—–“I could say it is all produced in the language,” I was telling Mondrago, measuring my words, “but on the other hand it isn’t exactly the language that has lead or allowed me these ideas I have, on every damned topic.”  These ideas, like, that come oozing along, I was thinking. I do shuttle around and am never sure where I am getting my vaulting, vaunted, inspiration–or rather never even care where I am getting it. And I know that once I begin to talk the words and phraseology take over, and that it is high art, once I concentrate on it, a radical skill I have developed with disregard for general truth, so breezy am I, and inviting chaos, cooking the stew over a determined low heat. And I know that new ideas have come in this messy, adult action of writing itself.
—–On the other hand, unexpressed thoughts that are singular, opinions!, flow immediately upon dealing with every situation, struggling in every encounter, and just frowning at all local topics, in life.  So that I am always engaged, enraged, before I even think to word it, I am always thinking and developing a stance. This, the blunt, does not require any language at all, and I can be emotionally charged to give an opinion and declare a position quite before I have any words or strategy of communication. So while I like to defend the notion that as author all my ideas are discovered, and thereby embedded in the language, clearly they are not derived solely from this writing activity. Another stream has fed the important mission. Huge bulks of clumsily assembled impressions, which are totally biased, present themselves in the mind, from raw experience, and offer themselves for processing.  Most of the time, in fact, I am just ruminating, approaching the writing desk, coming back from the daylight, the wars, or maybe phoney assignment, as the weary jobber, exhausted by the specter of all the actual work that should be done, and scheming a position to take, to plausibly take, on what is happening in reality.
—–That exclusive reality I haughtily meant to compare . . .  with resolvable, issue-oriented  life. Furthermore always to reflect, that I have assigned this to myself anyway, in a sense–but then again .  . .  I am blushing. What could be more ordinary? It is only the vocabulary hiding the matter, chum. Says my friend . . .
—– Often, in fact, I get burned up so thoroughly on a subject that I am unable to even enter the conversation, and have to resign myself to being incapable of talking right then–while the ideas are as clear as could be, so clear they are begging for expression, and maybe just because of their incipient novelty, crashing on my brain, overwhelming the very capacity to speak. Ironic that the host has got an invisible ailment, a choking in his throat. He ends up slowly doing the dishes. Never said a word. Letting the world fall to pieces, only a few hours from dawn.
—–Looking at it this way, I just pipe up now and then, and once in a while get a chance, created by coincidence not even within my control, I mean of my making, to make a sustained point in the form of at least a thunderclap, or brief downpour of speech. Some kind of ripping testimony, that rattles the windows. Ah, yes, and a memorable one for all that hear it! As he finally comes out of it, the one they have been waiting for, who harbors deep insights, I mean whose insights are harbored in deep waters. Hang all metaphors. I am sure I do have a reputation as a dynamic, threatening  conversationalist–oh, people are scared of me alright, and it’s a double confounder that I provide no evidence, and no apparently threat, until I strike as lightening strikes, slick as I am and practiced with the most amazing rhetoric since . . . Robert Browning. Oh yeah. “What did he say?” Nothing really, it was just kind of painful and soothing at the same time. It evaporates, but leaves a mist, and the green comes back in the shoots and veins of the red leaves.  I don’t want to sing my praises, but if it is time to look at the work, we do have the whole afternoon, so I mean just back up and take a gander at the cathedral.
—–Praise these images! I know modestly that even as a poet I am, backing into it, among a few; but what I am saying here, Mondrago, is that my self-image (a somewhat tired idea) most of the time is as a sop, and a guy who barely makes it to the lunch counter to order on his elbows his cheeseburger.  A guy who lives in an echo chamber of a mind that is mostly empty, bereft of a memory of his own life, like windswept, and when it is visited by a fog or a drizzle (such is even the weather in this upstate region where I was born!), has only the feeling of a suddenly excited prospect. It is the new world, I know it, I know it, and I just got dressed.
—– “Oh, everybody feels this way,” Mondrago says.