marlene mountain
found sequences: gatherings


[from from the mountain/backward 3]

To be serious, to pursue difficult art, to learn 'languages' of other artists, to try to open one's mind, to want and ask for more. I had come to all of this from a rather innocent background. I'd accomplished a lot. I'd even arrived--intellectually--at 'hardly anything' in both visual ideas and haiku. So what. It was all wrong, I had wasted the years.

I blamed myself for being above the real world, that is, for not dealing with the problems of the world--in haiku, in painting, in whatever. Back in 1964 I listened to the moving voice of Bob Dylan and his songs of poverty, war machines, coal mining, injustices. I was painting rectangles and stripes. In rural Georgia I listened to Dylan and chain gang songs and argued for civil disobedience and protest marches that were happening all over the country. I was thinking concept and minimalism. Art was where I lived, life was another place I lived.

'found sequence: a gathering 1981
Then to top it off after I'd dumped my past things, by 1981 I was embarrassed by my current haiku. The women's haiku. What a small amount I'd written. So quiet. So safe. Where were my anger and the other good emotions to go along with what I'd been learning and understanding? So what if I'd occasionally mentioned some of 'those things' in haiku. If I had written and thought and painted all the wrong stuff all those years and was done with all that where was the real stuff? Surely I could do better. But I wasn't one who could just settle in at a desk and write. I had to be grabbed by something that wouldn't leave me alone until I'd written it or it had written itself. A million things had grabbed me still it was tough to find that flow into words, into haiku. Who me taken in by the haiku spirit and all?

Almost a decade later I decided to look through a current notebook and without really reading type all that I had scribbled down that year which had not been in a sequence, renga, or otherwise published. No editing, nothing, just as is. Had I said anything? I was still asking. Then I decided to do another year, whatever was there, under whatever mood or influence. Then I whewed and gulped through all the years from June 1981 (when I had gotten a notebook) through 1990. It didn't matter whether a fragment, statistic, versions of a haiku or whatever. There was no intention to publish 'a gathering' but just to look at what I'd said each year. I have to admit that I was a bit unnerved at a lot of what I'd written. Intermixed with haiku was much information from the news and other sources that had disturbed me--enough to make a notation in a haiku notebook.


found sequence a gathering 1981

found sequence a gathering 1982

found sequence a gathering 1983

found sequence a gathering 1984

found sequence a gathering 1985

found sequence a gathering 1986

found sequence a gathering 1987

found sequence a gathering 1988

found sequence a gathering 1989

found sequence a gathering 1990


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