Something must be done                                                                 6 August 2007

Writing for pleasure is not only reading for treasure but also closing your eyes when the mind wonders, the hand ponders and the page shows that they are joined at the hip and — touch wood — ready for action. The heart, not having any skills of its own apart from its innate ability to empathise, sympathise and intensify, competes with the other transnational bodies beyond its reach: the various time zones, facebooks and events laden with laid-back transgressions and admonitions. When a poet hears distant voices, the rates go up, the urban genes abandon the page and as to why begins to make sense, poetry claims nothing beyond its own dumb appearance. Balloons and ballot boxes litter the map. Friends can be relied upon stroke should be ruled out. Friends create potential meaning; they do not level the playing field or substitute a private neurosis for "careers, money, respect". The pressure to be nice to each other comes from the weather not the handshakes, kisses or smiles encountered on a stroll down the hill, through the woods or along the beach. Joining the club is like holding hands when joining the illusion of togetherness. The floating reader does not take sides, never enters a polling station, does not open classified ads, not even its milder version of redirected mail. Time is too scarce and too scared to be of any value to poets on the go. Saddled with itchy feet and blistering tongues moves are arbitrary encounters with a self-effacing android: polite but unclassifiable. Explain yourself! Writing the page feels like reconstructing fools and horses, reading the page like resetting a dislocated disk: what can be said should be done even if the police say go and the judges say no. What can be concealed should be revealed: direct orders as possible outcomes of choice. Otherwise — slow, patient and colourless — there's no chance of ever getting alongside the counter when the bottom plank cracks. Among other things, the frequency of aiming for extinction relates to both self and other: craving embedded in saying.