“lighter, lighter,”: The Death Notebooks, 1.

Today, I was thinking of: who do you write for?  And the answer is always “You write for yourself.”  I know nothing of literature and this is my uninformed opinion.  But no matter what, you write for yourself; even when you write for someone else, you’re writing so that you may receive their reaction, or may imagine their reaction at least.

Confessional poetry seems obvious in this sense, as you write from your own perspective most deeply — how could that not be just for yourself?  But all art and writing is made selfishly, I think, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but a thing to be acknowledged.  (Why am I writing this? Because I feel like it and only I benefit from it.)

To read Anne Sexton I feel especially that writing is for oneself.  Her poems are bitter and raw and beautiful and moving to me, but I don’t matter to her.

The Fury of Sunsets

cold is in the air,
an aura of ice
and phlegm.
All day I’ve built
a lifetime and now
the sun sinks to
undo it.
The horizon bloods
and sucks its thumb.
The little red thumb
goes out of sight.
And I wonder about
this lifetime with myself,
this dream I’m living.
I could eat the sky
like an apple
but I’d rather
ask the first star:
why am I here?
why do I live in this house?
who’s responsible?


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