Good morning from the land of fog. I’m writing to you from the ferry, this boat I take to get from home to San Francisco. We’re preparing to push away from the dock (I say we like I have anything to do with it), to shove into the thick fog. The pelicans are a quiet party on the sea wall bodies grey, heads a tufts white, gorgeous orange beaks tucked into their bodies almost like they’re amused or disapproving, but don’t quite want to let you know it.
This morning I spent my writing time with the notebook. It was me, a candle, the strong tea, hand moving fast, trying to push beyond the editor back into those first thoughts.
At the talk I gave at Davis a couple weeks ago, I waxed pretty rhapsodic about this process, about the erotics of letting thoughts flow onto the page, no editing, no crossing out, being all the way in my body, all of a piece: hand, thought, pen, breath. And as I spoke, I realized how infrequently I let myself have this sort of writing time these days–and how much I miss it. As much as I work here on the blog to offer first thoughts, the fact is that I edit myself much more often when I’m writing here, writing for immediate public consumption. That’s ok, in and of itself–what’s not ok is not having any spaces for messy, sticky, surprising freewriting. So this morning got to be that time.
We’re going somewhat faster than I might imagine would be prudent with a visibility of 50 feet.
I’m still thinking about silence today, about the quiet that stuffs itself over and around all the things we taught ourselves how not to say. And I have more poetry for today. Use this as a prompt. Give yourself 10 minutes to write something that doesn’t make sense while you’re writing it.
by Ed Roberson
There is nothing concrete to grasp in
looking into the morning sky
The evidence of red-eye
flights east a plane drawn line presents
is not a wheelbarrow solid enough
dependency as day and night
carry in coming and going
You don’t see the poem
saying anything you can’t see in it
White dashes of contrails’
seemingly unmoving streak towards sunrise
disquiet the pale otherwise
unpunctuated blue of dawn
breaks it off Here is that silence