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


It can be exciting to see how largely wonderfully adaptable we can be if we imagine we might be:

By what you say, by how you say it, by what you gather, by how you gather, by what you tell me that I thought I didn’t know.  Or didn’t know at all until you’ve told me, or needed to hear what I thought I thought but hadn’t it turns out.  Some of those times.

Or if I told myself I would have doubted.

Your purpose was to tell me something I couldn’t have told myself.  And for this I always thanked you.

The sense of the previous sentence in past tense is much sweeter than in present tense, wasn’t it?  Maybe in certain circumstances past tense keeps within itself one’s sense of loss, so built-in nostalgia and homesickness are always there.

Doubt.  I love that Thomas had to put his hand in Jesus Christ’s wound.  I love the grotesque necessity of sensual evidence.

As creepy as it is,  it is also loving.

What you say about us on earth and our predictiment should astonish me with its inevitability, should surprise with its sudden appearance of having been here all along.  (which lo and behold is has to have been)


(a coupling, time-based, I’d missed somewhere in the past)  (ephemera, ephemeral, timeless, timely and touchstones)

as in throwaway:

So serendipity drew me to a 1923 copy of THE CHAPBOOK, in a bin among lots of ephemera, to be found, purchases (very cheaply) (I think it was $6).

Here is an image of THE CHAPBOOK, Number 36, April 1923:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and its table of contents

“instructing readers, teaching readers how to read your work”

this attitude……..

I have grown more suspicious of this attitude. There is a heavy-handed, lonesome-hearted, pleading sort of moralistic didacticism lurking in this impulse.

Really………..teaching someone how to read one’s writing…..really……….how about learning how to write so as others are able to read what one’s writing. How about being a patient reader, one who will see what a piece of writing is up to and maybe go along with it, maybe not.

I know the anxiety of rushing ideas and words in sonic and syntactic and sensible or suprising combinations, rushing before what had seemed absolutely fatefully necessarily joined, suffer from all of the many potential failures of disjunction. Which may or may not lead to dissolution. Which may pry open an opening by which something vital, something full of life, can enter or exit. And any writer is aware of that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ from Marianne Moore’s WHEN I BUY PICTURES  (called to my attention recently by John Emil Vincent, thanks so much), here is how it finishes up:

that which is great because something else is small. It comes to this: of whatever sort it is, it must be “lit with piercing glances into the life of things”; it must acknowledge the spiritual forces which have made it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Do I know why I’m attracted to the missing, the lost, the impossible to know?  Or is it attracted by?

Is it possible for me to identify the state I’m in when I’m attracted.

How much simpler it would be if you were a magnet and I were a needle. Together we would invent the compass!

(or you can be the needle and I can be a magnet, whichever you prefer)


If I take r b & l out of problem, that is funny

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ so that the only thing stopping anyone from writing as an old-time genius might, guarded by poetry’s eternal muse is one’s self, inhibited by thoughts  concerning what one ought to be doing, were all that supposition and superstition  to evaporate, disappear, to never have been ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (and a few will always say, you know this compliment:  how did she get away with that!)

(and sometimes it is said:  where do you get your ideas) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

we hardly ever, rarely ever, make up words, we spend a lot of time happily making up ways to put them together



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, the American 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.