So much of our lives we discover only in retrospect. Have been going over poems from 2011 to the present. I'd shuffled them away. Didn't like them. Thinking I'd written no more than a dozen in all that time, when there are more like 50 or 60. With two or 3 pretty good ones. Maybe it was coming off a year when I wrote some 300 new poems, writing only 20 or 30 in a year made me think the well might have run dry.
By putting them together, with pages that I had added from my journals, more or less in order, I see now a convergence I've been looking for --for years. the Poem to the End of My Days was a nice conceit. And I put together what I think are 3 strong MSS with that formal arrangement--the thematic Rondos--even if no one has seen fit to publish them. But they were too conceptual for my pogo-stick mind, leaping from this to that. What I needed was a poet's diary.
Duh... 7225 pages since 1988. My journals--like just realizing that this is central to my work? It takes me so long to figure these things out. Why is that that what is most obvious, most eludes us? Like taking almost 60 years to realize, no, these aren't just homoerotic fantasies, perfectly consistent with being hetero (that's what I told myself--if I'd felt the sting of contradiction, I might have considered the possibility that my primary orientation might not be what I told myself it was).
It was the spirit stick that saved me. A transformation that began with a feather and a sash on my Morris Park walking stick. That thing has Big Juju! Maybe only for my mucked up psychic life... but for that, it was my spirit guide. I felt it's power, and I followed where it led. Someone asked me today why I had paint on my cheeks. And I thought of the evolution of spirit stick. I said. I do it because I need to. But why do you need to? Because it satisfies that need. Sometimes, that really IS the explanation.