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I once woke from a dream and rushed to write a poem to myself. I scrawled something in the dark and then went back to a dreamless (or reclaimless) sleep.  In the morning I attempted to read my poem.  The only legible part read "the towering profundity of the word."  Had I, while sleeping been gripped by some event, some profound or sublime emotion, some context in which a word had issued forth and startled me awake with its power? I remembered absolutely nothing of the dream, its words, or context. I had had a revelation, but failed to preserve its meaning. The poetry was in the experience and not the residue.

There is another sort of aesthetic, and that is one composed entirely of words.  Sometimes when I am either falling asleep or waking up, I write longhand in my mind.  I think thoughts in the form of sentences that I feel might be "literary" ones.  It is really these things, the sentences that bubble up unbeckoned, that most often spur me to write something. It is not the content so much as the bubbling that signifies the possiblity that writing will go well.  Abundance overcomes my reluctance.  The topic seems less important than the "I'm really on to something feeling"-- the sort of feeling you might get (rightly or wrongly) just before you pull the lever of a slot machine.  A giddy, irrepressable sense of onrushing destiny that is utterly your own to experience.

When the aesthetic of words approaches the unsayable, and almost touches it, I will yet have my poem.


Cydonia photo: ESA

This is the journal of David Ross
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