By William Stafford
Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
Things, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space for knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.
Clues that lead nowhere, that never connected
anyway. Deliberate obfuscation, the kind
that takes genius. Chasms in character.
Loud omissions. Mornings that yawn above
a new grave. Pages you know exist
but you can’t find them. Someone’s terribly
inevitable life story, maybe mine.
I don’t remember when or how I came across this poem, but it has always stuck with me. That two word phase – “deliberate obfuscations” – is my favorite. It probably is not the best name for a blog, but who cares? That is the beauty of self-publishing. I get to be the decider.
It turns out that the author of the poem, William Stafford has a few biographical facts that are of particular interest to me:
- We share a birthday – January 17
- He was born in Hutchison, Kansas
- He was a conscientious objector during World War II
- He didn’t publish until he was 48
- He kept a daily journal for 50 years
The daily journal piece is something that I have strived to do for many years. In countless notebooks I have written and drawn and pasted. The pages contain memories that I cherish and I regret, but I love that they are there. This blog will not replace that paper. This will be the public place that I get to share things that make me happy and that I think others may enjoy too. It will be where I get to hold myself accountable for writing consistently. It will be where I can share my progress on the projects that mean a lot to me. It will be interesting to see how this all falls out, but I am eager to give it a go.