As geese arc, the fog
closing behind them …
the poem’s false start
I like the way she put "the fog" on the first line to make concrete that it is closing in on the geese, who are arcing from ground to sky, starting their long flight. I also believe she's referring to another poem with a false start, because this one is off to a good one.
My main concern is that the poet seems to suggest that the geese will find the imminent weather condition as undesirable as humans experience it when traveling. It's a tinge of human projection onto nature, and departs from the suchness of geese (at least what I know of it). I hear geese under cloud cover as often as under clear skies. Given how far and through how many climate zones they travel—and how much time they spend gathering beforehand, I don't think much stops them when they're ready to go. Therefore, the link between a false start in nature and in a writer's process doesn't work here. Too bad. The two sections of the poem are really nice on their own. It certainly is a challenge to juxtapose two images to capture human experience, yet do so without contaminating the images, themselves.
Regarding the self-referential question, I see self-doubt as part of the suchness of writers. If the poet can carry it off in a fresh way, I'm happy to contemplate that suchness. In the poems that Chris provided, I can relate to Karen Sohne's poem, but prefer John Stevenson's: he makes me work for it. Interesting that both poems take place in kitchens. I guess poetic neurosis is pretty much senryu territory. Not much of that nonsense going on in nature.