Professing * Reflecting

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Poetry Friday-->Brautigan Saturday-->Communication Overload Sunday

To England

There are no postage stamps that send letters
back to England three centuries ago,
no postage stamps that make letters
travel back until the grave hasn't been dug yet,
and John Donne stands looking out the window,
it is just beginning to rain this April morning,
and the birds are falling into the trees
like chess pieces into an unplayed game,
and John Donne sees the postman coming up the street,
the postman walks very carefully because his cane
is made of glass.

--Richard Brautigan

I wonder how many words I have written or spoken in the past month: how many words in emails to students, colleagues, and countless others as I conduct professional and personal business; how many words in comments on student papers; how many words in to-do list upon to-do list; how many words in lectures; how many words in meetings with students; how many words in committee meetings; how many words in candidate interviews; how many words on the phone with appointment makers, reservation clerks, prescription fillers, organizers, agents, computer fixers, survey takers.

Too many words. Thousands, tens of thousands of words spent and lost. Too few words of psyche-sustaining kind. Too few spent on poems (180), on articles (0), on conference papers (0), on blog posts (1500), on real live actual personal hand-written letters (22), on wishes (15), on jokes (0), on sweet nothings (0).

I wonder if voluntary muteness is an option at this point in the semester. Vow of silence? Communication blackout? Word strike? Slipping off the grid? Faking catatonia?




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