… We’ll have sex if you love me. Or: We’ve had sex; how can you not love me? Or: We love each other; let’s marry so we can close the deal in bed. Or: My self-respect is so down; I can’t risk having sex and then your pulling out.
My verse failed insofar as it tried to “express” me and my personal history. The advice: “Get more emotion!” was non-productive or even obstructive, maybe because of the false way I understood and tried to implement it. It caused me to delve into the past and try to
locate things I could feel strongly about; then to try to construct poems around those feelings. I was dead to the past.
Sontag’s emphasis on form as content, source of emotional power, seems more pertinent. *Essay on Bresson.*
(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)