Friday, June 4, 2021


Still me, this Friday, getting back into writing like it’s some last resort or the first thing I’ve ever done. And why write anyway? It can’t simply be because not writing is so bad—because quite frankly there are times, again and again, that I disappear from writing. It’s a pendulum, a wave turning into itself only to turn outward. And when I’m out it’s a relief, that not checking in. But it’s a relief that pains me, there’s something that cuts deep about being relieved to not get so deep with myself. There’s another depth there, a doubling of depth and an incapableness to it. When I don’t voluntarily go to the depths, the depths of me rise up to tell me that they're hurt by that. The ocean within me that wants to be explored—and it’s the place that I’m always at, because it’s also always me. Agnes Martin says:

We do not ever stop because there is no way to stop. No matter what you do you will not escape. There is no way out. You may as well go ahead with as little resistance as possible—and eat everything on your plate.

Sure, I can keep passing things by and writing with other things. There are plenty of other metaphors that I can use to avoid actually writing: walking, singing, playing piano, reading, sitting on my back steps looking at the city in the afternoon, sitting on the same steps at night, pacing around the back lot of our apartment, going for another walk around my neighborhood, following the same streets, noticing the sparrows fluttering around outside my window and their tiny bouncing dance, standing at the edge of the river watching swallows hunting for bugs, attending another zoom meeting only to be instructed to close my eyes and think about a certain problem I’m dealing with then look to the sky and upon doing so noticing that the whole sky is overcast all the way to the sea. But isn’t it every morning here in Los Angeles? I’m woken up by the sounds of car doors closing, people laughing, and a generator giving my room a subtle persistent shake. The sun comes out around noon and it’s pale blue for the rest of the day.

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that I’ve thought of the last three years as a process of getting back to something I lost, when it’s actually been one of creating that—since the start. I’ve been in it even as I projected it out into the future as some imaginary and into the past as some fantasy to perpetually walk to, call back out to, dig up again and again. Everything is spacial, is a place, even writing. It moves as I do, from one desk to another, from computer to phone to journal to the small stack of printer paper I wrote a poem on yesterday. Lara Mimosa Montes says:

If I am not writing, it is because I may be mortified by my own stupidity. The senselessness I experience upon coming to. A cataplectic swarm. I defer, and make excuses, and complain that I need things like money and time, knowing this is not true. You don’t need a bank account or a college degree to write. But I have these things, and more. I do not, however, always have the words, or answers to the question: “What would help you now to feel more alive?”

This is what I am trying to answer, turning back to writing again and again, printing out the pages of a blog and making them into a hundred tiny books. I don’t want to wait so much anymore.

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