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The Creative

Why wert thou a creature wanting soule?
Or, why is this imortall that thou hast?
MARLOWE Dr. Faustus

One seems to begin at a beginning, and then, after a time as difficult to recognize the actual measure of as any other thing that may or may not happen, one comes to an end. In that literal situation of what one calls experience, the outward , call it, of the content of perception, a life is lived in the explicit package of meat one calls the body. A mind thinks of it, at first so intrinsically the organism itself that there is, apparently, no separation experienced. The eyes see, the mouth tastes, the nose smells, the ears hear, the hands touch and hold, the legs stretch and walk. Hair, skin, bone, the body fills, voids, heats, cools, sleeps, wakes. An interminable one of many, the thought of life apart from itself is vague, impossible to consider. There is no one but instantly proves all, people some vast horizontal of seemingly similar size, a growth then of precisely repetitive proportions.

I want to speak of creative in the simply complex situation of: what creative means to me. Ezra Pound wrote of the deceptive syntactical simplicity of the request, "Buy me the kind of Rembrandt I like"—as complex in actuality as the numbers of people who might make it. Speaking now, it must be that this factual person, me , is familiar, so like so many, in fact, his hair, teeth, pants, etc. But the I , as Wittgenstein put it, is what is "deeply mysterious." In a world

Black Sparrow Press, Sparrow 6 (1973).


of objects, mes , this is the one manifestation of existence that cannot so see itself as literal thing . It is my experience that what I feel to be the creative has location in this place of personal identity.

A friend recently here told me of a book he'd been reading wherein the creative as a concept is attributed to Renaissance art and its artists, although they felt their notion to have in turn roots in their own sense of historical past. This fact—as it instantly, 'creatively,' became one in my thinking—coincided with another I had got from Giedion's discussion of abstraction in the first volume of The Eternal Present . As he says, "Like the symbol, abstraction came into being with the beginning of art. It existed: nameless. It was simply there . . ." Certainly these two agencies, symbol and abstraction, have a powerful resonance in any situation we speak of as 'creative,' or surely they have had. To take from this that, to make another—this must, in thinking, be an extraordinary act of mind—to have of another a one, itself thus thing of the other, symbolic, and yet apart, abstract—so becomes the magic we feel in all transformation. Initially, as Giedion assumes it, there were two possibilities in abstraction: the ability to make of all the seemingly endless divergency and occasion of thing a general agreement, a one in which the all of its situation might come to rest and be recognized; but also, the impulse to have the one be a part of the whole, in a way which overrode it, became specific more intensely than all the other 'parts' otherwise equally present, an 'I' that wants so much more than to be merely 'human' or 'people' or, simply, 'like them.' Giedion notes that there is an increasing social egocentricity in that time between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, although it is myself who calls it 'social'—a feeling that what the elders of our own time felt as 'individual sensibility,' an insistence on the intrinsic value of what each one of us may feel, think, or value as singular persons, was growing in multiple social senses at this time. Giedion also emphasizes that it is this same dominance of egocentricity that permits Descartes to say, "I think, therefore I am," and to make thus separation of emotion and intellect in the context of human experience. The abstraction here accomplished is of the second kind.

We may feel as common persons of the world a terror we will not be given specific witness, that no one will ever know our actual lives have been lived at all. But why, I wonder, do we so imagine our lives not to have their own inherent orders, as Charles Olson might say—or why do we so wish to extend ourselves beyond the literal,


the usual, even the casual circumstances of any day we do so live? As such persons we yearn for the possibility, as we would say, of doing something truly 'creative,' 'different,' not at all like anything anyone has ever done before. It is as if that sadly insistent 'humanism' of Descartes, that intensely flat and drab rationalism , had taken us to pure possibility—We think!—and then left us there to ponder: What can we think of now? Unhappily there is an automatism just as actual in processes of thought as might be felt to be in processes of digestion. My own irritation with the notion of creativity, as it has to do with writing, and, frankly, with living as well, is that it has been so given this place of the will—as though an act of thought resolved as an intention became thereby instanter revelation.

