ACCOUNT OF MY DAYS

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  keyword(s) in poems:

Sequence: 9

SPECULATION
the possession of life...

TO COUNT FOR WHAT
eyes scrape the borderland of no...

WHERE I AM/HAVE BEEN
our decisions are so small...

VIEW OF EARTH FROM MY HOUSE
stars out a light breeze...

MY FIRST LANGUAGE
alive in this time...

10/20/97
steadily consuming the purple-sweetness...

POSTCARD
I write to you from...

HERE
the beast and the waves...

LYRIC
moving through the dark...

APPLICATION
please send more poems...

IN THE DARK
friends the dark as much as you...

FOOTNOTE TO IN THE DARK
those who disappeared while still alive...

NOVEMBER
cold weather settles me...

WITHOUT CLOTHES
the right temperature for singing...

TO THE ASIAN MARKETS
we can be proud of our success...

3/1/98
the sunday walk a path...

REFUSAL TO MAKE MUSIC
I have lost my ears the silence is so large in them...

WEDNESDAY MORNING
with the sudden cold...

MY WINDOW
wonderful day...

untitled
sun flees we pursue...

MY WISHES
steady hand...

ON HIS WORK
bright from the roots...

THE LAST TIME I WAS AT YOUR HOUSE
while I snorted and rolled over...

untitled
sun's careful stroking breaks the frost...

untitled
there were some the wind dried some...

untitled
sun slant the wind dies moist...

FOLLOWING
the laws of migration over the ground...

HOW IT HAS BEEN
half dark or near dark...

THE TASK
There is a god or goddess for first ...

THINGS THAT ARE AND ARE NOT POEMS
things that kill us...

FRAGMENT
Doesn't. And complies again, removes the robe, there is the soft...

DREAMED OF MY EX-WIFE
We were selling a house back to the couple we had bought it from....

GRUMBLE
no other life has been given me...

11/1/98
the world sleeps...

THEFT OF A LINE FROM LALIC
a weight of fire brought home...

untitled
in another dream a pickled man...

AFTER HOURS
red flare west through the trees...

WHERE I STAND WITH HIM
a gift of storms bursts open...

DANCE OF LOVE
I couldn't touch the dancers' radiance...

DECEIVED MYSELF THINKING
of a poetry only...

 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.