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: 6

untitled
the first page is spoiled...

WHAT FUN IS THIS
the best-tied shoes and most...

POEM BEGINNING WITH MY NAME
Eric...

SELF PORTRAIT
I am not a poet...

THE MOON'S WHITE BODY
it costs everything...

STOP DON'T DO IT
I am caught on the scaffold...

THEY SAID
I address my prayers to...

STOOD TO SPEAK IN CONFUSION
the eye dividing itself in thirds...

ALL THE NURSING IN THE WORLD
fellow citizens I speak to you of health...

YOUTH OF AMERICA
sex now is not the sex it was...

untitled
I never tell you the truth...

REM
Due to neglect of the most important parts of sleep, all the...

WAKING
their eyes all...

CURIOSITY
the president of the future...

THEN
your rain falls...

EXAMINATION
Called to death's home town to account...

WHAT TO DO
make maps...

HOUSEHOLD
my human soul...

ONE SHELF OF MANY
a book about murdering...

ON THE EIGHTH DAY
God made puddles...

WHAT HE BUILT AND HOW IT WORKED
on a flat surface tilted towards...

REQUEST
I want a stone above me...

APRIL
the horizon is only the horizon...

I AM
whose shadow am I...

untitled
in the cave of my eye...

untitled
a difference...

untitled
it's not possible...

HEEDING
press my wrist to my ear...

THEFT OF LINES FROM ELIADE, ANGLETON, STOKER, AND ROTHENBERG
Mother of Sleep...

WHAT DID I NOTICE ABOUT TODAY
leaves mostly down...

GIFT
here is a stone...

IN INDIANA
dogwood holds out its hands palms upward...

HERE WE ARE
the nuthatches land on my porch...

MAIN THEMES
consciousness of loss...

LOVELINESS OF DISTANCE
some nights...

GOD MY WITNESS
open hearted...

SIGH
once gone...

untitled
so many things...

THE USUAL
a phone call rouses me...

CHECK UP
the noble doctors...

YESTERDAY
one comes to my door...

DIAGNOSIS
needs will need and again will need...

WORKING ON
my biography...

MISTAKEN
have come to understand...

HERE/NOT HERE
a bit of ice on things...

untitled
strip of gold colored ribbon...

BUSY
making my dust...

PROPOSITIONS
white hours...

NIGHT, THAT MAKES US SEE
what enters as a blow on the shoulders...

LIFE WITHOUT IDOLS
like any protestant...

THANK YOU NOTE
the heavy clouds...

I WRITE
to tell you how...

NOTHING WASTED
Trial and disillusionment, the stone's...

THROUGH THIS BEFORE
shoulders bent...

POINT OF VIEW
wind world...

untitled
my pulse in...

TRANSLATION
the eye that...

OCCUPIED
all night erasing...

THE RECOGNITION
bird that unspeaks itself...

REMEMBER WRITERS AND READERS
toward the last...

 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.