I had hoped, ignorantly, that create and credible might share some root, thinking of the Spanish creo (I believe )—because it would be lovely indeed if creation and belief were joined at some initial point in their experience. However, that is not the case, but 'create' is issue of such lovely company I see no reason to be disappointed: "ker -. To grow. Suffixed form *ker-es - in Latin Ceres , goddess of agriculture, especially the growth of fruits," whence our cereal . Or in the Latin creare , "to cause to grow." Or the o-grade forms in "*kor-wo -, 'growing,' adolescent, in Greek kouros, koros , boy, son" and in *kor-wa , "in Greek kore , girl, maiden, pupil of the eye." Or that most lovely, possibly: "Compound *sm-kero -, 'of one growth' (*sem -, same, one . . .), in Latin sincerus , pure, clean": whence our sincere . "Only the most absolute sincerity under heaven can effect any change."

One should, after all, have danced more, under the moon, and been a farmer, instead of a man given to thought. At least one has been father and teacher, giving such care as one knew how to, sincerely, to that growth of persons, in places very possibly not the most suitable. One had created them—hearing sometimes as blessing, sometimes as snigger, fruit of my loins. Fruit of the loom, loam. You fruit. First fruits. The fruit of their labor . I remember that early create meant make , for me, insofar as I had apparently created a disturbance, had made a mess. Woodenly, I could see no very clear difference in the fact and stubbornly set out to make a poem, a man, of myself. I thought you could think of it, and, having plans, follow them till the thing appeared, gloriously, complete. In like sense the creation of the world seemed to me a specific labor of God's in the same way this building seems the specific labor of carpenters. My


company in this dilemma was obviously a number of my nineteenth-century countrymen, who seem to have made love, money, and monsters, all with the same convictions. One can hear even now, for example, that anguished voice shouting, "I have created a monster!" The possible 'disturbance' was unquestionably the real point in mind.

Our contemporary 'creations' are somewhat drabber: dresses, new styles, sad brittle poems written in sterile surroundings to mechanical senses of the possibility. But why should one be so hostile to what is, after all, a very human hope that something might thus change, might come to be said—be new? What does one know of creation except that insistent "Make it new," which Pound so emphasized? But he says also, "I have brought the great ball of crystal; / who can lift it? / Can you enter the great acorn of light?"

It is possible we live entirely in that act we so call 'creative,' that that is, in fact, the place of our possibility and recognition of life—that that fact of place is a mind, that body is equally the idea of it which possesses us. I am struck by the situation of schizophrenia wherein the experience of body may so place the hands or feet or anus in the consciousness so affected, that no communal agreement as to their location is possible. A self-created reality in that way dominates and isolates the one who has become, even without intention or agreement, its world.

In like sense, one of the human dilemmas of artists, particularly of writers who are participant in a kind of image-making that has as agency that most powerful, possibly, of human abstractions, language , is megalomania, delusions of greatness, of exceeding power or omnipotence. There is persistent impatience with those unwilling or unable to enter the world so proposed, and its obviousness to the one who has served as its creator makes him appear fascistically , in the political sense, determined upon its actuality and harmonious economy. One can think instantly of a diversity of writers who exhibit that situation in greater or lesser degree: Knut Hamsun, Céline, Wyndham Lewis, D. H. Lawrence, and Ezra Pound himself. The world, so to speak, depends upon them for its own realization, but as they work to accomplish this reality, another world, equally present, insists upon those limits, which they, humanly, must accept.

To say of someone, that his or her appearance is pleasant , or ugly —each is a creative act. A 'world' in each case occurs in which that person takes place, whether or no his or her agreement is given. "Give a dog a bad name . . ." is not a specious homily but recognition, however casual, of the power of naming. "A rose by


any other name . . ." might well smell as sweet, but not the rose —that would no longer exist, and an odor only would be the point. For years I have been intrigued by a quotation of Louis Zukofsky's from Wittgenstein: "A point in space is a [the?] place for an argument . . ." Think of it. Is that the point? What point? What has come to it? Who is present and realizes that to be the case? When? Is there the possibility of agreement in any such situation? "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" True questions of a reality experienced as created —that is to say, in this case, something said. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I loved, love, will love—you. Here. There. Then. Now." "The indefinite period of time yet to be . . ."

