Tag Archives: writing


With this, I conclude what I aimed to achieve at the beginning of the year. I have written something here (in this semi-public, self-published manner) once a week for every week of 2010. I have done so at some expense: first, my wife has prepared the family meal on Wednesday nights; second, I have written with less ambition at my job; and third, I have written very little poetry this year. Of these, I lament the last the most.

Beyond demonstrating a bit of self-discipline, I am less certain of the rewards of this year-long exercise. Although I felt out-of-practice at the beginning of the year, I doubt that my prose-style has improved. I’m not any smarter; I probably lost as much knowledge this year as I gained. (My very limited language skills, for example, have eroded.) As for readers, except for my wife and one friend, I am pretty sure that I have no consistent readers. I did not look for readers, so I can’t complain, but the world also gained very little from my labors. Nonetheless, it was time well-spent in so far that it was (selfishly) mine.

In the coming year, I hope to write more poetry than in previous years. This will result in fewer contributions to this blog. I have some unfinished business (the Lycidas series is incomplete) and I do not want to lose what little prose writing muscle I’ve gained, so I will carry on, but I expect to write no less than one post per month in 2011.

Today, the temperatures will reach the mid-50s; the snow is melting and the rain will come this afternoon. Today is not a good day for writing. I am ending this now to drag my Wii-addicted sons through the mud. We live in exile and want more for mud than for words.


In those days …

This year, in our home, July and August and now September have been difficult months; no one died.

What does one write? Hollowed out, all confidence gone, wept dry–what does one write?

At the whiff of madness and grief, I am often tempted to flee into the visual and tactile arts. Abandon writing for a sojourn in process-based and non-communicative territories. Making. Solitary Homo faber.

What does one write? Picked the lock on my daughter’s room; this time, nothing found.

David Jones made “Exiit Edictum”; he did not write it. In contrast, William Blake wrote much of: “Satan watching the endearments of Adam and Eve“.

Silence after sense. Meaning outside of narrative. Narratives! I can’t afford them; I don’t have the foundation. Give me something material: leaf tannins staining the sidewalks, moldy melon rinds, the unread sediment of now. A narrative would be a corpse.

Meaning unmade; unmade meaning. Found.

Exiit edictum

Exiit edictum. David Jones, 1949.


Last month Doug Holder of the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene posted a series of quotations and excerpts on the question “What is a failed poet?”

After skimming through these, it is clear that I do not have anything of substance to add in the way of an answer. Perhaps I am more than a “failed poet” — I am a poet who has failed at defining his own failure. Oh fun!

I think this question would have worked for a “meme” – a blogging trend I appear to have avoided … or failed. So (as ever, late), I’ll take it up here: what is a failed poet?

One who turns (desperate) from verse to the imagined audience of the blog.

And what do I write? This and 20 bad lines a month. (June 23, 2008)


Over-rated? I’m not sure. Honesty comes seldom to visit and when it does, we’re stingy with each other.

Aim: To write honestly without succumbing to the confessional. (March 25, 2008)