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a series of fragments & notes about Chance, Fate, and Context by Dara Wier

It almost seems as if it’s an emergency to write down that one of the wonders and finest things about fiction (I mean genre names, such as stories, like novels (& plays and pictures and music, too) is that it is all bluster and distraction and at one and the same time getting us to forget (everything) and illusiifying us (trancing us, hypnotizing us) into believing we remember, that is, to practice the brain activity called remembering. Suddenly it seems suddenly that is what fiction is, it is all about nothing but getting us to forget about Time.  We choose to be in a fiction (which can be in a poem) and we are transported into other dimensions which can be most often most easily understood as other dimensions in time.

(even when any time is called an illusion, it isn’t, not really) (perhaps sadly, maybe unfortunately)

And maybe then does this mean poetry serves another purpose.  Not really. I can’t imagine it might.

Though poetry’s precincts being what they are, are never so much overtly illusory.  Maybe they are metaphorical but that isn’t illusory. That’s a real as anything not an illusion is.

Roaming thoughts gathered up for us by our miraculous brains’ constant activtity come bidden and unbidden, come fast or come slowly in drips and in flocks and schools and whirlwinds.

Passing thoughts show up as part of maintaining a constant relationship with being at once in this world and alarmingly not of it.

How fast do you think?  Can you do anything about the speeds by which you think?  Could there be some circumstances in which to think in slow motion might provide a better outcome, a more complex or clarified momentum.

It is funny to think of a thought as an outcome.  As if a thought could be static.

As if a thought could be isolated.

Sometimes it seems it appears we isolate a thought in a word or a phrae or a sentence. And there-by harden it or cause it to lack animation.

Maybe this is why sentences are almost always a little odd.  They play opposum.  They act as if.  They stay composed.  They keep all sorts of things in play within their borders.  They just about always point forward, but sometimes do refer us back in time.  In order to understand this sentence one needs to have followed (followed?) some earlier sentence.  Writing and reading require endless willingness to let our agile brains

For instance, say I hear this proposition and I’m asked by a friend to say something about it:   The United States is too big to be a coherent nation conducive to humanity’s necessary adjustments to changing circumstances.

Some core of New England qualifies.  Bands of the Northwest fit this bill.   I think someone has recently published a book saying there are at least 11 possible regions of quintessential character within U.S. borders.  At least.  Possibly a few million.

Those for whom Occupy has offered a crack in what has otherwise seemed recalcitrant ignorance ,a willful and adamant ignoring obvious inequities and swindles just about everywhere we look (education, finance, medicine, energy and so on); in spite of Occupy’s detractors it is coherent and does cross many traditional lines and heavily guarded areas of political debate.

I do not understand how the line that Occupy is not coherent enough (they do not have a linear line to a fixed outcome, so I heard someone say on the radio) came to be so pervasively spread without warrant.  There is no linear line to a fixed outcome, that is ridiculous.


I propose to give you my undivided attention.

I hear myself saying this as though it is a shockingly personal declaration.  Undivided attention requires such a great effort of concentration.

For instance:

‘Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper tree in the cool of the day’


Dara Wier is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Selected Poems, Remnants of HannahReverse Rapture, and Hat on a Pond. She teaches in the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers. Her awards include the Poetry Center and Archives Book of the Year Award, a Pushcart Prize, theAmerican Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She edits Factory Hollow Press. Visit her author page at Wave Books or read an interview.