ACCOUNT OF MY DAYS

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  keyword(s) in poems:

Sequence: 13

HAVING FOLLOWED MY HEART TILL ITS
give me...

EXPLANATION
gravity's open mouth...

THE RAIN
if it was going to happen...

TWO MEN
the man bending over sweeping dust...

10/1/04
a silence has come into the cornfields...

CERTAINTY
what lies beneath gravity...

untitled
it takes courage...

ITS USE
I turn and pick up...

WHEN WE LIVE
the world drops...

HANDS
I look in my hands...

10/26/04
while the fields are browning...

AFTER THE GREEN HAS GONE
rain through the trees...

HARVESTS AND STONE
surrounded by harvests...

FROM MY DIARY
early long lines...

FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER
the sky crowded with gray...

POEM WITH QUESTION MARKS
turn around at the warning sign?...

IN THE GREAT BEWILDERMENT
just as in a set of words...

11/14/04
moth so small it nearly escapes notice...

CODA
moth so small it nearly escapes notice...

STARTLED
I hadn't gone three steps before the mocking began. The bell...

LOOKING BACK
we die of everything...

TOWARDS SOLSTICE
this long night no dark...

POINTS IN THE VAST
in this dark you see...

TO DEAD PLANETS
this cold house...

MY SNOW JOURNEY
just keep walking...

LATE WINTER
my stiff legs on these winter stairs...

THEFT OF A LINE FROM STEVENS
looking up at the cloud covered sky...

HOMELAND
our inland waters slide...

SECURITY
on the way to...

2/18/05
seen from the shadow side...

CERTAIN ONES HAVE SHOWN
their heads through the dirt...

SOME EVENTS
some flakes on the way down stopped by...

untitled
what...

COLD BLUE
of the jay's back...

SIGHT
between one minute before...

untitled
that look he had...

DOWNSLOPE
the years grown...

EQUIVALENCE
in a mirror...

LOOKED UP
the dark wing...

CROWS
the call wordless...

3/29/05
the day made dimmer...

ITS FIELDS
green wing of the hill...

TO HOME
the country you came from...

THE GREAT COLLECTION
seen in weak light riding...

IT'S SENTIMENTAL BUT TRUE, I LOVE THE SPRING
branches...

THOUGH I STARTED TO SAY THEIR
I should have said...

THEFT OF A LINE FROM BLY
cold morning but he hardly noticed...

4/20/05
white hands of the dogwood...

IF GOD IS LOVE
and love is a consuming force...

ONCE AND AGAIN
the statues are not statues...

THERE
in that place...

7/4/05
the sun behind my back lights...

AFTER COMPLAINING FOR DAYS OF THE HEAT
rain and cooler weather...

IT'S TOO HOT IN THE HOUSE
I'll sweat in the shade outside...

HISTORY
once we could hear each other...

JULY
the green trees...

untitled
after rising...

 Account of My Days is the name I have given to the project I have been working on since 1985. I was working on it, adding to it, for several years before I realized what I was doing or had a name for it. The title and the method that went with it came to me at roughly the same time; it became a way of working forward from that point, as well.

There are two rules I followed in constructing  Account of My Days:
     1) Finish one poem before beginning another.
     2) Keep the poems in the same order they were written.

Once the rules were established, I could allow myself exceptions. Rule number one has been subject to frequent re-interpretation, so that I find myself working on three or four poems at the same time, telling myself I must because the first one in the series is being stubborn and slow. Rule number two I have never varied in any significant way, though when two or more poems have emerged from the same mess of jottings it has sometimes been a problem to decide the order of priority for them. But I have principles I use to guide these decisions.

A third rule emerged as I kept writing: No changes later. This has eased my work considerably as the collection has grown and the perspective of time yields fresh regrets unforeseen at the time of composition. Occasionally I have allowed myself to correct a typo or edit a word that was put down with exceptional thoughtlessness. For the most part, though, the poems are untouched by further reflection.

The most arbitrary custom I have developed is the division of  Account of My Days into "sequences"--it is a habit developed from reading books, and soothes me with its rhythm.

I admit that my method allows mistakes and failure to be included in the final outcome. In addition to failure, the other major elements of the account are changes of direction, improvisation, self-doubt, and time.

Once, challenged by a friend, I had to defend the title against the contents. This is an account of my days, not  the account of my days. Another could be written. It is about self-revelation, self-evasion, and self-construction; restlessness, attempts to reason, answers, refusals to answer, outbursts...

The "I" of this account is a doubtful character. It could be me, it could be someone else. Another Eric has appeared to me here--insistent, surrounded by a perfect silence that is the counterpart and echo of his intense speech. He is in a comedy that does not always amuse him. This person has become a companion to me, speaking reminders in my ear as I walk again where he has walked. In some sense a guide, but in another someone who needs to be restrained from taking all he claims. My interesting friend.