ACCOUNT OF MY DAYS

sequence #
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20

  keyword(s) in poems:

Sequence: 14

GOOD QUESTION
why do I write all the time ...

SOME MILLERSBURG
of your own ...

8/24/05
the dusk comes out and takes the woods...

untitled
lifting a light to help itself ...

BLACK AND GREEN
on state road four you came down...

SEEN FROM ABOVE
and without the distraction of time...

GROCERIES
when you think you see...

I TELL YOU HOW TO GET THERE
and what it's like...

A LONG LINE
at night in the sky...

SEPTEMBER, 2005
huddled masses...

THIS TIME OF YEAR
walking early out ...

LIVING HERE
on this tail end of white river water...

11/14/05
my nails hurt from the cold ...

untitled
on the track made ...

untitled
I kept a ...

untitled
my cold clothes ...

OUR HOUSES
the town the fields the woods...

A POEM AS A PILE OF STICKS
poetry is where I have not been before...

ALSO
the flames sweep upward...

ON NOT SLEEPING
here on the less end ...

THE MIDDLE OF MY LIFE
when I reached the middle of my life ...

untitled
the guillotine cause and effect ...

1/18/06
the future of one day...

SLEPT
rain fed a fire in the roots ...

POEM
widow...

WET ALL DAY
this cold rain is our earth's ...

ALL DOGS TO GET NEW LEASH
wet when it's wet...

NIGHT/SEA
staring into the night as into a sea...

2/6/06
wood coming today ...

BEND
when I take in hand...

WORK
my books bend under the weight ...

untitled
of the world ...

PEACE
late afternoon...

THEFT OF A LINE FROM OPPEN
return ...

I HAVE GAINED NOTHING I HAVE LOST NOTHING
new moon sliver ...

2/27/06
our disobedient worries ...

MANY DAYS RAIN
driving carefully on ...

THOUGHTS
my second thoughts ...

THEFT OF LINES FROM KHLEBNIKOV
the gouges in the sides ...

TO MY BAD HABITS
when I see you I think of myself ...

ON MY READING LIST THERE IS
a history of funerals so well-written...

WRITING AT NIGHT
its chief object ...

5/24/06
chilly mornings with bright sun ...

WORSHIPPING (WITHOUT GOD)
hands clasped weight on the knees ...

STATE FOREST
the trail through deep woods in a long slope ...

MY BED OF ROSES
on my bed of roses ...

4 A.M. LIGHT SO BRIGHT IT WOKE ME
old moon ...

MAN OF DREAMS
dusk ...

untitled
into the war...

NOT OURS
rain ...

untitled
passion over ...

IMAGINATION IMAGINATION IMAGINATION
earth floats higher...

6/21/06
the sun at noon ...

NOSTALGIA
the rain is an empty city ...

SELF-PORTRAIT (WITHOUT MY FACE)
ambivalent about irony...

LOOKING
blue backs and forked tails ...

7/28/06
first bat and first star...

DRIVING ON THE NARROW ROAD
off to one side this open hill ...

UNLIFTABLE
under all the alasses shadowing me ...

VISIT TO THE CEMETERY
over by the road the careless ...

HOW FAR
built on the water waking ...

FIVE THOUGHTS BEFORE SLEEP
the sand the shore moved...

AWAY LIKE WE WANTED
above the trees ...

WE KNOW THIS
The dead are sleepless, we know this, they need no rest. With ...

INNER WORLD
the river rich in me ...

WITHOUT KINDNESS
on its stalk the corn flames towards the mouth above ...

 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.