I had been writing and thinking about society, technology, cruelty, violence, injustice. Trying to be a big boy.
I found myself turning 30 and wanting to think about; love, lust, friendship, affection and adventure. Perhaps as a way of coping. Perhaps as a dessert. And truly as a balm for feeling my age.
The events of the past year – the global dazzlements as well as the family illnesses and subsequent deaths, heartbreaks, betrayals and trials – moved me instinctively toward that literary equivalent of the howl and the supplication; the poem.
There is too much now, it seems, to convey at once in a play or a story, yet somehow I can (attempt to) capture the noise in a poem. The world has become gigantic and crude so the response is to work in a smaller form. Prose and drama involve a linear progression of experience; a poem is more openly four dimensional, like a painting. Contrary to the binaries we grasp for in our deliriums there is openness in poetry. This makes sense now and feels sacred and anchoring.
Painting: The Studio by Philip Guston, 1969