It is that spell of words that now comes to mind, and one had forgotten, thinking back all those years, to fusty smells of oiled corridors and boots and wet coats, sitting, trying to think, to remember, how does one spell 'patient' . . . Spelling! So obviously and so simply evident—and the grammar, the glamour , is instantly present, the patient 'patient,' and the heavy dead odor of the sickroom, roses in a vase beside the bed, because roses, not dandelions, cost explicit money and betoken care and tender concern. So you do have me 'under your spell,' and it is 'that old black magic,' again.

But quickly that other 'world' I had mentioned asserts itself, demanding time, demanding one be in it, physically actual . Robert Duncan, with characteristic clarity, posits the situation of these two 'worlds' as reality and actuality . The real is what we value in real estate, and has to do with things of this life: res, rei —possession, thing. Republic—dig it . . . One for all and all for one. But the actual has got that 'act' in it: "actus, an ACT." It's moving, causing things to skitter and bump, get on with it in some actual sense. One can return to reality by way of the actuarial , having to do with the computing of insurance risks and premiums, etc., etc., but it will never be the same. Which is to say, the tree is real, but when you hit it, it's actual.

"Don't you poets get tired of living in a world of your own imagination and want to get back to reality?" Whose reality? Who owns all this? The Swedish poet Lars Gustafsson pointed out to me that marriage, like the car, is an invention. It is not actual, although for many people indeed it may be real. But one doesn't drink it, or stumble over it, throw it on the fire. It isn't flesh or fur or fin. You'll remember the story of the sad fisherman who was given three wishes, who was both married and caught in reality, so that the demand upon him was to get more and more of that substance. Things upon things upon things—and no place to be. No one actually


home at all, no matter it was all too real. It's an equally sad mistake to think that what is called 'creative' in poetry seeks a bargain in space and time, wants to exchange this for that, hike up the prices, so to speak. When Robert Graves writes, "There is one story, and one story only, that is worth your telling . . . ," he claims for poet that power of revelation , that care specific to this gift that the elemental nature of existence not be lost in the thought of it.

At the funeral of Jackson Pollock, Wednesday, August 15, 1956, the minister, the Reverend George Nicholson, read from St. Paul's statement, Romans, Chapter 8: "The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God's purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope." Later he said, not really having known Pollock but in a very certain sense cognizant of the occasion: "It seemed to me that at that moment when the art world had collected around that grave, on that beautiful day, all our skills & philosophies added up to a fragmentary & sorry collection. Like Plato's cave we were men living in a shadowy illusory world of sounds & sights—like dogs in an art gallery—sniffing around at corners.

"No, I didn't know J. Pollock. But in the Epistle to the Romans Chapter 8 there is more than a hint of glory and greatness—always in short supply."

Charles Olson's response to 'creative' social thinking was a muted sneer, "Oh, change it altogether . . ."—much like Pound's, "you who think you will/ get through hell in a hurry . . ." The point is: "Who even dead, yet hath his mind entire!/ This sound came in the dark/ First must thou go the road/ to hell . . ." "First came the seen, then thus the palpable/ Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,/ What thou lovest well is thy true heritage/ What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee . . ."

Pound's respect for Confucius, for that "sound given off by the heart's core," the possibility of things said, is measure of the sincerity I had earlier invoked. Whitman insisted, "The theme is creative and has vista," and in his sincerity, the heart of the matter, an imagination found the literal body of its impulse realized, made substantive, transformed. For it is imagination , only, which has this possibility. Hear it. "Only the imagination is real!/ I have declared it/ time without end . . ." "Light, the imagination/ and love,/ in our age,/ by natural law,/ which we worship,/ maintain/ all of a piece/ their dominance." Realize that you have been told, by the myriad men and women for whom creation is the literal place we live in, under sky, on ground, by water, in air. Pollock said, "When I am in my paint-


ing, I am not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well."

What is here to discover is neither new nor significantly esoteric. Henry Corbin, in the introduction to Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi , makes this useful point: "Today, with the help of phenomenology, we are able to examine the way in which man experiences his relationship to the world without reducing the objective data of this experience to data of sense perception or limiting the field of true and meaningful knowledge to the mere operations of the rational understanding. Freed from an old impasse, we have learned to register and to make use of the intentions implicit in all the acts of consciousness or transconsciousness. To say that the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge , and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it, no longer smacks of paradox." Thus you will recognize the sadly familiar, and useless , difficulty William Carlos Williams meets with in "The Desert Music": "You seem quite normal. Can you tell me? Why / does one want to write a poem?// Because it's there to be written.// Oh. A matter of inspiration then?// Of necessity.// Oh. But what sets it off?// I am that he whose brains/ are scattered/ aimlessly . . ." At the close of this extraordinary poem the moment of revelation is literally accomplished: "I am a poet! I/ am. I am a poet, I reaffirmed, ashamed// Now the music volleys through as in/ a lonely moment I hear it. Now it is all/ about me. The dance! The verb detaches itself/ seeking to become articulate . . ." The word dances , in the literal garden of desire .

