Poetry from Mark Young

Why I am not writing

I am re-reading James Ellroy's
The Black Dahlia, am re-reading
Thomas Kuhn's The Structure
of Scientific Revolutions, am
reading the sub-titles to the
opening titles of the animated
manga Neon Genesis Evangelion
when Mayakovsky rings to say
he will not be coming around
today. I scan the TV guide
& plot an alternative itinerary.

I think about opening Word
& end up opening Solitaire
instead. I listen to the humming
of the PC but it tells me nothing.
It sounds like the refrigerator but
that only hums at intervals &
does not give me card games
as a built-in option — it is
too dedicated in its purpose.

I think about work, where I have
been listening to the presentations
of consultants to decide who
will be the anointed ones to whom
we will pay hundreds of thousands
of dollars to rewrite our planning &
information systems. I have yet
to hear anything new, decide I'm
in the wrong business. But the
arrival of the consultants is
serendipitous in that it loosely
coincides with one of the subjects
I have to do at university next
semester. I plan to use the
aggregated data in my major
assignment — at least I will get
some value from what I consider
to be an obscene outlay of money.

& I am reading & re-reading my
textbooks as the exams draw nearer.
Though they & the other books are
shelved in some sort of order, the CDs
are jumbled. I am working my way
through them from the top of the
stack on down, sorting them out
by listening to each one in turn
then putting it back in the place
where it was. I have just listened
to Sonny Rollins' Saxophone
Colossus; now I am listening
to Revolver & decide again that
this album & not Sergeant Pepper
marked the paradigm shift for The
Beatles even though for me
when I first heard them the order
was reversed. & in passing
I want to thank Thomas Kuhn
for developing the concept of
paradigm shifts & for redefining
the term paradigm. When words
change meaning they are re-
energized, & if I were writing

I would hope to be using energetic
words. But instead I am singing
along with Eleanor Rigby & the
refrigerator is humming along
in harmony & the Red Queen is
shouting from the PC "Lay me
on the Black King! Lay me!" She
is off her head. But I already knew
that, was told by Jefferson Airplane
many years ago & reminded of it
by the inclusion of White Rabbit
on the Greatest Hits of the Sixties
compilation I listened to three CDs
ago. Then Mayakovsky rings
to say he has changed his mind.
I start to tidy up the house.

October, 2002

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