At the poetry festival I ran out of plans so I took a long walk on the beach thinking about what I’d say later at the ‘panel’ on independent publishing.
I walked south toward a large outcropping of earth and trees and wind, the opposite direction of the map I’d drawn up in my mind earlier of the path I’d taken in poetry from south to north—from Jeffers in Carmel to San Francisco to Portland to Seattle and William Witherup—should someone at the panel later ask me, “how did you come to be a publisher?”
I couldn’t say, “o, it just happened.”
I thought as I walked along the big wide beach about what I would say, how what I would say might be helpful or encouraging or even interesting to the young people who would later sit before me and listen to what I said.
I walked and walked south toward the point. The point seemed to recede further in the distance the farther I walked toward it! How strange, how beautiful, for there was no other words for my walk, how unearthly in a way much like the logic of a poem I’d like someday to write.
Cape Disappointment, the point, was unreachable—I didn’t have the time to reach it, it was time to turn back and walk north toward the place where I was supposed to be next, at the panel on independent publishing.