Two Arguments for Poetry

One. Leaves fall behind the street sweeper. Autumn rain, a perfume, extends from the damp reaches, arises from the dampness under flowerpots, drifts under doors, falls from instantly. It’s dark when we get up, sleepy, and dark when we get home, hungry. Time to write is the nausea of sleepiness, a cheese made of dirty underwear and socks, to be savored and eaten sparingly. Two. We struggle not only for time. Our entertainment is an antidote for boredom that leaves us more susceptible. Politics is a complicated avoidance. Advertising and public relations are based on wish fulfillment. Our freeways would embarrass us if we would consider our exposure, the grinding of brakes and gears, the burning, the entrapment. We struggle against this to write, or we are caught in the slow push of an escalator, and the end of which we will do what other people tell us to.

7 October 1986