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My Plan

ISSUE:  Spring 1992
Here is my plan. Of me for me. It has eight points.
How life (mine) will get better and be good. And have
a clearness; like sharp light of a sunny autumn day.
Step by step, point by point, here it is. 1. Read
a novel by Kundera. From it get some perspective on
something, my American freedom, etc. 2. Take a deep
looking at the sky, a deep long breath—different from
all the worried half-breaths of my regular weeks. 3. Write
a review of somebody’s new book of poems. A strongly
positive review sincere in its admiration. Of course first
find the book and read it. It must be there. Not a routine
fuzzball review, not lukewarm, not sounding like blurb
pasted together; a deeper kind of act of recognition.
4. Meet a writer, not necessarily a poet, someone serious,
whose ego is not a feverish hyena, and go for a walk
with this writer, on a cool day, in a park, each of us
comfortable in our coats. We talk, we give each other
some perspective. 5. Read a novel by DeLillo. Think
about America and the idea of The Self; have something to
that links the DeLillo with something in Beckett. Links
and links. Linkedness. 6. Receive phone call, suddenly,
from a chairman offering the job. Because they have
I’m not just anybody, not just little candidate #152. Thus
suddenly I have career future without having had to abase
in pounds and pounds of liverwurst self-description.
7. Drink tea with someone (Earl Grey) at the Pink Rose
someone who feels my series of prose poems called
 ”Unreleased Movies”
are incredibly good. Have to write those first of course.
Sense of being a fulfilled man, in the Pink Rose Cafe. (Not
effete. Two hours later, playing superbly intense tennis.)
8. In November (not December) buy amusing original
 Christmas presents
for many persons. Not clothes, not appliances. Not just
that I wish they would like. People are different.
The inner lives of others are important. Me behaving in
that beautifully show how well I know this. Good. So
there’s the plan: eight points. Nine if you count the tennis.
Must avoid any extension to ten points. Focus is crucial.
Must get started. Today: Kundera: focus. What’s that
noise—someone at the door? No? Fine. I’m busy: my plan,
focus, eight points. Linkedness. The house is quiet.


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