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: 7

TRIPLE OUGHT
we have endured...

TURN OR BE TURNED
waking...

untitled
I am...

WEAK
my ill-rising...

FIRST DAY OF SPRING A BLIZZARD VISITS US
this last snow's weight and power...

BOOK OF THE DAY
a version of no corrections...

SNOWFALL
a cancel of...

HERE, YOU
valley of the powerless...

untitled
the minutes...

NOTES IN HIS OWN HAND
About the destroying condition....

NEIGHBORLY
our day...

untitled
out of the door...

JUST BARELY
here it is difficult...

untitled
quoted before I speak...

TRUE
time to notice...

POINT OUT
here is an impossibility...

COMPANY
there is a quiet before I speak...

HEARTENED
almost midnight...

IN PROCESS
giving thanks or sass...

CONTINUANCE
a face to look into for...

STRUGGLE TO UNDERSTAND
fresh tears...

PRAYER
heart made of dirt...

MONDAY
the call to remind me...

JUST LIKE ME
trying to move sideways...

HOW IT IS
the old smile...

THUNDERSTORM LIGHTNING FLASHES
the storm's welcome...

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AT LEAST ONE PERSON
a shell game in which...

FOR THOSE LYING WAKEFUL AS IT STORMS
thunder off in the distance...

4/22/96
press of rain...

CONSCIOUSNESS
what grabs it...

CLEAR DARK
there should be...

untitled
see what...

START OF THE DAY
tight...

ADDRESSING YOU
if you are staring at me...

untitled
the strange diction...

untitled
3 a.m. an owl calls out...

WEATHER REPORT
showers and thundershowers...

NOTATION
I allow myself to be influenced. It is ...

WHEN YOU
arrive in ocean a wave arises inside you...

THEFT OF LINES FROM CERNUDA
Sleep...

10/20/96
my circles run through the woods...

untitled
held up my empty secrets...

THE FEELING OF IT
North begins hereabouts...

TIME TO GO
winter light...

A PLACE
it closes to them...

CLOSING MY EYES
as I die...

STORY ABOUT SAFETY
the wind up...

untitled
a voice in the room...

11/19/96
words rest...

untitled
clouds form...

POEM OF SLEEP
sky mists...

MUSIC
a music that makes me...

WHEN I READ
I read to keep steady...

SOS
the page shifts no rest a sea...

NOW REMEMBERING
the rain cuts...

CARRIED
I give up on my fingers...

HAWK
strong hunter...

OVER AND OUT
crossing over the creek bed...

 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.