We're chasing dust bunnies of the intellectc
across the living room floor.
I sent her a line from Kafka in German and asked her
for a translation, but she didn't seem much interested.
How could this be? She has the language.
She has a good mind, but she's not like us.
She doesn't care about running down every last aspect
of meaning or idea and then turning it to catch the light.
Instead, she sits down with herself and works it out,
then issues a summary statement, if asked. Or not.
For us, process is pleasure, the use of language
to pursue meaning, which itself might be unimportant.
Is that what Wright meant when he said,
"I have wasted my life?"
That was something different. He's lying in a hammock
at William Duffy's farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
looking at nature, listening. He's really not doing
anything. He's inconsequential to everything that's
going on around him, which is nothing, but everything.
He puts it together, but that's not intellect.
We're wasting our lives in a different way?
Maybe, but I'd never make such a statement.
Not because it isn't true.
You have to have a place for such a burning insight
into your own inconsequentiality.
For me, what would be the point?
I have to sit in this chair every night of my life.
It wouldn't be right.
Laurel Speer's latest publication is a short prose pamphalet
entitled Our LBJ. She's also a contributing editor for Small Press