I can count to ‘poem’ on my toes. Watch; I’ll show you.

Okay. I didn’t intend for there to be a five-month lapse between posts. Those with astute minds may notice that those five months coincide (or collide, to be more accurate) with the general fall semester schedule for collegiate academics. Thus, I’ve been living under a pile of library books and/or gnawing my way through the labyrinthine red tape ensnarled around the voluminous vagaries (or vulgarities) of university administrative procedures. Whether or not I’ve emerged victorious shall come to light in time.

At the moment, however, I’ve got more free time than you could shake a stick at – although really, how one can ascertain the range and limitations of stick-shaking by accumulative quantities will forever remain a mystery to me. Maybe it’s a proportional thing whereby the amount of stick (x) must correspond to a referential amount of free time (y) but may not exceed some particular totality… maybe y/x≤1 or something like it. I leave this mess to the mathematicians – though I am very fond of numbers, I have an arithmetical IQ of about four. Well enough, I suppose, as I have enough appendages to count by in most scenarios. Which is how I know how long it’s been since last I posted; took a whole hand with a full set of fingers to reason that one.

I just realized that it’s been about a year since I started this blog. I still have quite a few things I haven’t gotten around to writing about yet, so that’s theoretically promising. As in my last post, I’m still musing what it really means to have a poet’s identity – more from within, this time, than with regards to public perception. And with regards to what I really consider to be my writing process. And how, at the end of the day, it’s all very closely tied with my being kind of a nerd.

The idea of identity is a part, really, of every poem written. Ever. Not really some totality of self (as if that’s possible to every truly capture). But every poem I’ve ever read is about identity – of objects, of sensations; of identifying moments of before and after in order to recognize some transition or another. And usually the idea is to identify a thing as it’s seen from an odd angle, from a prescribed (and often varying) distance, and through a specifically defined and faceted eye. That’s why the idea of interpretation creeps in everywhere, when you read a poem – you’re trying to identify the specifics of the poet in it, figure out where they’re standing and translating whatever language they’re speaking through, deciphering a dialect (be it regional, situational, or accents of proximity). And in making these discoveries, you, dear reader, are identifying yourself as you tilt either against these verbal windmills or find a means to work their mechanisms.

Though really, we all have more identity than anyone can shake a poem at. So what is it that we’re trying to do? Construct equations by which we come close to finding a 1:1 ratio, even if for a singular moment in time? And we can’t exceed that ratio or then we have overburdened whatever it is we wished to define, and created a false distinction.

(I may have to take off my shoes in order to count and puzzle this one out.)

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