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: 15

LATE SUMMER BEES
a creek of broken stones...

EVERYBODY'S UP BY 6:00 BUT ME
light wind moving overhead...

THE KILL
heap of fawn...

THE AFTER-ETERNITY
the western wind has passed...

WALKING
my steps each one marking...

ADVENTURE
pebble your adventure...

FUTURES PAST
these days a strange dark...

10/10/06
one squirrel less...

A THEORY OF LINES
wind bent by the objects it surrounds...

LAST CRICKET
in the hickory's crown...

AN EQUATION
Our minds are formed for a place where no one is stricken, where...

12/7/06
across the last dark of night...

IT IS
a hundred-year walk to the moon...

BLACKSNAKES
They get to be four, five, six feet long quite commonly. No poison...

TURN OF THE YEAR
near the house a trash...

FORGOTTEN
I remember a world...

LIE BACK
the curved moon lies back...

untitled
a cold rain...

IN ANSWER TO THE REPEATED QUESTION
I spoke my name out loud many times...

HIDDEN BEHIND BELOW
the courthouse square almost empty...

WALKING HERE
my feet said my shoes...

SEVEN DEER
earth in your determined ring...

TO SPEAK OF REAL WEATHER
white hands of water...

SOME WRITING
with gaping wounds...

DREADNIGHT
those few still awake are hidden...

MY CONDITION
the small white moths...

WORLD IN LOVE WITH ITSELF
all motion is one motion...

6/22/07
in the field of shadows...

solitude motionless
my hands stronger...

EVASIVE APOLOGY
I am sorry for all the ones...

PRAYER
...

JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS
a day any day...

untitled
hard verse that will not leave...

8/25/07
the day between two wings...

TO A BUZZARD
cousin...

A MYSTERY
one bird's anxious calling...

STORAGE
blaze of harvest rivered from the fields...

COUNTING MY MONEY
everything is halved...

ASTERS
radiance common heartleaved...

LOVE IS CRAZY, ART IS LONG
there was this one that one...

COME A TIME
endless elegies laid foot to forehead...

MR. RENSBERGER'S EXACT MEASUREMENTS
keep changing...

PERSEPHONE
amongst the dark columns...

WHICH WAY IS BEST?
here steep there boggy moved every which way...

MILK BEER WATER
in the beginning it was milk milk milk...

GONE TO HEAVEN
at how many funerals...

1/28/08
as daylight does the dark...

DAN MCKIBBEN
sunny window bay in the kitchen...

MUSIC TO MY EYES
snowy baroque ...

TO MYSELF
a page bent...

MY OWN TIME
there was it could be imagined...

2/26/08
if I step outside for even a few minutes ...

ONE THOUGHT YIELDS TO ANOTHER
whatever evolution is...

LAST OF WINTER (FIRST TRY)
as the days bend toward...

LAST OF WINTER (SECOND TRY)
a man is a fire in the world...

TRUE NATURE
after the dark is dark...

WHO MADE IT
if I am in my labors...

 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.