Sometime in the early 1990s, I found myself at what would prove to be the best poetry reading I've ever attended. The poet in question, Eileen Myles, stood at the mic, in the middle of Dixon Place—i.e., Ellie Covan's living room—and looked down, with a bit of mischief, at a wrinkled piece of paper in her hands. She started by way of introduction—telling us what it was like to write the poem, how she felt about the poem, how she hoped we would feel about the poem. And then, as she finished her introduction, she sat down. For all I know, the piece of paper was blank.
I thought about Eileen Myles today, because today, I'm not going to write for you. Today is a day I want to think and remember. And to write, today, feels wrong. I don't want to turn the unspeakable into words. I don't want to sprinkle my personal narrative into our collective understanding of today. I don't want to demean anyone or anything by searching for my own meaning. I don't want to cheapen real emotion by converting it into casual copy. I don't want to tell you a story.
I am not going to write because there is too much to say and nothing to say and words cannot describe. Instead, I am just going to think. And remember. Because today is not a day for writing.