Landing at 1 a.m. in Oakland, and taking a cab to my hotel. Arising at 6, going across the street to the place named "Croissants". "What kind of scones do you have?", and "I'll take raisin". A conference call at 7 a.m., and then more time with Brenda Maddox's Yeats bio--sadly, the fascinating automatic writing has given way to the absurdities of later life. Theory and longing--two guarantors of absurdity. Perhaps the enemy is dogma--if one adopts any dogma except "be nice to people", then one is inevitably challenged with absurdity, somehow. The drive to create poetry is a rare and precious gift, but the ability to read and understand poetry seems to me sometimes to be so much more elusive. Of course, I'm not sure if poetry exists at all--words, ideas, images, assortments, agglomerations of notions, and what is it, really? Then I walk down crowded city streets where the temperature is cool enough that women have Fall wear on, because in San Francisco one gets to dress for Fall from Fall until Spring. I have a college ruled 5 subject notebook with me, because all the things I need to capture today I can capture on what's left of 180 sheets. I take notes rarely at meetings, and don't keep the ones I take--they're just a device, a sort of non-automatic writing, a way to capture a moment, which I don't keep. I keep moments in my mind, and sometimes on my calendar, but they're just glimpses and notions and legal details.
I'm intrigued by these 1920s literati, even though so many of them seem to descend into eugenics or alcohol, but it's so easy to compare one's life with other imagined lives, and what good does comparison do? I have a long LJ post in mind about comparisons, which I'll write soon, but lately I look around at what I've achieved and in some ways I became the problem I defined myself to solve, and yet, did I settle for a simple equation, when I could have been a really elegant solution? Last night on the radio, excerpts of Brando doing the "contender" speech, and then Elia Kazan defending himself from giving names to McCarthy. I realize,sometimes, that I must define me by my standards, as I cannot live a life in cinematic or literary fantasies. I ate fried fish last night for the second time in four days, and then I wondered--is it really me that is so willing to be unhealthy in what I eat? The answer, of course, is yes. This is the real me--some things achieved, some things undone, some joy, some sadness, some moves forward, some steps back, perhaps, Lord Willing, more steps to take.
There's no point,really, in surrendering to it. It's just a matter of the next step to take.