Picked up a book at the library of Anne Sexon's that I have not previously seen. The Book of Folly, published in 1972 Houghton Mifflin. Sexton is on of several poets that have long been on my radar and I have read a fair amount of her work. The very first poem in the the book caught me attention and I had to check the book out. The Ambition Bird was right there slapping me in the face. I could identify with it in the moment I was reading it.
I would like a simple life
yet all night I am laying
poems away in a long box,
It is my immortality box,
my lay-away plan,
Sometimes that so describes my life. Don't get me wrong, I do derive great satisfaction by writing. And I can't say that anyone is forcing me at gunpoint to write. Still, there is a level of work associated with the compulsion to write that can be very taxing. And I so identify with the immortality box.
There is an overpowering call to create material for this box. The material must pass the critical review of a very demanding critic that resides within me. A slave master that demands greater productivity and at the same time improvement in the quality of work Even in the business world these two objectives do not complement each other well. In the world of art, the tension between these two can be exhausting.
The immortality thing has been an issue with me for as long as I can remember and I remain thoroughly convinced that writing is the only outlet I know availability to me to remotely deal with this issue.