Tuesday, December 29, 2020

conspiracy theory and the poetic imagination

I intended to take a writing break this week after finishing the redrafting of unusual creatures, largely since I didn't have a clue which of the tiny seeds for projects I wanted to nurture after the new year.  I also intended to spend this week laying low and working slowly on press stuff and not pushing myself to draft poems daily between the two holidays, that weird, time-free zone where you never know what day it is. (but then again, many could say that of 2020 entirely.) Also to take some stock in terms of goals and intentions and what went right this year and what was like beating one's head against the wall. And really, what were goals and intentions worth in upheaval and uncertainty anyway?

In my sketchbook are lists for potential projects or things I want to investigate further in terms of subject matter, format, structures. There are projects that have stalled out for years--the Blue Swallow poems, for example.  Last year's nbsp project I mean to get back to eventually.  And I suppose I will, eventually, though some things I am better at getting to, particularly if it catches my attention with a little bit more sparkle.  Earlier this week, I was scrolling and my attention was caught by a discussion in someone else's thread.  I don't even know what prompted it, but someone they new used the opportunity to engage in a long, strange laying out of a pattern that tied the Nashville bombing to voting machines and all sorts of other weird coincidences and connections.

Suddenly I was obsessed with the syntax and rhythm of conspiracy theorists, their longing to impose patterns on chaos and randomness. almost Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-like logic. What if you were to impose those patterns and logic twists on the everyday? Because isn't that what poetry does, anyway?  Imposes rhythms and patterns in language? Tries to organize chaos? To find meaning where there is little meaning by making connections? Anyway, I little seed started to sprout and that's what I've been working at this week and we'll see where it goes. 

Otherwise, since I sleep late with no alarm the past two weeks, my daylight hours are much shorter, only a few scant hours of sun which I notice less when I'm working in the library, where with no windows in my immediate workspace, and  scarce know if it's day or night. All spring into summer, locked down at home, I played a game where I resisted turning on lights in the apartment until it was too dark to see.  Now that is around 4:30, but in June, it was after 8 pm most days.   Yesterday seemed brighter and I woke ti unusual washes of light across my living room.  Across the dining table workspace where the cats were enjoyably lolling in it on their backs and sides.  Today, there is apparently a snow storm brewing. Mostly I just keep telling myself that even if the world only gets marginally better, spring will still come and the days will get longer and whatever is happening in the world will be happening, but at least there will be sun. 

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