One day I decided to write a long poem.
I don’t know where the idea came from.
One could say the idea came from my father or mother, if we wished to be all psychoanalytic.
Perhaps the long poem was arranged in advance by a Jungian archetype.
Perhaps I had walked along the road for a long time with this specific poem curled up inside my mind like a child – like rolls and rolls of language folded into each other, curled up like Lacan’s unconscious, made completely of WORDS, MAN!
Perhaps my long poem partook of Hedeigger’s DASEIN, in the same way in which a child dips his fingers into a tray of chocolates, and picks one up, and eats it all, messy-like! HAHA!
One could speculate and say that this long poem was the product of the schooling I have encountered, at Hillel Day School, West Bloomfield High School, the University of Michigan, the University of Toledo, and of all the teachers I have had at each of those schools, and all of their names, which I do not feel like typing out…
Maybe the idea was prompted by my love for the ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISTS. Or the Conceptual Poets! Or Ingmar Bergman movies! Or the illuminating Philip Glass compositions that remind me of super heroes figuring out mystery jigsaw puzzles in their heads!
Whatever the case may be, it occurred to me that I could continue speculating on the causes of my long poem, or I could just get down to it, and write the damn thing.
Which is what I did, slowly, painstakingly, each day at my desk, sculpting the dang thing into a precarious existence.
I came to realize that this poem was going to make me famous.
“Ha!” I said, one day, as I was writing my long poem. “This poem is amazing!”
What was it about?
What wasn’t it about?
It was about my life, for starters.
For instance, it was about everything that had ever happened in my life – but not just that.
It was about the potential of everything that ever happened in my life, all the possibilities that inhered in what happened….My poem was, it was turning out to be, an actual absolute!
I had never believed in absolutes before.
They struck me as crazy primary colors, stupid beliefs, like thinking it was winter when spring was already here.
Little did I know that I would find more absolutes in Plato, which I began reading the very next day.
Plato! The philosopher of the very important reality and appearance distinction, which makes more sense the more I grow as a person!
You see, for example, the lockers at the gym? Yes, the lockers – they are lockers, no? They are the lockers at the gym, grey and hard-looking. Yes, that is their appearance. But what are they really?
That’s where Plato comes in. They are ONLY APPERANCES!!!! The reality is that there is an idea called “GYM LOCKER” that has existed before time!!! Yes, Plato, you are a brilliant multifaceted gem! And I am only a footnote!
This is around the time I decided to add footnotes to my poem, in honor of David Foster Wallace.
I realized my long poem would be boring. I was okay with this.
At a certain point in the composition I counted the pages. There were about 6,789. Not counting the footnotes. Some pages only had a word each on them, for example, one page had the word “Dog” on it.
I know why, but will not tell you, as I don’t agree with people who explain poems.
In fact, please don’t try to explain this poem. Please. It is unexplainable, and does not need to be unpacked like some philanderer’s suitcase.
Next came my excursus on the evils of explaining poems.
I realized the most important thing in writing poems was tone.
Therefore I worked to produce my own tone, which is the only thing I cared about.
Form and content didn’t matter anymore. The only thing that mattered was tone.
Anyways, of course by now you realize that this poem you are reading is my Prospectus to my Long Poem, which still didn’t have a title.
I decided to title it “Untitled 1.” This would lend it a certain anonymous mystery, if that doesn’t sound too redundant.
Untitled 1 grew beautifully bloated.
Suddenly enter: the revising stage.
You must know about the revising stage. First you prewrite to get ideas. I always skipped this stage, but I’m warning you, don’t skip it.
Then you write the poem.
Sooner or later you stop writing the poem.
Around this time you look at the poem again, suspiciously.
Revising is the word we use to talk about changing the poem’s life to better fit your own ideas.
Editing is something we reserve for the poor editors of this world.
The important thing is that your ideas are allowed to, as it were, sun-bathe in the sun of your mental equipment.
I revised my long poem down to a page, and burned the rest of it in an homage to John Baldessari.
I also filmed myself burning the pages.
I burned this film as well. Destruction is a form of creation!
This was the point at which I became tired.
I was out of ideas. Yes, my mind was a desert.
What was I to do? How would I end my poem that was going to make me famous?