Writing my life

And writers make shit up. Even Anne Sexton, Slyvia Plath, Robert Lowell, or John Berryman. No matter the resemblances, and no matter how hard writers try to bleed authenticity all over their Jimmy-Bangstories and poems, writers are still writing. Thank you Robert Kroetsch!

But I write for my life, as Ted Dyck says for us, and my writing reflects some of my deepest fears, my biggest dreams and wishes, and enough anger to kill a herd of unicorns. It’s all about life and death, desire and exhaustion extinction. Better to write it down than act on some of my impulses. I get life; though as Charles Dickens said, “[life] has turned out to be a great deal messier than I expected.” (remembered, unverified), an unedited sentence, this life of mine.

And I need listeners and readers to finish the poems. That’s where you come in. You extend my life.

But either by imagination, or my own lived experience, when I speak for the often silenced voices, whether soldiers or failed suicides, that is the political choice.

And I offer vicarious experiences of being the first on the scene of an accident in much, but not all of my work. Dennis Cooley’s compliment after reading Afghanistan Confessions, “I am struck once again with the courage and toughness of your writing,” reflects a choice I made with the first Jimmy Bang Poems back in 1979. Good to know I’ve still got it. My next project is The Complete Jimmy Bang Poems, including the original while featuring mostly new poems including “The Jimmy Bang Blues Project.” Stay tuned.

 

 

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