Louis Zukofsky wrote, "Out of deep need . . ." But what nature of need is it? To eat, to sleep, to find a form merely? I question that. In Berlin I am delighted to discover that the eminent scientist Heisenberg, himself in Munich, has fallen upon the arts as though upon a blissful bed of flowers, knowing , in his age, as Gregory Corso would say, that the conceptual dilemma of the sciences leads them round and around the careful maze of their various contexts , true Bottoms but alas no Shakespeares to love them and get them home. Zukofsky also writes of these things made , these poems , as being source of profound solace—where the heart finds rest. It is the need to enter what we loosely call the vision, to be one with the


Imago Mundi, that image of the world we each of us carry within us as possibility itself. What can we say otherwise? Peace, brother. It's going to be all right. It's soon over and it won't hurt.

But the heart aches —"Out of deep need . . ." Corbin: "This power of the heart is what is especially designated by the word himma , a word whose content is perhaps best suggested by the Greek word enthymesis , which signifies the act of meditating, conceiving, imagining, projecting, ardently desiring—in other words, of having (something) present in the thymos , which is vital force, soul, heart, intention, thought, desire . . . The force of an intention so powerful as to project and realize ('essentiate') a being external to the being who conceives the intention, corresponds perfectly to the character of the mysterious power that Ibn 'Arabi designates as himma  . . . Thanks to his representational faculty . . . every man creates in his Active Imagination things having existence only in this faculty. This is the general rule. But by his himma the gnostic creates something which exists outside the seat of this faculty . . . In the first case, as it is exercised by most men, its function is representational; it produces images which are merely part of the conjoined Imagination . . . , inseparable from the subject. But even here, pure representation does not, eo ipso , mean 'illusion,' these images really 'exist,' illusion occurs when we misunderstand their mode of being. In the case of the gnostic . . . , the Active Imagination serves the himma which, by its concentration, is capable of creating objects, of producing changes in the outside world . . . When in contemplating an image, an icon, others recognize and perceive as a divine image the vision beheld by the artist who created the image, it is because of the spiritual creativity, the himma which the artist put into his work. Here we have a compelling term of comparison, by which to measure the decadence of our dreams and of our arts . . ."

Well, no use no way, and comparisons are odious—and the plan we had was that all this was going to get it together and be a happy place to be in , like. But that himma shit, man, that's really my kind of people. Heart-felt. I really mean it, this time, this place, this—. He forgot the word, walking around, was momently in Bolinas, Berlin, Oslo, Bergen, London, Bolinas—time's like that, sometimes. Days spent watching surfers, days spend time like there was no end to it, forever. "He wants impossible liveforever . . ." "Capsules wherein we wrap up our punishable secrets . . ." You going to read us a poem , Bob? "Who even dead, yet hath his mind entire!"

You really have to believe in it, as Coleridge said, all those years ago, so gently, "the willing suspension of disbelief . . ." Like that


lovely, 'once upon a time . . .' I knew a man once who had a lovely team of horses, this was in West Acton, Mass., and one of them kneeled on a nail was in the planking of the stall, and the knee got infected—Mr. Green was his name—and Mr. Green, who lived alone with his wife, both about in their seventies, he used to, literally, take the blankets off their bed, this was in winter, and go out into the stall and wrap up that horse and put poultices on her knee, to draw out the poison, and he'd sit there with her, all the night, and finally the old horse, old in its own way as him, got well.

Take it from there, cut through. Breaks in time, head. Allen Ginsberg feels poems to be 'time capsules,' messages you don't really get the fact of till later. Have those bones begun to sprout—Eliot? True poet, not at all that he wanted to be—so rational, so Augustan in that old elegance. Let's create a spectacle! The sixties had 'happenings': "I painted 'I love what I'm doing' in orange and blue. When I got to 'what I'm doing,' it was going very fast, and I picked up one of the jars and drank the paint, and then I poured the other two jars of paint over my head, quickly, and dove . . . through the canvas . . ."

