Sara Wintz on Walking Across A Field We Are Focused On At This Time Now

excerpt from Walking Across A Field We Are Focused On At This Time Now

having experience becomes common
out-of-the-ordinary-thoughts

having given to one's peer group
real or imagined, in list form
to be read as words by others, however uninvited

as like conversations are all the time overheard
real or imagined, between actual persons or otherwise

in the manner of practice or to memorize
as if to necessitate practice to speak
order of operations for conversation with actual person
imaginary by distance, and bearing weight at this time

as if to say, implicates when first spoken
rendered unwieldy by chance inflections

as like a turn of air or spatial turn
away from the practice of rehearsal

having experienced
having spoken in a manner at length
to speak in the manner of address


* * *
 

i grow tired of waiting for my life to start  

samuel beckett dies (1989)

i want to change and come to be more doomed and more complicated

THE PINK GUITAR is born (1990)

as though stories of others could be any more exciting than    
     what is one's own complications

serge gainsbourg dies (1991)

as we move through this landscape, the inevitable sky  
     becomes more blue before becoming gray to black or blue-
     black by the reflections of transport lights

marlene dietrich dies (1992)

people are walking down an aisle one by one, clutching bags
     as though going somewhere

sun ra dies (1993)

i have loved to be a part
learn from and move forward from

northridge earthquake hits the san fernando valley of los  
     angeles (1994)

while containing others.

odette samson hallowes dies (1995)

i've been writing away from the twentieth century



* * * 


marguerite duras dies (1996)

i've been typing here, staring out a window

jacques-yves cousteau dies (1997)

"i haven't won enough to make this"

benjamin spock dies (1998)

"i haven't changed enough in order to be qualified to write  
     this"

frances jaffer dies (1999)

"i haven't developed enough in order to be complete"
i've already "written" it.

gwendolyn brooks dies (2000)

i've already left and started to make a trail for you to follow

delia derbyshire dies (2001)

and before it's too long we have learned how to say goodbye 



On Walking Across A Field We Are Focused On At This Time Now
 

I think that this might be the best place to say that I got a 5 on my American History AP test. Sometimes I think about sending WALKING ACROSS A FIELD WE ARE FOCUSED ON AT THIS TIME NOW to my high school history teachers—but I don't know if they would like it. 
 
The poem began in the form of research: Wikipedia searches that I performed for every year of the 20th century. I collected the events of interest to me in a notebook. I was feeling like I didn't fit in and I wanted to make a home for myself. I wanted to do a little research, collect some data, and project myself like a constellation in the sky.

The lyric moments are so much more local: my friends, cliques, group dynamics, memories of my family, moments in my apartment in Brooklyn. Anyone can make his or her own twentieth century. The long poem is a product of that experience, that learning and growing.

 

 

 
 

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