Friday, December 17, 2004

thanks to everyone for welcoming baby Nicholas into our family. it's been one hell of a weird week, both surreal and exhausting. funny, for my age I still feel like a kid. tho I guess that is common, I recall Anna's grandmother, Annalisa, turning 80 during my first visit at her home in Upssala, Sweden. Annalisa said, I remember, I don't feel like 80. still feel like I'm 20.

so it goes, I'm 37 and a first-time father, and last Monday night watched my disc of the punk documentary Another State of Mind. the movie chronicles the 1982 cross-country tour of Youth Brigade, Social Distortion and making an appearance during their stop in D.C. the great Minor Threat. I've not seen the film in over twenty years but when you watch it you'll see a bunch of punks slam dancing at the various shows. just as I did in 1982, like the idiot kid I was, and probably still am.

I'm fascinated by William Hogarth's wonderful 1736/7 etching The Distrest Poet. it is not a flattering portrait at all of a working poet, his neglecting his family. but I love each detail in the etching from the map of Peru's gold mines above the poet's head, to the baby in bed, the seamstress wife who supports them, to the bill collector at the door demanding payment. surely art does not require the artist to be such a prig in his home life. life and art, for me, are not separate things. another poet may see it differently, but since writing and reading are not a profession, at any rate my definition of a professional is someone who is paid and can live by his/her vocation. show me a poet living who can earn enough from his/her writing. poetry is what endures in our living, as we face our day-to-day struggles. poetry, for those who are passionate about it, those (to bastardize Auden) for whom language lives, is the art of amateurs.

can't expand on that right now cuz I'm holding Nicholas with my right hand and typing with my left.


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