“The road from appearance to reality is often very hard and long, and many people make only very poor travelers. We must forgive them when they stagger against us as if against a brick wall.” —Franz Kafka

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Show-n-tell



Why do words vanish when I attempt to write them down? All day they flutter around me like butterflies. They are frolicking in the air when I wake up in the morning. They float nearby when I am eating, walking, driving, working, even at the most unlikely times and places images, ideas, and themes present themselves, promising more to come. But they lie. When I finally pick up a pen or sit at the keyboard... poof silencio nada.

I wanted to tell you about the colony of vultures riding the currents over the canyon, crossing, lifting, diving, swooping. But now I don't know where to start, how to frame it, how to make it worth your time. Now that I am sitting here, all I can think to do is blurt out, "Oh hi. I saw vultures flying over the sad river today". I feel like I'm doing kindergarten show-n-tell. I suppose this is why I write poetry. No matter how hard I try to settle on a point of view, images, words, sounds, ideas, events, thoughts spontaneously rearrange and realign themselves, take on different proximities, shift gravity, turn inside out, take on new meaning or lose meaning entirely. Poetry is the best way I know to reconnect whatever dots are left.

So... while I'm at it, I might as well mention the pandemonium of parrots that fly over the house morning and evening. Perhaps I will take a photo of them tonight. So far I haven't bothered because they are smallish and green, not flaming red, yellow, blue, orange parrots and, being the rainy season, and don't look like much against the drab gray sky. But they are very very loud, all squawking at once and constantly. No wonder pandemonium is the word used to describe them as a group.

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