Friday, August 3, 2012

sincere intoxications

A return to the domestic.  The domestic as a point of departure.  As good as any place to contemplate the fullness of existence.  For this is the life of an artist, a writer - the notebook moves from the outdoor table, to the kitchen table, to the study, to the bedside table.  I move from the kitchen sink, from the stove, to the notebook, to the garden.  I move from this chore to that one.  I fulfill social obligations, family ones, I love, I wonder, I avoid, I am thwarted.  I wash the floor, I vacuum, I prepare, I lunch, I buy groceries. I make sure we are ready. I load the dishwasher, I make dinner, I am interrupted, I look out windows.  I write, I coax words, I open, I prod, I read the glistening and gorgeous and wild words of others. I breathe and I look and I daydream the mysteries and sincere intoxications of living. 

In Against Paradise, I wrote a small series of poems that were about details of paintings.  This was before museum websites had that amazing zoom feature where you can scrutinize a square inch of a painting if you so wish.

When I read from the work, I often prefaced my reading with these lines from W.S. Di Piero (in Shooting the Works):

"The mystery of details. The satisfaction of painted particulars. We enter a familiar museum or gallery and go at once (or pretend to drift) to a favourite picture, because in the picture is a detail we love, as we love lines or phrases in poems we can hardly remember the entire drift of."

"An artist's concentration is such that certain details will suddenly bear, unexpectedly, a full sense of existence. A hat, an ear, a phrase." 

And life, not just paintings, is rife with such details, and who knows how they may be remembered or by whom?  Maybe just a colour.  The contrast of a blue table with a glass of blood-orange soda.  The light on dishes, freshly washed.


  1. beautiful colours and lovely words, as usual....

  2. thankyou, you make it all seem possible. and I want that sandwich!

  3. Ah, the peaceful arc of a writerly day. Beautiful! I also want the sandwich.


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