Monday, July 04, 2005

Message to the New World Order On Independence Day: FAWC Off

What does freedom mean? Save for a six mile walk along the dunes, by the shore, forever more beholden to the waves & spray, the scent of living, the lived decay of it. All of it—to share alone. No witnesses to a secret hiding place in the soul as the ocean explodes in the sounding of whales leaping for their lives joy, the frolic of mammoth proportions, there, just off the shore where a derrick would go: blood-sucking earthsuckers like giant grashoppers pecking away at the order of things; the behemoths splash, court the Courtneys of their breed, make their particular style of music.

Free from particular and general hunger. General Hunger drives the ships in to Boston Harbor. Tea goes in. Tea goes out. While the swilling continues. Particular, and that of the Generals. Pop.

29 years ago today I declared my independence from the printed word and vowed to print my own: MANGO Publications. More than a lived generation ago, older than my Ethnic Literatures of America students last spring. I realize that and it doesn't make me feel old, it makes me feel lived.

I celebrate by holding off. I celebrate by birthing another. Birthing another; both the particular and the general.

Today, I have another mouth to feed—this book, the multiple mouths like hungry birds waiting to be read. Not yet. There's another placenta to bury. Strange, these multiple orgasms. Now I feel the challenge of the Sultan or the religious zealot in Utah with his multiple brides—good sex all around with the young, the learnéd, the subtle, the athletic nymph—now another, waiting in the chamber. I feel for Sisyphus Walking; I just want to sleep. Or marinate chicken. Or water my garden, my expiring seed, Make love 'til the kids come home. Make love 'til the comet explodes upon impact. Celebrate this.

"I'm off to join another. . ." I'm stalling. I'm watching the Wizard of Oz and wondering what would a faceless, legless kid in Afghanistan think of the monkeys, those flying dupes dressed as Michael Jackson & looking like Bush? Would they still be afraid? What would it mean for the wizard? To have so much immigration along the Yellow Brick road toting so many questions to ask.

I ask the wizard: ask the dead, and hear a voice, "there's something in this drawer" and I open it; it opens on the past. A tattered file, way, way back where I no longer go, past the files of old mortgages and paid-off loans, something from Letters to David, to the particular: "To Be Salvaged. . .?" And I find the poem to my mother that isn't to my mother, that isn't a poem at all, but something I once wrote in the dark, feeling the page, the edges where I might go off. I wrote it after my mother's murder, when I couldn't (wouldn't) write anything ever again—I thought, I vowed. The world became a place where poetry wasn't possible. In any form. And, I found, the only poem I could stomach was Galway's poem about flying from the hospital and then back home to the funeral of his mother—a poem about the everything unsaid, a long poem in Body Rags. I would read it watching the creeping Charlies die of thirst, her fragile chain of hearts. I had just come back from Provincetown, Fine Arts Work Center; the book was out. I was on tour, my first real "tour", traveling in a bus through Amish country with Wendy Rose & Maurice Kenny. I was in St. Louis, before the big reading at the River Styx. I dreamed it. Called home, uncannily, at 6am that morning, four hours after the dream, four hours after her estimated time of death.

All that woven together in a remembrance of a place. A path that leads to freedom. Or, leads us to the memory of a mother's murder by a random force, some mistake of nature like an unlived 19 year old kicking in the door—and he's armed with the latest technology, permission, and an excuse. A free pass to freedomize the world.

I decide, yesterday, to include it as a given chapter in my next book. A Hard Drive to independence. That.

"All this grief and pancakes after" ~Chekhov

A hard book to finish. I already know how it ends. Now I have a beginning. An entrance. A beaten path (horribly ironic from this end) just a nice walk from another.

How much I owe to that hole in the fence. As much as I owe to Stanley Kunitz for suggesting a way not often taken. To give one's life a part of it taken away, that seven-month fellowship to write as much or as little as I wanted, that bounty of fellows of visual and written artists I could sup with or sip from—or not, that richness of soil from the selected teachers which I could use to enrich or transplant my roots if I desired, and live—the life of the writer. That monastary of the heart's content and the mind's *heart*.

I *heart* the Fine Arts Work Center. I *heart* what it stands for. It stands for freedom. It stands for independence. It stands for the American Way and the pursuit of happiness. It stands for real good writing. It stands for "Art is Time/Time is Art" And anyone who doesn't know it should just go FAWC YOU.

Happy to celebrate, as I commented on in a previous blog entry, another peony openingAnne Haines at FAWC. One of the small joys of blogging. The voyeurism of it. The cinch of catching a new poem, a new poet in first bud. Like an apple among the avocados, it sets us all to ripening.

Well, back to it. Back to the books. Back to the last one this season. The "Now's the Time" of the harvest.

Back to the freedom. "A kind of Order/A kind of Folly" ~S. Kunitz

And, back to the killing fields of America & the mourning of another mother, particular and general.
to T Sunday morning as the news catches up with Terry McMillan:
"Yup. Best to be poor but anonymous."
Here's to finishing before the fireworks. Here's to having time to marinate. Here's to Jack Daniels & the Rhythm Kings I have yet to dance to. Here's to having enough time/art to catch up with old friends on the fields of Disembodied Poetics—where I once saw Ferlinghetti kissing—and he kissed real good—and I wrote his elegy on the spot & stored it in a drawer.

Here's to more freedom. More. More living. For all.

Happy explosions,

Lorna Dune


Blogger Anne said...

so happy to have given you that sandy little path to your dune-ish memories! yes, there is something so so right & necessary about what FAWC does -- including the summer program, being there for just a fast week, it's like so much love & history has accumulated there that you can't help but just soak it in. So many blessings to be found there...

4/7/05 16:53  

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