Monday, May 31, 2004

spent the long weekend writing little but reading much, and thinking of Tom's questions on writing poetry, as well as Crag Hill's questions re: reading poetry. for I do think both are woven together so thoroughly that one doesn't exist without the other, for the most part, I mean. and I love reading other writers' responses, that is one of the reasons I am attracted to blogs and interviews of writers. and these are the questions I often ask of writers.

I've often heard and read writing has saved a person's life, and that reading and writing are the acts of living, a simple equation writing + reading = living. I believe that whole-heartedly, why else pursue an art no one else seems to give a shit about.

I reread all the time. often I pick up a book to read a few pages or poems before heading out the door for work, or before bed, or when I get up in the morning, etc. etc. in fact, caught myself last night thinking of Tom Raworth so when Anna and I got home last night around midnight I picked up an anthology with a few Raworth poems and read them standing in my undies before turning out the houselights and heading for bed.

and I usually read from front to back, but when I reread, or when I pick up a book in a bookstore or library I read from back to front. have no idea why, just feels comfortable that way.

I do not write everyday. but I do carry around a moleskin notebook Anna bought for me to jot down notes, lines, ideas or copy down sections of the books I am reading. I carry that notebook in a black backpack along with the books I am currently reading, I read about seven books at a time, and a couple of print journals. and I read a lot online, when I am fascinated by a certain writer, lately that writer is Jen Hofer, I will google him/her.

and for the political impact of reading and writing? I've paraphrased Brodsky before, I'll do so now: for civilization we are probably fucked, but for the individual there always remains a chance.

for reading/writing, to some writers at least, that includes me, is a matter of life and death. they are part of the same continuum of life and death. they are actions that give and receive extreme pleasure for the writer, for the reader.


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