Wallace Stevens: Poem-ing outside of the field

How does a creative sustain herself outside of a creative industry?

At this juncture, outside of academia and apart from writerly collaboration, Creeley’s “Thinking of Wallace Stevens” is tucked in my pocket.

The joy was always to know it was the joy, to make all acquiesce to one’s preeminent premise.

On the outside—more accurately—inside the cubicle, I count time in and time out. I count emails, count cash, count and count and count. The size of a paper clip starts to matter.

After counting and clipping, the field opens. Differently. Not as Duncan’s continuity,

 a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.

Surprisingly opposite: I don’t have permission. So much out of my own control, so much outside that needs to get done, and Avery looks up to ask for more bunny-shaped crackers. The field opens because it is, as Duncan says, what is. Most probably the real. But it opens after debt is paid, owed is due, and clothes are ironed.

I am looking to Stevens, to his work-a-day life balanced by writing, poems, beauty, and joy. Already, after less than a week, the whole pursuit is a refuge, is more glittery than it was when there was time to write, permission to write, and a field always around.

As a creative outside of a creative industry, Wordsworth is right, “[t]he world is too much with us,” but I wonder how that world, since I cannot push it away anymore, can freshen my own writing?

Daily count might change the meter, the structure, the form. I sentence different after all numbers are done.
Daily count might change the meter, the structure, the form. I sentence different after all numbers are done.

 

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