The Shift

I’m in the yellow silk chair in the living room, lit by a lamp from the 50’s. Even though it’s plenty morning at 7:45, I need the spotlight. One foot tucks under me and my notebook lies open. I’ve read some poetry. Gone to the bathroom and come back to the chair with a line that I like. I write it down. There’s a plan and a topic…Spring, aloneness, a funny incident yesterday.

And I get the line down, all good-school-girl with her pen, look away, and while I’m not looking, the line drops off a cliff. In the course of half a breath, an inhale, I decide to let it fall. Maybe the line triggers a memory, another word, a cliche that needs undoing, a long ago day or person. A space opens literally over a canyon where there are no letters. The line has to fly.

This thing veers only when I’ve decided it belongs to no one but air, here quiet in my privacy and I am good enough. That is the critical aerodynamic–that I am good enough and deserve to launch, to swing, think up new things. I deserve to establish in ink especially odd syntax. Others have done it and given permission (with their weird ways). Now I get to take the permission that has been given. Take it, the kite of it.

The main thing is no logic. I have fallen off the cliff of logic. I run and run and pick up speed and fall off the cliff called “logic,” that sloping rock.


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