My Handwriting Falls into Hasty Scratches

A rare moment yesterday: found time to map out an idea on the classroom whiteboard. The words have remained with me since midsummer last year; the memory lingers in the back of the head, a slow haunting of memory.

Mainly the concept centers on Brendan’s reaction to the Texas Hill Country—a sudden understanding of the wilderness surrounding him, arms spread wide in excitement— and the neighbor farm’s stray goats dancing across the property line, actually climbing into low arched branches of wild wateroak trees.

All of the photographs of him during his pagan epiphany fail. None of the photos capture that sudden impulse I saw in his eyes that afternoon. This fact in part promotes the poem, torches the need to abstract the moment into a larger memory for me. For him.
—and so the New Year opens out, takes us in its arms.
The construction of my opening analogy is perhaps too basic: me at the whiteboard at the beginning of a poem, the beginning of a new year—but let’s run with it until we are out of breath.

Elaborate diagrams and mapped out ideologies become the backbone of many of my lectures on literature and construction of arguments. When I draw out the bridge of thought from one column of text to another column— the hair on the back of my neck rises. The same feeling when a verse comes together on the page, when my handwriting falls into hasty scratches, speeding ahead of the words, trying to stay alongside the idea as it closes in my head.
The First Day persists in a light grey. Nonetheless I feel optimistic. Vacation exists for two-odd weeks; time to develop and map out the rest of the year. Clean out the storage unit. Finalize an essay. Motion, forward.
New haircut for the New Year!


  1. great picture, Glen and I love the descriptions of Brendan in the hill country.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts