Foreward to the Autobiography
Libidinous desire deep within the infant declared a boy at birth turns into a
long excursion of years through the world attempting to transform body into
language. It all comes back in the Foreward. A confluence. A river, say.
Which way the Damariscotta runs? Under the bridge. She wondered what
flux is there, whether a sandbar lay under, or mere confluence after
stanchions? The latter, most likely. The Nile flows into the Mediterranean, &
a dream Osiris continues to float in a mountain lake at the source, offering the
line, Memory is the life of the Dead. Recently, as part of the flotsam & jetsam
the earliest girls named Marie & Carmen resurfaced. A return of sixty years.
In some sense I’m all over the place here right now like sunlight funneled at
me as I walk along Portland Harbor, which is actually Fore River. Funnel at
the distant edge mimicking the open end of the Vortex I feel above me
writing as imagination/mind reaches skyward, & hands pinpoint letters etched
on the page. Recently, a crossroads of sorts rose up like a stern black X in a
book, which because rare company arrived my writing table turned into
banquet, & books dispersed. One ended up on top of a stack on the bureau.
Inside, a call slip for the Library of Congress, September 11, 1990, 10:49
AM marks the beginning of my life in DC. It says I’m looking for the book
New Man & New Woman by Charles Olson. I sit at desk #518. The book is
checked X: not on shelf. Nonetheless, I may have found that man & woman
down there in the capital of America.
At this current confluence influences as diverse as Kristeva & O’Hara merge
in their conceptions of the importance of internal organs, mechanisms &
musics of the body. Both arriving there by way of the word intimate. She
says the Greeks called that which is most intimate, that which is closest to the
interior, organic body & preverbal sensations, Soul, going so far herself to
say that man’s inner organs could well be his divinities, lending a certain
animality to the Soul. O’Hara, on the other hand, wrote, “the typewriter is an
intimate organ…” Making language visible.
Such musics as far ranging as Bach of the spheres & Coltrane of the tracks
merge at the point of dream & waking. I heard Rothkos in New York.
Personal history says my fingertips are meant for music, although Rimbaud
claimed he’d never possess his own hand, & Rauschenberg claimed his one
step ahead of his mind reaching for contact.
Sending the letter to the agent yesterday claiming success of the book is based
on uniqueness & skill combined in the autobiographical process unraveling
Memory into Self, Language into Art, the phrase, a confluence of desires
once applied to the Sturgeon River, or Merrimack emerged from back there
in the remote stages of my growth as a poet. Even the names of those friends
at the time, Jane Sangster & Don Crofoot, welled up from the depths of thirty
years, yesterday. Making time my friend.
Kristeva & Lévi-Strauss