Formal Practice

Formal Practice

Defending oneself against
a knife attack and writing
formal verse are much the same:
they are not much good without
years of prior practice, years
of disciplining the body
and mind until, without thought
the natural recourse occurs.
Sempai R, confronted by
the first man coming over
the wall, simply broke his arm,
punched the second in the face
and dropped him right there. The third
did not wait around for the
attentions of second-dan
exegesis. This happened
a week ago in Pinelands.
Problem, resolution, and
technique came together in
smooth synthesis. The sonnet,
similarly, asks us to
solve certain problems without
the burden of extra thought –
the swift movement towards
the attractor, certainty
before judgment, and ah,
clarity breaking into
the ordinary life, leaving
one wobbly with adrenalin.

Monday, 19 June 2006


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