Friday, June 09, 2006

Thank you, al-Zarkawi

Last night I was going to sit down and write a poem that evoked -- but would not go so far as to name -- a womb of mystery at the centre of the world. But then, compulsively, I turned on the evening news. After seeing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's bloodied mug served up on the platter of my TV screen, after hearing Stephen Harper's flip (but politically astute) dismissal of a bungled homegrown plot to serve up his, I was completely taken out of -- excuse the expression -- my own head space, to write that poem or any other.

Not as if I couldn't have expected that. I had seen the headlines on the net earlier that day -- even tuned into a thumbnail-sized BBC video report showing the bull's eye-bird's eye view of the bombing, the bloody photos, etc. What made me turn on the TV? I wanted to know if there was "more news". I believe in facing "reality". And maybe this will spur another, tougher, more violent poem, dedicated to al-Zarkawi and his ilk.

Eminently distractable, more like it.

Anyway, I've decided the TV news has been responsible for far too many evenings lost to my own work. It doesn't feed: it depletes. I've decided on a moratorium on the TV news -- two months, at least. Thank you al-Zarkawi. For lil' ol' me, this is your legacy: you've turned me on to my own creative discipline.

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