Thursday, May 05, 2005

My idea of the relationship of mindfulness to reading & to the new sentence is not a prescription, by any means. There are – and indeed always have been – multiple possibilities here. It’s been at least three decades, for example, since Bromige first noted just how often I can be seen at a reading jotting something down into a notebook. It is rare, actually, that what I am scribbling relates directly to the reading (tho at times there will be depiction of the event itself). Rather, I find that mental space of confronting the well written word aurally is a remarkable – unsurpassed, in fact – tool for turning over the language in one’s own mind/experience/daily life as well. Thus I find myself at a reading listening to the text, observing the event & often composing something completely different all at once. Sometimes I feel that I will wander – get too far away from the reader’s text, or forget literally my own environment if I get “absorbed” into a work – but I usually can make myself return if I try. But I often think of this as the trifecta of literary environments, the best possible context in which to produce work. I have had the experience at other kinds of events from time to time – Zyxt has a description of an evening of jazz improv on Bernal Heights that took place over 30 years ago that I still think about as an exemplar of such an occasion.

In this regard, I wonder how different I am or might be from other poets. So I thought I would ask.