Thursday, May 24, 2007

influence in life and writing and reading is manifest in the writing itself. but where and why this thing influences the art while that other thing doesn't is a mystery. a writer can explain why he/she likes or is attracted to x but when it comes to explaining the wh/y coordinate we look straight at the ineffable.

at least for me. i've noticed these past few years how ufo mythology, cryptozoology, and other bizarre occult creeps into my writing. i'm a nut for this stuff. it's probably something to do with growing up in the 1970s when books and mock-documentaries about the bermuda triangle, noah's ark on mt ararat, alien abductions and so forth were so much part of popular culture.

when it comes to belief i'm more scully and less mulder. i've not seen a ufo. don't expect to. the rational part of me knows that the universe is vast and moving at great speed. to travel huge distances in a single lifetime is beyond the realm of physics.

the irrational part of me tho, the part predicated on belief, is utterly enthralled with the unknown. ufos and such are metaphysical by design. thus are prime for poems. or certain types of poems written at certain times in a certain frame of mind. they are a way of composing a kind of religious text [or 'spiritual' to use a more common parlance] for a man who is a catholic atheist.

by the by, my very good friend b. surprised me several months ago. i've known b. since i was 16, he's seen thru and knows quite well my pretensions. it was a saturday morning and i found a program about roswell. later that day s., b.'s wife, called. she mentioned that b. found that same program and said, 'i bet richard's watching this right now.'

the following is an early poem, written i'm guessing in 2000 or 2001. it has behind it alien abductions but the title and idea for it was lifted from the u.k. band section 25's song 'visitations'. i was listening quite heavily to section 25 at the time. that song is a perfect synthesis of the strange and pop. there's nothing quite like it. i use the frost quote because it is a talisman i employ when my anxiety becomes so acute i think i'm about to have a panic attack. also, it suits the theme of the poem.


they can't scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars -- on stars where no human race is.
Robert Frost

motion of

drive thru a prick of stars

the vision of headlights

points of light

via negativa

that un

freezes mind

something is
out there


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