24 sublimations, a poem by Sesshu Foster #FightandWrite
Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 07:53PM


Sesshu's website is suffering indigestion and tomorrow is kind of a big day what with the four horsemen riding in, so I'm posting this for him. 



24 sublimations


i am writing this postcard instead of that letter of recommendation for some student

i am taking this action instead of sitting around thinking (or vice versa)

i am writing a letter of protest or sending a check to an organization instead of calling people and organizing a meeting, instead of setting an agenda

i am fuming about my political isolation and mulling over theories of resistance instead of doing something about it or sometimes i am dreaming about my political isolation

i am talking to old friends instead of hanging out with someone new (it’s like cooking with old recipes instead of learning new ones)

i am going on a walk instead of feeling lame and sad about somebody dead (though sometimes i talk to them)

i am going to clean up this mess or wash the dishes instead of impulsively do something else (as i think about whatever)

i tried to encourage the photographer as we rode by talking about alcoholism in the back of the boat with the wake spraying outward, catching the light, but instead it made her cry (we didn’t talk again)

sometimes we are acting to avoid thinking and sometimes vice-versa

sometimes anything i do, such as read the newspaper or drive to the store, is so that i won’t start writing (if i don’t write the next thing, there’s no commitment)

i won’t think about the animals dying, i’ll just cook it up (i’ll try to make it taste good)

instead of mulling over the dead people, i’ll concern myself with people distant from me

i’ll wonder if my face isn’t programmed and fixed, and instead try to feel new feelings

instead of thinking about a dream, i’ll go upstairs and make coffee

instead of getting right to work, i’ll sit around drinking coffee

instead of dressing with intentions (“mindfulness”) i’ll just throw on what I wore yesterday (who cares)

instead of silence i’ll put on music that i barely listen to

instead of brushing off someone who comes up and makes random conversation, i’ll try to find interesting questions


new living writers instead of famous old dead writers

some new kid instead of old friends or family

some point of departure instead of an old entrance into the familiar

something local phenomenon that might be overlooked instead of larger commonly recognized figures of the general terrain

something in passing instead of the same old fixed idea

sometimes look at birds instead of sit inside reading (or looking at a screen)

Article originally appeared on ben ehrenreich (http://benehrenreich.net/).
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