Such report as I had of studies done some years ago at the University of California at Berkeley, and at Stanford, of the situation of 'creative' behavior and personality with respect to specific persons, seemed to indicate a rather low return of information. Who can be anticipated as being in a situation with a high potential for creative behavior? No one apparently, with any surety. One may be born into a family of ten children, or one, have both parents actively present, or none, have a high degree of affluence present, or none, be black, white, yellow, red—without much proving the case. In like sense specific training in areas deemed creative, as music, dance, art, writing, may or may not effect anything. The composer Morton Subotnik pointed out that by far the greater number of eminently competent classical musicians, call them, in this country were the children of Russian Jews, simply that no other group could so unremarkably oblige their children to practice their instrument for six to eight hours daily, from the tender age of three onward. He himself was an exceptional clarinetist and had lovely wish fulfillment dreams in which both his arms were removed from his body, blissfully. He even joined the army, hoping to break the spell—but was instantly put into Special Services, to play the clarinet. Finally, in his early twenties, he managed, of his own will, to put it down. What he had wanted to play, aged three, was the trombone, but he could not name it for his parents, and when they


showed him endless pictures of musical instruments, in consternation and fatigue he pointed to the clarinet as being most like that thing he had seen in nursery school.

We must respect the fact that what we call the creative cannot be simplistically 'included' in a rationalistically based 'program.' Art schools do not of necessity make painters, although a significant number of them may, variously, come to be there. But that is not why they are painters—if they are. We must respect equally the fact that we do not know why people are painters, or composers, or poets. In usual, mundane reality, to be any of those 'things' is not a simple, nor even desirable, situation of experience. My mother, with very gentle discretion, used to say, "I like to think that Bob could get a job if he had to." Olson's advice, "Poets, you should get a job . . ." makes clear the other side of this vacancy, if by 'poet' one proposes some idealistic creature who is too tender to manage the harsh buffetings of 'real life.' There must be some place to live in, together, and if poets tend to get people overexcited, emotionally, as Plato felt, then we simply have to take that chance. We must know by this time that reason, often, can only excuse itself, and it really doesn't seem to be an initial —by which I mean a 'first time'—situation in experience. Gregory Corso used to say to people who invited him up to their penthouses for a closer look, "Why don't you just give me the money and let me go home." The creative is frequently a situation of that order, but it isn't a question of, "Give me the tools and I will do the job." Poets have got the tools. They just want to live a little.

So there is this world one thinks of, and another, no doubt, that seems to be there no matter. Jung called them the creatura , significantly enough, and the pleroma , the first being the mind's world, the world of ideas, differences, distinctions, thought, and the second, the world of physical event purely, having no 'idea' of itself, no 'imagination,' no this or that. Having two things, worlds or whatever, the mind wants to ask immediately, which one is better —or rather, the Western mind does. But you have to give up that 'better,' it just doesn't work—or of course you can go on being a sternly humanistic rationalist, but it won't get you here . Because there will always be here too, to really drive you out of your head.

One wants to keep growing. One looks for whatever signs seem the issue of that possibility. The plans are to secure that situation, but the hope may be a sad one. I don't want to say that there's no use in living in whatever imagination of the universe is your own. Democracy is literal and will tell you where you are inexorably. You


know the people and they know you. Each day, night, you are alive will be specific, even if you are in some body state that seems altogether inaccessible to the others. 'Creative,' as actuality, is here always, never elsewhere in any sense.

I think that where my own confusion lies, in trying to think of 'creative' as an adjective, as some descriptive term, is in the fact that I cannot conceive of 'creative' as something available to an attitude of discreet choice—as though one were able to agree or not, as its interest quickened or waned in one's thought of it. Life continues as it makes more life? Is that the self-growth principle? Are we a circumstance of cells having as limit the ability to exhaust the environment in which we find ourselves? "Well met by moonlight . . ." A dream of universe that has affections, qualities, and kinds. How did we get here, like they say. I was born some years ago and I have paid attention as I was able, to all that came to attention. I'm an honest man, I pay what I owe. He was speaking in some heat, irritated that those who listened to him were not apparently impressed. "How can we tell the dancer from the dance . . ." Who was it that wanted to. Olson's sense, that art is the only true twin life has—it 'means nothing,' it doesn't have a point. The painter Arakawa's delight in zero set , the real nitty gritty for any head-trip. Or—wanted to forget it, get out of the whole demand. On automatic pilot. Is that 'the creative.'

