February 9th 2016

Tonight I listen to Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach, the son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. His music is utterly unlike his father’s, but also unlike any of his peers or contemporaries: not always successful, but always daring, brilliant creative, unafraid and original. I don’t feel like any of those. I write the same haiku. How many about the snow, the cold, the moon? I’m in a despairing mood.
I read today that writers make less and less money.
I make none. It’s my own fault. I dislike competitions. I dislike submitting my work. I don’t take rejection well. I don’t like publishing my writing. I both want and don’t want to be read. I want to write for others and only for myself. Sometimes I want all my writing to disappear—including hundreds of pages I don’t publish here. I both care and don’t care. I’m angry and accepting.
Acceptance that I will never make a living as a writer.
But for a moment—some equilibrium.
····the oak’s roots—winter’s deepening
·in the
And tomorrow I ready my winter’s lunch:
····cold orange—color of the summer’s
95 February 9th 2016 | bottlecap

4 responses

  1. Take heart, Patrick. Any despair is at least moderated by some surviving capacity to prepare your lunch.

    Yesterday I was up and on-line getting my various policy/politics “fixes” well before dawn. I got hooked, powerless to stop a felt need to complete an online response to a really weak, apparently ‘off-the-cuff’ analysis on an issue I had just spent eight months immersing myself in. I didn’t want to respond. I knew the risks of responding, I just couldn’t help myself. I went through a half dozen drafts feeling more and more dismayed as it got better, but necessarily longer, and yet I felt really awful. I had failed to notice the dawn, the sun on the new snow, or the elapsed four hours when I saw it was 9:30, and suddenly realized I’d completely forgotten to prepare and consume breakfast, the most important meal of the day for a morning person like me!

    Here I am 6:51AM feeling empty again, Hit send, Hendrik, and feed yourself, and contemplate the hope of teasing a smile out of the Vermont Poet!

  2. Fully sympathize. Also love CPE Bach, though can’t say why – lack your musical education. Feel exactly as you do about writing – thought I was the only one!!! Envy you your ability to write haiku and your Vermont winters. Down here in South Australia we have been having rolling heat waves of 40 deg. Celsius since early December. I’d recommend hot soup if I could bear to think of it. Try hot coffee, it cheers my mornings up even if the forecast is for 43 C! Keep on pluggin’…

    • I especially love his older brother, W.F. Bach, but his music is much harder to come by. Your heatwaves sound unreal. Hard to believe we live on the same earth. And yes, glad I’m not alone with my self-inflicted quandary.

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