facing facts


I cancelled my three and a half hour one way drive to North Bay for a poetry reading tonight.  I was to be one of two readers.  I had to face the reality of my level of available stamina and the fact that I have written almost no new poetry since I began dialysis two and a half years ago.  My muse has gone away.  My attempts to lure her back have not been successful. I am considering my literary options.  One is to put down my pen and finish out my string simply as a careful reader.

One thing I did find out in preparing for the reading is the chaos of my digital documents.  I had been carrying my poems forward from computer to new computer in folders called Poems YYYY.  Now I am building a single folder called Poems MASTER FILE.    When I looked through there for some old poems to print out for the reading they were not there.  I did some hard drive searching without finding everything.  So I turned to my website and blog and found them there.  Once found, I copied the text and put them into Word documents saved in the Master File.

In the past I have read perhaps ten times.   Quite a few years ago I spent a week in a Catholic high school in Toronto reading and talking about writing poetry in a whole bunch of classes.  It had beena long time since I had run my day based on the ringing of bells.  A great week for me.

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Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

3 thoughts on “facing facts”

  1. Being a careful reader is hard work, especially if you blog about the experience.

    It’s hard to forgive yourself for stopping to write poetry. The poet Marvin Bell once said in an interview for American Poetry (which I can’t find now) something to the effect that some people stop writing poetry because they have reached adulthood.

    Keep reading, and make sure to save all your poems in one place, you will have something to say.

    1. thanx 4 depositing a comment here

      “careful reader” comes from the late Fr, David Belyea at SMC pacing back and forth at the front of the upper room in Brennan Hall saying something like “I think a careful reader would notice that Eliot speaks of the river god as being……” as we took a long careful look at Four Quartets. That careful reader has loomed over my readhing shoulder for years. I toyed with the idea of getting a baseball cap with Careless Reader stitched on the front.

      I am considering putting a file together, either just the ten poems I was going to read in North Bay or either a small sized format video of me reading them, and sending them along to a few select victims, you are on the tentative list if I get my ass in gear and gather this bunch.

      Cathy, be safe, and be well, and as that keillor fellow says, do good work

      Bill

  2. Well, what do you know! I remember many things about Fr. Belyea, but somehow I don’t remember that particular phrase of his. I was probably a “woodpecker” or a “smuggler” and not a “student” certainly. I’ve come back to Four Quartets again and again in life, thanks to Fr. Belyea.

    Yes, make the video, Youtube is where it’s at, all the cool kids are there.

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