Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On birthing a new book

In my writer's womb the embryo
doesn't sprout an arm, a leg, a penis
all separate and sequential

like sausage links in their casings
but will be One, whole and entire
at first refusing the reduction to form
later alien enough to bring sweats
to the UFO believer in the hypnotist's chair.

It is growing all ways out from its own core,
feeding on my juices, sharing my heartbeat,
knowing the tides and toxins of my body
better than I do, since it's the one inside.

When it is ready to burst from me
I'll feel it kicking. I'll push hard.
I won't let anything distract me 
from bringing through this child of wonder
who wants to come into the world through me.

- I discovered this poem in one of the journals I am revisiting. I wrote it on January 13, 1997, when I was at work on two books, published as The Interpreter (a novel) and Dreamgates, still perhaps the most radical of my books about adventures in consciousness (until the new one is born). The line about the "UFO believer" in the hypnotist's chair was inspired by my critical reading, at that time, of John Mack's book Abduction; my response to Mack is in my chapter "Alien Encounters and Spirit Callings" in Dreamgates. The poem speaks to my current condition as a pregnant author, and to the way I feel the book inside me now is growing. 
     I just edited the original version. We need to commit poetry, afresh, every day!

My first collection of poems and stories, Here, Everything Is Dreaming, will be published by Excelsior Editions (State University of New York Press) in April.

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