Thursday, November 1, 2012

"The world runs through us"

I could start with dreams, since I rarely have them. I hadn't dreamed on consecutive nights in more than a decade. "Sleeps in Fits" could be my Indian name. But there I was dreaming--super powers one night, confused in a distorted neighborhood the next. Deep sleep, Freud be damned.

I could start with inspiration, reading Jack Kerouac's poems, or Junot Diaz, Carl Sandburg or Matthew Dickman. Writers who read the world and themselves and swirl the two together on the page. Writers who look beyond language to what the words point at.

I could start with reading Ada Limon's "Shark in the Rivers," sitting along the Anacostia River while a Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter circle-hovers the river, three, four times; the river a debris-littered still in the days after Hurricane Sandy.

The pilot and I look at the river, neither of us wants to jump in.

The helicopter's WHUP is louder than the river, but not as loud as Sandy.

Ada Limon says, "This is the way / the world runs through us..."

and I wonder if she means with dreams, inspiration, words, poetry, helicopters and hurricanes.

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