Friday, July 28, 2006

Dreamed last night that I was riding a bicycle and Bogie was running alongside. A sweet visitation. I picked up his ashes from the vet hospital yesterday. They are startlingly white, wrapped in plastic and then encased in a small wooden box. About one pound total. We're going to scatter them this weekend with some friends.

Grief changes what I want from poetry. The mystic strain that I'm usually both repelled and fascinated by suddenly speaks to me more clearly, even pragmatically: Duncan, Rilke. The elegy-world (Rilke's "Welt aus Klage"), search for consolation. Of course mourning a dog is simpler and in some ways sharper than mourning for a person. The relationship is much purer, or at least so it appears to the human being. We don't know what dogs truly feel—we just hurl ourselves into a good guess. Leaving behind: me, wag.

Change of content. Like Gabe (linked to above), I felt Juliana Spahr's This Connection of Everyone with Lungs portended some kind of sea-change; yet I tried to assimilate it into my idea of "social formalism." Not entirely unvaluable, but beside the point if Gabe is right that we need to think content in a new, "fully ethical" way and to stop fetishizing aesthetic forms. Forms are the hard thing we need to articulate the soft, but isn't the soft the goal? Vertebrate vs. invertebrate. I'm going to be looking now for poems that enlarge inner horizons, or that make useful contact between inner and outer. I'll let you know what I find.

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