April 18th 2017

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When I last drove from the west coast I had lived in Washington State. I could fit all my belongings in the back of my truck. Some twenty years since have cluttered my house with belongings. I look forward to divesting myself of them. I have beautiful furniture handed down and there’s a part of me that wishes I didn’t have it. I don’t like owning anything of value. I love my books and my collection of music, but they aren’t valuable. The most valuable book I own is a collection of Frost’s poetry signed by Robert Frost.
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As my teen-aged children begin living their own lives, I’m going to let go of the belongings, the house and so much else that matters less to me. I’d like to build a small house, not tiny, but small. I’d like to have a view of the western mountains so I can watch the weather come in and I’ll let the grass and wildflowers grow. Don’t want a yard, but a field.
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I have a minimalist bent.
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And my insight these past weeks is that it’s not just my house that’s cluttered; but also my mind. My first childhood poems and stories were written on a typewriter. What distractions are there? There’s only you, the typewriter, and the room you sit in. But distractions are manifold nowadays. For the last several years I’ve allowed my mind to become too cluttered. I’ve found it difficult to concentrate. My mind ceaselessly acquires the next novelty but is perpetually dissatisfied. The storehouse of my mind has been and is in disarray.
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My insight is to think of my mind as my house. The first thing I did returning from Burlington was to delete all the bookmarks in my browsers. I only have six sites bookmarked. Poemshape is one of them. Habits are hard to undo; but I’ve already noticed a difference. I’ve found myself excited at the thought of reading books or laboriously working out a poem by hand—pencil on paper. I look forward to regaining my ability to concentrate.
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When I close eyes, I imagine my mind as the cabin I’ve always wanted to build—a one room cottage with a desk, a chair, and a summer’s breeze blowing through.
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I’m trying to minimalize the clutter of a too connected world.
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I’m trying to get my typewriter back.
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collecting
····in April’s muddy trenches—the night’s early
········stars
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PaperWhites (b&w) (Block Print)
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108 April 18th 2017 | bottlecap
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4 responses

    • Maybe a little of Throeau, but Pound? Where do you come up with Pound? That reminds me, I should pick up that used copy of Pound’s Cantos. I’ll never read them, but at least I can self-respectingly say that I’ve “looked” at them — the spine of the book maybe. Don’t know what he was thinking when he wrote those.

  1. Wasn’t Pound one of the big three on minimalism? “The apparition of these faces on a wall…” It may have worked in that case, because that’s the only poem of his I remember. But, please, if you see something in the Cantos that engages you let me know. Right now, I can’t recall a word. (And I haven’t had a beer in four days!)

    • Pounds is, perhaps, most famous for that ‘sort of’, minimalist haiku; but as a poet he was anything but minimalist. Just look at his cantos, pages and pages and pages of incomprehensible non-sequiturs. allusions, and excursions into Chinese, French, German snippets — so on and so forth. One can’t possibly make sense of it without an accompanying triptych twice the size of the cantos. I can’t fathom who would want to read the cantos but for some hapless undergraduate assigned the text by a frustrated, middle-aged academic. :/

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