You took the child in me in your arms
but none of his fears.
They waited a little off
knowing you wouldn't hold on forever.
It would have been nice
to have kept them waiting a little longer.
You had just as much of a claim on me
as they did.
6 August 1989
When we talk about addiction we generally think of substance abuse first of all, drugs or drink, but experiences can be addictive. Writing poetry is most definitely habit-forming. There’s a high that comes with it. Christ knows what chemicals our brain releases (bet you a pound to a penny it’s dopamine) but something pleasurable happens to be when I’m writing a poem, a physical reward. It doesn’t happen so much with prose but then there’s a purity and an immediacy to poetry; it’s just different. I may fiddle with a poem for weeks after it’s been drafted but by that time I’m one step removed; I’m no longer writing a poem, I’m editing one and that involves a different skill set.
Not everything distracts me. Actually very few things do and it’s amazing how much I’m oblivious to. There’re a couple of ornaments hanging from the curtain rail behind me—a moon and a star—and I remember asking Carrie a wee while back how long they’d been there. Months! I think of (for want of a better word) inspiration in terms of sympathetic resonance which Wikipedia defines as “a harmonic phenomenon wherein a formerly passive string or vibratory body responds to external vibrations to which it has a harmonic likeness. The classic example is demonstrated with two similar tuning-forks of which one is mounted on a wooden box. If the other one is struck and then placed on the box, then muted, the un-struck mounted fork will be heard.” When I was around B. she touched me without touching me and the poems just kept appearing. Decorative moons and stars it seems do nothing for me.