It is not that the past is not past, but that what we think is the past cannot be the past, could never be the past, could only be what it is when it is where it is, this string of what when and where the most important–present in the mind as a present time event happening now being fashioned or re-fashioned–facts, facts, and more facts are all of them factory made, made in the factories of our minds or our cultures, the latter a collective negotiation about how to go on deluding ourselves. What we remember is not past but now, contemporary. Reliving the past is only living in the present with the present for the present by the present of the present what else can I say?
What else is there to say about what I have herein said–to say or not to say might be a question, could be the question, but then what would be noble about enduring the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune if we were not going to be stiff-upper-lipped about it? I imagine I will always have 500 to a 1000 words to say about anything that arises for discussion, anywhere I happen to be, anytime I happen to be there, with pen and paper, of course. I do recollect what Alan Ginsburg said to my friend Giovanni and me in his office one day at Brooklyn College when he was on staff teaching in the MFA program there–the only discipline a poet needs is to have pen and paper with him wherever he goes. I had showed him a collection of short-short poems I had called Shedded Skins–I imagined I was being clever with the title being written as it was. He said he liked their energy–he might have said loved, but I am reticent to say so, and even if I were sure, I would also be hesitant because ‘like’ is more believable to many than ‘love.’