When I say “journal” now, I’m generally using that to describe writings I do as myself, where I am trying to mean, trying to say what I mean, and also, to mean what I say (or I correct myself … ).
But there’s something very different about the poetry I’m writing from McKuen’s poems. I don’t mean what they say, in a literal or corresponding-to-truth sense. But I do think my new texts there can function as poems in which there is an idea—it’s not a random pile or list of words. There was a human mind shaping, choosing, choosing and shaping into phrases or sentences. I’ll be damned but there is some coherence or unity-value, some value in the coherence or unity of the sentence as a basic thought—a “complete thought,” as the English teachers say. Even if the sentence is/gets interrupted, there’s a familiarity there, to the mind, of the sentence structure, and I can write literally absurd contents within the form of the sentence. Of course, any form can be challenged—even a non-sentence list can seem meaningful, or seem sensible, when a mind goes to work on it and detects combinations, etc. This is what I try to teach students through the Poetry Bingo activity.
But, damn, I feel kinda far out here. I feel I’m at some kind of avant-garde edge. I’m not saying I’m the first here, but it’s a seldom-visited place.
[From journal of Sat., 21 Feb. 2015, Journal 204, page 129-30]