Thursday, 4/19

On Monday, Patrick mentioned that to some extent he has his brother in mind when he’s writing. Kathy said that it is beneficial to have that: an ideal reader.

Maybe that is why we do it (write): to find just one someone who will understand us and make it (us) seem worthwhile. Maybe that is what makes it all worth it. My playwriting professor at NYU once said that we write because we feel inadequate in real life, and so send out the writing into the world as surrogate: the poem as proxy.

Although: I mentioned to one of my own creative writing students yesterday that sometimes we have to write even when we think that no one is listening or believing in us; that Henry Miller once said that he writes to make them believe. Is this a case of the writer keeping the ideal reader hostage until Stockholm syndrome sets in?

You Are My Ideal Reader
So I will put down
these words for you.

Four students
on a bench outside
the theater smoking

The art teacher
in her apron
pushes a cart;

stops a moment
to smile at me
before we separate

The boy beneath
his bodhi tree
listening to music:

Girl drops her coat
and his thoughts
fall with her.

I put down these
words for you so that
you will know.

(Or should the last line read: so that / I will be known. ––?)

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