Thursday, June 16, 2011

... the quality of his despair

"It is closing time in the gardens of the West and from now on an artist will be judged only by the resonance of his solitude or the quality of his despair." - Cyril Connolly, 1949

I have been exercising different sensibilities for the last week.  For too long I have been reading editorial journalists, polemicists.  It has had the expected effect on me.  I have been reading novels again and have been wanting to write fictively.  I started to write a short story. It was difficult, perhaps too much so. The writing was stiff and forced.  I have lost my sense of the poetic, the essences escape me. Description alone is not good enough.

After all that has been written I have foregone the idea of writing anything truly original. I merely want to write something well.  That is beyond me also.  For too long I have been writing journalistically or with a faux-polemics.

As an antidote I began reading poetry again.  But that doesn't help.  It is something. But reading poetry does not a poet make. 

One of my mistakes, there are many, is that I have been reading some great writers.  They make it seem easy.  They make it appear as if the words occur naturally on the page in the way that they are meant to arrive.  That is, of course, not how it happens at all.  It is an activity done best when done often.


That's not what I wanted to write about this morning, at all.    I have an appointment with a foot doctor so I am out of time now.  Later I have to take a test from home. It is a two hour behemoth that will require sustained concentration and most of all... a passing score.  It will be a difficult test and one that I am eager to put behind me.  

I have squandered my time here this morning, again. The other life calls to me, demands my attention. It creeps upon me in seconds ever gaining ground, the minutes march, the enemy of the hour advances. 

I have neither solitude nor despair.  I am in love.  How can I expect to write... and of what, for whom?