Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Mathematics of My Daily Routine

It’s odd— and frustrating— how the slight shift from writing formal haiku to formal tanka exists as a difficult transition. A self-made barrier becomes planted in the middle of my path. We are talking a difference of fourteen additional syllables— only two additional lines. Yet, the whole process causes mild headaches and writing anxieties which I never experienced before. Some nights I skip the ritual due to built up nervousness and developing anger. I have to remind myself that the whole idea is only a meditative exercise, a brief mental jog to create new phrasing, different word play on the page. But for me, whereas haiku shape themselves without issue, reshaping the concept into other forms remains difficult, elusive.

Another way to think about it: the rhythm of tanka falls in a less impulsive fashion… the breath and natural pauses I use for writing do not easily translate to a new limitation of five lines…
Perhaps Dante would reserve such self-imposed traumas in-between the fourth and fifth layer of Hell— just before the marshy banks of the River Styx. Damned poets would appear trudging in knee-deep mud, in wet, rust-red clay which ends up staining their tunics, their faces— their hands trembling with anger as they wander, clutching their half completed manuscripts and a cup of faulty pens.
In a manner of thought, the predicament is similar to the recent move into our new house. Even now, after five months later, I still have packed boxes in my office to sort through, we have bare walls to hang posters and paintings. The timing does not feel right for unpacking and rearranging the immediate environment. Shuffling furniture around would only cause more personal stress. What remains: the mathematics behind my daily routine keep causing knots of mismatched figures and awkward rhythm schemes. An accountant’s nightmare of illogical calculations and a poet’s misery of sputtering syllables.


132 / a moment exists, a hesitation frozen between two figures— a recognition— as she hands him a ripe pomegranate.

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