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POETRYETC  2005

POETRYETC 2005

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Subject:

Re: "so you want to become a writer?"

From:

Andrew Burke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 11 Jul 2005 00:44:26 +0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Yes, Ginsberg could be an arsehole, couldn't he. And that Trungpa! (I'd
forgotten his name - a self-preservation instinct on my part perhaps.) Wow,
what an ego freak. I've read of the same Merwin/Naropa occasion and it
certainly deminished all the participants in my eyes. Putting people on
pedestals is always a mistake.

I too went through a Buk period, but I was trying to rationalise alcoholic
behaviour and cover it up with Tapping Into My Creative Juices. It turned
out to be all piss and wind. (Good name for a book that, Piss and Wind.) The
poems from that time ... are strangely missing from my published works :-)

You said, > but getting up and taking a walk indeed
> might be the best solution.  The thought may come back, in whatever form
> it wishes.  Or not.  At that point it seems to have become first thought.

Yep. But it's late night here, and Ricky Ponting is on 49 runs so I'll just
turn this off and turn the cricket up. Good night, or good morning, wherever
you are ...

Andrew

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenneth Wolman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2005 11:39 PM
Subject: Re: "so you want to become a writer?"


> Andrew Burke wrote:
>
> >I'd like to discuss 'first thought, best thought'. Some little guru of
> >Ginsberg's said, I believe. And I believe I misread it for years as the
> >first thought that came to my mind - but I think the original intention,
the
> >original meaning, was, the initial thought or the base thought. We get in
> >our own way so often with 'false' masks and pretences that our first
> >top-of-mind thought is often polluted by ego, by fear or both.  We need
to
> >get to first basic-mind thought. Good ol 'Swing-away with Keroooway' said
it
> >nicely in his essay on Spontaneous Bop Prosody (not at hand at present,
or
> >I'd quote from it).
> >
> >Whaddya think, Ken? Does that make better sense? It's more about true
focus
> >than first glib thought. A bit of meditation (active or passive) or some
> >other centering act is a good overture. I find walking in nature does it
for
> >me.
> >
> >
> Well...two minds here.  First, Eliot Weinberger's version of what
> Ginsberg helped do to Merwin at Naropa, under the direction of Chogyam
> Trungpa, is in _Works On Paper_.   I was ruined for Ginsberg after
> that.  Naropa became Ginsberg's My Own Private Abu Ghraib and he was one
> of the guys in uniform.  It's hard to trust anyone or the thoughts of
> the supposed acolytes after that.
>
> Nevertheless, I suppose I can buy thte version.  What is the first
> thought but the true--not glib--impulse that leaps into the head?  When
> does it get betrayed by our own lack of ability to express it?  Our
> words might be only so-so, but the thought sounds suspiciously like an
> out-of-God's-mind kind of thing.  Even before the words are consciously
> added, within milliseconds it can be betrayed by fear, by cynicism, by
> all the reasons it will not work.  Usually social and/or "what will
> people think of me if I write THAT?"  Second-guessing in other words?
> So what then?--an excavation to recapture the first, best thought?  So
> do we try to get the words to catch up with the thought?  I'm sorry to
> get reductionist (I'm lying), but getting up and taking a walk indeed
> might be the best solution.  The thought may come back, in whatever form
> it wishes.  Or not.  At that point it seems to have become first thought.
>
> ken
>
> --
> Kenneth Wolman     http://kenwolman.com    http://kenwolman.blogspot.com
> --------------------------------------
>              "Only silence is shame."--Bartolomeo Vanzetti
>

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