For the last decade I have been writing a failed novel in which the main character dies and then comes back. The book is so hoaky that I could hardly contain my laughter and self-ridicule . . . but every morning I try another attempt, and when that doesn't work, I jump on my Yamaha 1100 Classic cruiser and head into the woods of South Georgia, just to clear my head, but for years now, every morning, I write a couple of good poems on the way over and back, so upon my return, I simply unwind by writing a few new poems. I have been doing this for years now. The bike has thousands of miles and I have to say I have seen more of South Georgia than I have of the god foresakened city in which I work, I love small, country town. I love open air drive ins build over the roofs of country stores. I love trailer parks from Hell. I love the junk yards. It is the junk yards that call me everytime I pass one and I have to stop. MUST stop and I take pictures of these old cars, and rusty machines: tractors, towing machines, bulldozers, cheery pickers, camp mules, etc . . . .
Looking at junk, at refuse, inspires me to write more poetry. I am currently working on a book of new poems about the Open Road, about the mulching (as Harry Crews would call it) of America, the desolation, the waste, the gargantuan consumption . . . it's all there between cheap beer and Twinkies. The dough of the cupcake is the Devil's soft, gooey insides . . . the poems keep coming. It's as if I suffer from a leaky spiggot of words . . . and suddenly, during a riding break yesterday, I am stopped under some oak trees watching a woman and a little boy crossing the street that it hits me: What Else Is There? What is better than this life of words? Nothing, says the horny male wren that's perched on a STOP sign at the crossroads of this fucking town!
You live, you fuck, you write. And then you DIE. Cheerful thoughts all, but it sure does help to keep the machinery of writing poetry truly well-oiled. As for the in-progress fiction, well that's it's own 7th Level Hell.
What was that Ishmael Reed line: oh yeah, WRITIN' IS FIGHTIN'!!!