Basil Bunting said his own recognition, that he was to be a poet, was , in fact, came to him while sitting on the hearth at the age of four or so, listening to his parents talk about the Russian-Japanese conflict. It was only hard, he said, because he didn't know clearly what a poet was. Does one only say that later. I don't think so. I don't think it's really any different than the recognition that D. D. T. has such harsh effect on the environment—an idea become substantial, something's really having happened. Richard Alpert told of a man's jumping off a four-story building, then dying, smiling through blood, in the street. He said the man must have been happy—smiling . Is it discreet, this life. It is discrete. The growth must have multiple phase, like water boiling or freezing, must have multiple condition, transfer—transformed to other energy, agency. Eat it up—is eaten. The farmer feeds the horse a little less each day until he arrives at that point where the horse is subsisting on nothing at all. Succeeds, then—but the horse dies. There is no reason why the idea should not be successful, with or without the horse. It only depends on what you want.

Seeds dormant thousands of years, given chance, luck, might—


could—did grow. They eat the flesh of the mammoth frozen millennia, in ice. Hold it! They got the picture. Article in old Reader's Digest: "New Hope for the Dead." Simple-minded con trip deigns to speak of 'the rest of us.'

If I could just create the kind of world I'd really like to live in . . . I wouldn't be there. 'I' is an experience of creation, which puts up with it no matter. There's a lot to get done. You've been born and that's the first and last ticket. Already he changes his mind, makes the necessary adjustments, picks up his suitcase and getting into his car, drives slowly home. He lives with people whom he has the experience of loving. It all works out. He says. It has to. One to a customer. It's late. But they'll be there. He relaxes. He has an active mind.

For My Mother: Genevieve Jules Creeley

          April 9, 1887–October 7, 1972

                    Tender, semi-
                    articulate flickers
                    of your

                    presence, all
                    those years

                    now, eighty-
                    five, impossible to
                    count them

                    one by one, like
                    addition, sub-
                    traction, missing

                    not one. The last
                    curled up, in
                    on yourself,

                    position you take
                    in the bed, hair
                    wisped up

                    on your head, a
                    top knot, body
                    skeletal, eyes

                    closed against,
                    it must be,


                    further disturbance—

                    breathing a skim
                    of time, lightly
                    kicks the intervals

                    days, days and
                    years of it,
                    work, changes,

                    sweet flesh caught
                    at the edges,
                    dignity's faded

                    dilemma. It
                    is  your  life, oh
                    no one's

                    forgotten anything
                    ever. They want
                    to make you

                    happy when
                    they remember. Walk
                    a little, get

                    up, now, die
                    easily, into

                    singleness, too
                    tired with it
                    to keep

                    on and on.
                    Waves break at
                    the darkness

                    under the road, sounds
                    in the faint
                    night's softness. Look

                    at them, catching
                    the light, white
                    edge as they turn—

                    always again
                    and again. Dead
                    one, two,

                    three hours—
                    all these minutes


                    pass. Is it,

                    was it, ever
                    you alone
                    again, how

                    long you kept
                    at it, your
                    pride, your

                    lovely, confusing
                    discretion. Mother, I
                    love you—for

                    whatever that

                    than I know, body
                    gave me my
                    own, generous,

                    inexorable place
                    of you. I feel
                    the mouth's sluggish-

                    ness, slips on
                    turns of things
                    said, to you,

                    too soon, too late,
                    wants to
                    go back to beginning,

                    smells of the hospital
                    room, the doctor
                    she responds

                    to now, the
                    order—get me
                    there. "Death's

                    let you out—"
                    comes true,
                    this, that,

                    endlessly circular
                    life, and we
                    came back

                    to see you one


                    time, this

                    time? Your head
                    it seemed, your

                    eyes wanted,
                    I thought,
                    to see

                    who it was.
                    I am here,
                    and will follow.

                                                      Bolinas, California
                                                      October 15, 1972


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