Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aimless Reading: The C's, Part 39.5 (Robert Creeley)

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Creeley, Robert

I bought this in the months after Creeley died, when I embarked on a re-reading of most of his books. There were several still available in hardcover at Talking Leaves, so I bought every one they had. I had been working on a section of Jacket magazine devoted to his work at the time of his death. When he died, I asked John Tranter if we could hold off an extra six months, mostly to allow all of the eulogies to be read and written and broadcast before going back to the business of getting people to look at the work.

I was pretty happy with the way it eventually turned out, but by the time it all came together I felt that between editing Jacket, organizing a celebration in Buffalo, and writing several pieces on the man and his work, I had exhausted my ability to think and write about Creeley for a while, and so let the issue go into publication without an introduction. I sort of regret not writing one, but I felt at the time that I couldn't write another word on the subject. Thankfully, there was plenty there for people to digest without my editorial interference.

I am actually feeling some of that same reticence now, as I plow through the 19 or so volumes of Creeley's work that I currently own. I can't say exactly why that is. I have no shortage of memories of the man and his work about which to write, yet each night as I sit down to produce the next blog entry, I feel a kind of resistance to actually writing it. I've been plugging along knowing that if I let up, this project is likely to fall apart, but I have not been terribly happy with what I've written since I hit the Creeley section, except for maybe the piece on Presences from two days ago. I don't think this is a sign that I am losing steam, but more about anxiety of influence, or something along those lines.

Well, enough of my yakkin'. How about a poem?

It appears I only read to page 59 when I went through this volume. The last poem I read, apparently, was this:


Eye's reach out window water's
lateral quiet bulk of trees at
far edge now if peace were
possible here it would enter.

Bulk of trees' tops mass of
substantial trunks supporting from
shifting green base lawn variable
greens and almost yellow looks like.

Seven grey metal canoes drawn
up and tethered by pond's long
side with brushy green bushes and
metallic light sheen of water at evening.

What see what look for what
seems to be there front of the fore-
head the echoing painful minded-
ness of life will not see this here.

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