The Written Work

Oh I’ve written the hell out of writing. I’ve written anything anyone has ever wanted to write and written it well. I write the hell out of anything I write, and I write anything I want to write until everything about it is written. If it’s written out I know I wrote it because I write it until there isn’t anything more to write about the subject. That is, I exhaust exhaustion. I terminate termination. I’m so big that I exhaust things. I pester them to death to get the pearls out of swine, the oyster out of the shell. I just generally rub the hell out of it till it comes and is sore. Writing is something to tackle every day in every way and there’s always more. What’s frustrating is that I’ll have to die before I can write everything I want to write. As a matter of fact there’s nothing I don’t want to write. I must write everything until I die. And then, probably, I’ll go on writing. I’ll have to write forever if I’m going to get to writing everything in all the ways I want to write. Writing about it once isn’t enough. You have to come back over it again but this time hitting all the things you missed until finally you’ve got it all. That’s the only way I can write and if I don’t write there’s nothing left worth doing. Certainly nothing worth living. Writing is the worth of life when life seems immaterial. Writing is the spirit and the worth. Without writing there is nothing but the avoidance of it. And without writing, there could not be me. I am writing everything there is about it, and there is no end to what anyone will ever say about what I write and how I say so much about anything there is to say and how I say it any way anybody ever thought of before or after, because I don’t intend to stop writing when I’ve got to write everything there is to say before I’m through and when I’m through there won’t be any need for anyone anywhere to bother writing anything again about anything or from anything or because of anything because I will have amassed the writing of it somewhere in my collected works which of course will be definitive.

larry goodell / placitas, new mexico / 1984
Note: the poems I read when collaborating with the dancer Lee Connor were placed in these 1909 edition volumes of the Harvard Classics (gift of my great Aunt Ruth Brown).
They were in this (now beat up) book holder on a table at the side of the stage. This was
particularly appropriate for this piece of writing since it refers to “my” many volumes
of writing . . . of course Mr. Connor choreographed to this and danced full stage as I read
from over at stage right . . . I may have printed this as a duende press broadside but now,
late at night, I don’t have time to check . . . (poem placed in Emerson’s Essays & English Traits, Vol. 5 of H.C.)

performance text for The Written Work


About larry goodell

Poet exploring his viable extensions - publisher, performer, playwright - hand to hand help in creating spaces for poetry to be live in - reading events, recordings, online and tangible publications in the vocal spirit of his New Mexico.
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