Friday, July 26, 2019

extraterrestrial reply

Yes, Elizabeth, I'm glad too [that “…{I’m} writing and reading things that matter”].

Send me your poem from your upcoming collection of poetry that most importantly expresses your sense of why you're doing poetry. 

Also, what, at heart, is poetry's calling, to you?



deleted from draft email to her:

“Why do you do poetry?” would surely be a high schooler's question. Yet, it’s also a question implicitly addressed by anyone who cares for our humanity. 

There’s so much poetry about. Why do more?

“I must.”

Good. Why?

So many obituaries in the New York Times: Yet another forgotten figure is remembered post mortem in the 24/7 news cycle, always moving on.

Shaggy-haired Harold Bloom, Possessed by Memory, “says”: “The dead long to speak again. What could you possibly have new to say?”

I’m struck silent. I don’t read enough. I’m humbled. I’m naïve.   

Maybe I can speak for my time well.

No, I lack the capability. 

Well, I do what I can, a point of being.

The philosopher Martin Heidegger was frightened, 1968, when he saw the now iconic image of Earthrise from the Moon. Yesterday, in the Times, a writer recounted that the Apollo 11 astronauts had difficulty adjusting to the frivolity of their return. The writer asks:
What do you do after you’ve had a transcendent experience? Do you just go back to work?
—as if the wonder leaves one forever extraterrestrial, as does war—that wasting of life, the horror.
At one celebratory banquet, Mr. Aldrin was breathlessly asked, “Tell us how it really felt to be on the moon!”

Afterward, he rushed outside into an alley and wept.
Here is heaven, being wasted.