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: 17

THE PROMISE
We live without distinction, keeping up...

RESTATEMENT
the stream breaking on the rocks...

GO TO LEONARD SPRINGS
walk past the gush and then...

WINGED HOUR
swallows' multiple flights...

PARALLEL LIVES
one world...

I MEAN
the clocks do not tire of themselves...

DRAWN ON
now that the shadow deepens...

TO ERIC
You appeal often to Reason as if...

untitled
the stone says...

8/25/09
it was hot like this...

SUMMER IS ENDING
the evenings draw off together...

DOUBLES
there are two rocks in my woods...

9/8/09
towers and arms of the wind farm...

GHOST
what is a ghost?...

A STORY OF COMING TO AND LEAVING THIS PLACE
the crossing is marked by the feet...

untitled
when we leave...

TIMES OF SUN AND CLOUDS
morning half full of sun...

KEEPING A PIECE OF BLUE
in this wind the trees throw...

THEFT OF LINES FROM SPICER AND BOBROWSKI
the river flowing in curves...

10/12/09
moon...

AUTOBIOGRAPHY VOL. IV
we had been told many things...

OH IT'S YOU
pardon me...

BLOWING IN
trees shaking their heads in the wind...

untitled
one's thin shadow...

GRIEVERS AND GLEANERS
the grievers and the gleaners...

11/1/09
last night's moon so full...

VARIATION ON A THEME
well after midnight...

LOOKING AT A FLY
how far back to our common ancestor?...

BUILT WELL
the temples...

WHERE WE MAKE OUR HOMES
the light turns its edge towards us...

LISTEN LEARN
the flames flying...

THE GODS
when the gods remember...

ROUTINE
Every morning, coming out of sleep into ...

SHAKING THE MIRROR
I hold the mirror with both hands...

I WROTE A POEM
that's enough for one week...

BLACKWING CROW
feet tight around the branch...

ECHO
blackwing crow...

WINTER CROWS HOUSE SILENCE
winter gnawing on bones...

IDEA FOR A POEM
as it has overtaken us...

THEFT OF A LINE FROM WHITMAN: THIS WINTER
five thousand games of solitaire...

COMMENTARY
the spider is history...

WHERE IT GOES
west of the west...

ONE BY ONE
inamorata...

untitled
through all the storms as light fell to halflight...

HE TOLD ME
it won't hurt you...

THE ORDER OF THINGS
last night's flood gone...

ALL SOLITUDES ARE THE SAME
All the solitudes. Each keeps to ...

STONECRUSHER
I went back to the roads I grew up on and walked daily...

RELATIONSHIP
oh words...

TAKE STEPS
steps...

MEANS
what means love...

THE SPILL
we can talk about the spill...

THIS IS THE EIGHTH ATTEMPT
no help coming from my former self...

MUCH
the weight I had at five...

SLEEPING IN THE RAIN
drawing a circle...

INSIDE
a craving in our hands...

TIME
back and forth back and forth...

SO FAR AS I CAN AGAIN
the trees at night stretch out...

NAPPER'S MOTTO
every action requires strength...

AUTOBIOGRAPHY VOL. V
I disappeared...

8/10/10
a dry touch strokes the land...

IT WILL WAKE
the drunken species...

 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.