, weeps at how much
grace and soul we have pissed away
on such monstrosities, blames
every disease of our society
on the retreat from such classical norms —

and here I am
thinking of broken temples

in India and blown up mosques in Iraq;
of what Timbutu must have been
in its prime and how mounds 
across North America still undulate
in harmony with the landscape
wherever they have not been bulldozed;
thinking of six grandfathers dynamited 
for four presidents; 

I want to say a lot of things
about destruction and rebirth and
the relevance of the past to the present

and they all just come out at once
in words I can never fully mean
as to say them is
to condemn myself as well
but I must, I must:

fuck you, old Europe, old head,
no more than small peninsula of vast Asia,
skull cap above the head of Africa,
made rich by the long plunder of the Americas:

yield your time.