—–There is a categorical difference between the experience of the image, the cloudburst, and the discussion that ensues as to how to interpret it, what it meant. Where to put it, say in the poem. You lose it, even in considering it. Because the experience is already not the image, but a further mixture. And then to discuss that is taking a complete and fateful step away. And then to apply it, put it in cement–put it in the neighborhood of other images, that came from other experiences, oh God!–that is even further from the truth, and probably a downright falsification of the original. Can these pure inspirations, these flashes, even be applied to anything? Isn’t the image, the pure thought, essentially self-sufficient? Does it ask for use? Or should it just be returned, to the fountain, so to speak, from where it was issued?
—–It was like I was walking through a cloudburst, both of sunlight and rain, they were showering through the air. And then the nostalgia, the thoughtfulness, the mood, which is the beginning and fattening of a description, ensues. But with the sidearm threat, as if informing me that I could easily forgo any debt to the source. The original image just descended upon me, and I greedily began to express it. But the expression is obviously a different and complex transaction, being made with energies drawn from other places, and giddy, corrupt powers. One can fancy, sure, it is connected, even flipped on by the original pure experience of that absolutely new image. One can chew on that for a long time. But you know, the radiant cloudburst is gone, and it seems it was free given, sent from elsewhere, part of another reality!
—–And then, one sees, sadly, that the image cannot be remembered, dealt with, studied, without some conduit expression. Is that right? Can one live in a deepening of thought alone, without hauling it out and studying it, and celebrating and debasing it? One says now, a minute later, it was a glimpse. Ah, a glimpse! Of what? Once you land there, and describe it that way, as a difference, a glimpse, are you immediately guilty of demeaning the image? Are you holding onto it like a kite string? And are you newly humble? Falsely so. That means in effect you have switched your relationship to the image. And are therefore betraying it!
—–First its author, and now it’s admirer? Am I in effect saying I can go no further in developing it? But can only discuss it! Like a damnable mortal, who thinks life is made for his delectation? And thinks nothing of the death of the world. But hold on, I have to say . . . it was something! Don’t I have the right to enjoy what I have discovered? Though it was handed me from out of nowhere, in a cloudburst? How can this sequence, this operation, not be just what a person has to do, and equally part of life also? All of life, really. That anyone can see. For those inspirations, they came from elsewhere. Shot in here unannounced.
—–At least if you ever had . . . blood in your veins. Though that is no image. You see, I’ve lost it already, and yet I go on thinking. And what do we say about these people who feast on your incomplete account, and pitilessly feed off it? How do you feel about them? Your coterie? Oh well, I am not conflicted about that. I am too far away, it has happened too many times, I am punch drunk. Repeatedly too close to the issue! Of this categorical difference, I said this categorical difference, between pure experience and the description of it. And pure experience, there is precious little of it, if you mean the kind that produces that direct hinge with language, that produces poetry.
—–That is what I was trying to get to.