Sorry About The Typos

In re-reading my last entry I noticed a couple of words my typing fingers had messed up. Most of us can fill in the blanks but it does tend to break the flow and I apologize.

I could tell you that my daughter needed to finish her school paper and was anxious to get on the computer and I felt a little rushed—the fact is I really have to pay a little more attention to the final text. In reality, my mind pushes my fingers beyond their comfort level and unto the wrong keys all the time and I have to back up and make corrections more than I like to admit.

I will admit that I am a rather tactile kind of guy—when I journal I like to use a fountain pen and write on good paper. Of course I have the same problem—journaling is not like drafting—but writing as fast as the thoughts come. Sometimes I can’t even read what I wrote just fifteen minutes later. But I still like the feel of the pen as the nib flows across the texture of the paper. There is something calming in the process—like setting your life in order—I normally feel better after the first couple of pages.

I picked up the fountain pen habit from a poet I met in the mid-seventies named Kenneth Rexroth. I think we met at a poetry reading and I convinced him to let me publish a “broadside” of one of his poems. I owned an old letter press at the time and would hand-set the type and then print stuff on real thick art paper—ala Gutenburg. It was real artsy type stuff and in the process had sent some broadsides to him to sign before the next poetry thing. I noticed the big bold letters that he used to make his name and asked him what kind of pen he used. It was called an Osmoroid and is still made as far as I know.

I went out and bought one after this and still have it stuck away in a drawer somewhere. It was the type of pen that you filled from an ink bottle by lifting a little lever on the side. It was a little messy but for a time seemed to connect me with a world that was quickly moving towards 3-part forms and 10 cent bic ball point pens for everything.

Rexroth died in 1982 at the age of 76 and is considered to be a major San Francisco poet and translator.

Here is one of his poems.


Water is always the same —
Obedient to the laws
That move the sun and the other
Stars. In Japan as in
California it falls
Through the steep mountain valleys
Towards the sea. Waterfalls drop
Long musical ribbons from
The high rocks where temples perch.
Ayu in the current poise
And shift between the stones
At the edge of the bubbles.
White dwarf iris heavy with
Perfume hang over the brink.
Cedars and cypresses climb
The hillsides. Something else climbs.
Something moves reciprocally
To the tumbling water.
It ascends the rapids,
The torrents, the waterfalls,
To the last high springs.
It disperses and climbs the rain.
You cannot see it or feel it.
But if you sit by the pool
Below the waterfall, full
Of calling voices all chanting
The turmoil of peace,
It communicates itself.
It speaks in the molecules
Of your blood, in the pauses
Between your breathing. Water
Flows around and over all
Obstacles, always seeking
The lowest place. Equal and
Opposite, action and reaction,
An invisible light swarms
Upward without effort. But
Nothing can stop it. No one
Can see it. Over and around
Whatever stands in the way,
Blazing infinitesimals —
Up and out — a radiation
Into the empty darkness
Between the stars.

Copyright 2003 Copper Canyon Press.

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