Monday, July 30, 2007

Floating

I started reading Michael Burkard's My Secret Boat a few days ago, and it is stirring things inside my writing brain. I've been stuck for awhile, unable to access the places where the words live. But simply reading Burkard you have to go into those places and muck around. This is not a book you can read on the surface and consume, or at least I can't. It's more of a soaker. I read one page, maybe two, and then I let everything seep for a time. So, I love it. Maybe I'll have a new poem one of these days, and I'll loan the book to you, whenever that time is when I get to the end. Here's a small part:

"You die a thousand deaths in a private secret life, for no one knows what you do, what you love, and of course others are doing it, as with song, and you always hear this and die some more. And you usually wind up converting the private life into some other form, a form which will allow the secret life to remain a secret, yet will still feed the new form. With me it was writing. The cost of the conversion was immense--it is twenty-five years later and I am only beginning to realize the cost, even as I write here, to it, for the first time. For the conversion calls for still another layer of identity which often (although, I agree, not always) obscures the real even more. It is layer upon layer. Identity to one's self, others, identity to one's hat--my hat the writing hat, my arm the arm of memory--now I prefigure a drawing of a man whose arm is abstract, but active--and who has a hat for a head! And where is the heart? A secret mark, breathing still, what a miracle!"

7 comments:

Rachel said...

It sounds like a beautiful book, Charmi. The excerpt reminds me a little of Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" - half writing life, half spiritual text. Sounds like something to be read and re-read.

Talia said...

I'm glad it is inspiring you. It has been some time since you posted a poem.

Charmi said...

Rachel - the spiritual always pulls me, always.

Talia - I know. I know. And it's not like I had that many poems to begin with, either! Call it fear, that could definitely be the start of a poem.

Talia said...

Well, it doesn't have to be poetry.

Charmi said...

Yes. I should probably think along those lines. After all, I didn't go back to school to become a poet. I think I'll take Severance Pay up north with me and try working on that again.

In other news, Gene called last night with a piece of good news. He still hasn't gotten an official offer letter for the new job, but a group e-mail went out welcoming him to the team. So, I guess that's that. We slide into something new.

Talia said...

Congratulations. May your heart be at rest.

Charmi said...

I imagine my heart will be at rest when it stops beating, which God willing isn't anytime soon! But I appreciate the sentiment, I really do.