The poem I posted this morning, “Fox On The Run,” is the 107th new poem I’ve posted on the blog this year.
I started keeping track of how many new poems I’ve posted on this blog on January 1st, 2010. This poem is number 4,000 over that time period. There are probably another 3,000 or so in the archives I’ve kept, online and on paper, since 1974.
That works out to about .89 poems a day, which seems like a reasonable way of putting it as many aren’t even real poems according to some folks. (Don’t listen to them. Let’s round up and say it’s an average of a poem a day, shall we?)
I’ve always nicknamed this bookkeeping “the Meaningless Goal,” although it has a more specific meaning and purpose for me that I don’t share with others, and I won’t share here.
More to the point, it represents a way of looking at the Work I Do that I think does matter — which is that many of them, most of them in fact, are mediocre at best and do more for the Work as a whole than they do standing alone as indivdual poems. I just decided to make it all public and available, rather than hiding it away.
I have a manuscript of selected poems in progress now. It stands at about 50 poems I’d be glad to be remembered for when I die. I’m ok with that. The blog will remain as the rest of the iceberg I struck upon before sinking. I’m ok with that too.
I’m not done adding to the Work yet, but I thought it worth noting that as poets go, I’m only moderately talented but I put in work to the point of exhaustion sometimes.
I try not to fall into the trap of putting any individual poem’s perfection before its service to the Work overall. (In other words, I edit and polish but recall that there’s always another poem to be written.)
I’m 62 and I feel like I’m just now getting to be the poet I knew I could be.
Back to work.