Dear Allison, Steve, Brian:
Sending this before I head off for another bout of protesting the UHM budget cuts. The conversations have been fascinating. Some thoughts, not intended (in the least) as criticism, but as participation:--[Allison Cobb's power point on plastics & her research on them highlighted the networks that join us & our plastics.] The emphasis on connections that you all make: as someone interested in how to write about spirit, which inevitably means connections, links, I find myself getting swept up into a kind of negative sublime here. How does one write about spirit-connections without using the words of the world, matter? How can one do it while acknowledging the insufficiency and destructiveness of so many connections, while finding ways to honor those we feel on our meditation pillows?
--Perhaps one way is to value attention over attachment. The meditative poem pauses long enough to notice, but does not stop, does not reach out to take the thing or idea and put it in a sack like plastic rubbish. Plastic is the opposite of meditation. I can imagine a Clark Coolidge-like "The Plastic Text," instead of "Crystal," even as the content would necessarily be different. The notions of "desire" and "grief" and "fear" are all attachments. We can feel desire for plastic as easily as for a flower. It's hard to realize that we need to let go of both flower and plastic, if perhaps in different ways.
PS This has been revised from an email sent to the poets a few days ago.