Saturday, October 20, 2012

Process (plus digressions)

No, it's not some secret line to instant creativity. I just realized I write better in notepad. Something about the lack of expectations. Then when I feel they're ready, I transfer them to word for future submissions. I usually type my poems, easier to rewrite on the screen. But brainstorming is better done longhand, on the page of yet another notebook that started out neatly printed and is now a big mess.

The mess is a good thing. When I write like that, it means I'm thinking too fast for my fingers. My handwriting has changed so much. It always reflects my mood and was always somewhere on the scale between neat and incomprehensible. But through the years, some letters have morphed. Lately my d has changed a little. What does that mean? I don't know. Except maybe that I have no final word on any matter. I'm the kind of person who's a little too open, my brains are liable to fall out.

Except to technology. Can't keep up these days. I'd say it was a sign I'm getting old, but really I like to keep things close to my chest. I like to edit and revise and I think too much before I speak. So posting thoughts on social networks is not my thing.

What is a sign I'm getting old? The fact that I read more of the same things and reread old favorites more than new ones. When I was young I read voraciously--everything from my mother's romances and self-help books to fantasy novels and obscure fiction and non-fiction rescued from the bins of the local booksale. I read YA and fairy tales, short stories, epic fantasies, even the occasional classic. I read one book a day in high school. And now I can barely finish one a month.

The fact that I rarely browse past the scifi/fantasy section and poetry section in the library is disappointing to me. It's like being offered a roomful of treasure just before losing your desire to buy anything. But the thing is, I still read everyday. I'm just more lazy about it. I have started so many books I haven't finished. That's why I read poetry more. It only requires intense attention in short bursts. But one poem can change your whole day. One poem can change your life.

I'm trying to write that poem. I'm trying to live that poem.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dark Grove

Where I always expect to stumble
On a dead body
Today was razed

Metal claw pawing the earth
Playing pick-up sticks
Another monument man erased

Monday, October 8, 2012


from Verse Magazine

If we have a plan, it’s 
unbecoming: we could

do nothing and let things 
happen to us, but that

just isn’t how we roll. Places 
we fly over have cities

and culture and cracked 
sidewalks too. Lines

that form the right side 
of your face want to

take me away. Each inch 
is covered in

creases and I think
the room wants to sleep

(read more)

Another delicious poem I've stumbled onto.

I've also been reading interviews with Robert Creeley, whose poetics resonate with me. He said he reads to find out what's possible. My own concept of poetry has been expanded and redefined again and again with each new encounter. The more choices there are, the more confused I feel, but there's still a certain intuitive leap as to what makes a poem good. I'm just learning to question my assumptions, and step over my self-imposed boundaries.