full moon tonight, somewhat hazy, but the internet is down,
so i'm writing this on word to be put up later, maybe, as things get back to
normal. have no idea what's going on, but the walk was peaceful - a warm night
here, a few people out sitting in the park, a few people running or walking
like me, no coats necessary.
sometimes i judge by how many ambulances and helicopters i
hear, and by that standard, it was also peaceful, because there was maybe only
one or two of each. we're in the helicopter district, and west texas has a
million people, so it's an unusual night when there isn't a helicopter, but i
still jump when i hear them, because they fly so low and circle around as if
they're checking out whoever is walking through the park. no, it's just because
the hospital is right across the way. and the same goes for the ambulances. if
they are going to the hospital, i hear them. if it's police sirens, now they
might stay out in the neighborhoods, and never come near me.
i up and printed my haiku and my novel; i was taking a
breath on the novel, so when i looked at the haiku i was surprised to find: 850
of them altogether, after crossing out a half-dozen repetitive ones; at least a
dozen in every state now, though d.c. still has only eleven; one for every
season in every state, except for maybe a half dozen. in other words, it's
pretty close to the point where, when i publish it, i'll feel like it's a
complete volume, and can really get out and push it. and i like being done with
it to that degree. i find that its unfinishedness has kept me from really pedalling it, out there, to some degree. i'd like to have a reading, for example, but just can't bring myself to get out there with a book that, as i look at it, has these gaps. but with this printing, i see more like 850; it's getting better. there are fewer gaps. better, still, it feels like a tapestry, like i can continue writing into it, improving it, adding color and life. it's a little weak on the natural world; recently i've been doing a series on the amazing monarch butterflies, which are endangered by the way; i realize that even noticing them, to some degree, and knowing their migration pattern, dates the poems. folks didn't know about the milkweed and the long treks from mexico to ohio and indiana, back when i was doing my traveling. sure, they were just as magical, just as beautiful in the sun. and they are a sign of the season; it's just that i didn't know it when i was traveling.
so, one of the central dilemmas of this haiku book is that i learned most of my stuff in the 1970's. a better way of putting it is, i picked up my love of geography and hung onto it. the book highlights the unique parts of each state, and tries to catch unique parts of people's attitudes and capture a bit of life in that state. all from a traveler's point of view, of course. i had to let go of a few things though, first being slavish conformity to the 1970's experience. i had to widen it to get every season in every state. more about this later; i'll try to write a bit about it on my poetry blog.
as for the novel, still plenty of slogging to go. major
changes afoot, to make it more complete, in harmony with itself, internally
accurate. i'll need readers too; contact me; this will happen in about a month.
on the one hand, i'm really proud to finally have a document, in my hand, that
feels like a novel. on the other, i'm really worried, that there's so much in
it that doesn't make sense to itself, when it's matched up page by page.
something has to be done about it. and there goes my week, pretty much.
one boy wants to walk to school; the other already rides a bike. my wife will walk as it gets nicer, and i always walk; it's getting to the point where i might be able to go whole days without driving. this would be my goal. my night walk is about three miles, but any extra walking i get in during the day, that much better. what i'd really like is to get back in the pool; it's been too cold even to walk over there. but what i'm thinking, is more of an outdoorsish life style. already i play more ping pong with the boys, outside. i'll grow a garden, out there also. i just figure, with all this fresh air, blue sky, wind, i'ma get some of it. it may dry my skin, but it seems good for now; keeps me alive, gives me stuff to look forward to. spring here is an odd combination of extreme dryness, wind, dust, occasional rain or humidity, even a bit of cold and snow once in a while. not that i know what it's like, sometimes you just have to get out and experience it. More later.