During April, 2011, National Poetry Month provides an abundance of opportunities to connect or reconnect with words through the poetic form. I plan to Twitter a draft poem from snippets of dreams, from journals and notes, hashtagging through the #TMMpoetry monitored by @TellMeMoreNPR site. I’ll tweet three poem parts for three days. Tweet as normal if time permits, and then link to this blog. Then repeat 10 times so I’ll have a 30 part poem at the end of the month. That’s the plan. For full details see Pen the Dream Along With Me.
Celebrate Poetry Month — Fun Things to Do to Become a Better Writer
- Read a newly released poetry book. Start with Billy Collins’s latest – Horoscopes for the Dead I got my copy yesterday. It’s already dog-eared.
- Pick up Patricia Fargnoli at Tupelo Press
- Discover Greg Watson’s newest release What Music Remains at Nodin Press. He’s an inspiration for all who would aspire to poetry.
- Join a social network. Write some words on Twitter and hashtag it #TMMPoetry
- Twitter is great practice for writing tight – rid yourself of redundancy.
- Subscribe to poetry month links. I’ll post my favorites next time, but start googling and let me know what you discover.
Draft Poem (Untitled)
•Will our presence change/the script under study as we learn by heart, if not by rote, how not to forget this time..next time Part 25
•Adrift in wordlessness, woven netted snares–I unravel threads of matted auburn hair-commit to memory each glistening strand Part 26
• You—we—our return endless / like waves gallant in relentless revival. The recap echoes ever again…yet again…again Part 27
A Few Thoughts on My Writing Process
Good Grief! Why did I post Part 27? A lot of this draft poem is based on dream snippets. Honestly, I have no idea why I posted this part, these words. It needs work. Make that no work probably–just a good old — Let’s start this concept over, shall we? I think “revival” is worth keeping.
In Part 26, I’m tied to the sea with a special affinity/aversion towards oysters. It’s a long story which I won’t go into here, but I tumble and stumble around in the sea over and over again. It’s my major digression in life. I just can’t help it. But you know how it is in that pre-awakening state–that moment when everything comes to you whole – novels, poems, epics — and there you are – No pen. Floating between the then and now as if you’re suspended between real and imagined.
Of course, there are no individual readable words in these moments –everything is there there. You can see it all–except that aforementioned pen because the cat has managed to bat it so far under the bed that you could never reach it even if you crawled fully under. Wordless – the whole absorbing all the individual parts. Sometimes it as if a net has captured all the words, and I’m to sort it all out by hand.
I actually bookmark dictionaries in an attempt to have a ready supply of words and find that there still are not enough words. An underlying theme in this part, of course, is an exploration of previous lives in those deja vu moments. Each time that happens, I try to examine every aspect of what I know I don’t know or can’t recall. “Next time I’ll remember!” I tell myself, but the synapses lapse, fail to fire.
Part 25. Now this line has some poetry in it. Well, actually, any line with the word “change” in it has poetry in it. If you don’t believe me, read Wilbur’s “The Beautiful Changes” and wait until it dawns on you that parts of speech play a vital, critical roll in our use of language. Even Billy Collins had an “aha” moment at Wilbur’s genius on those three words a few years ago at the Key West Literary Festival. The line breaks in Part 25 can be in several interesting places and under study could be understudy. Well, I just can’t go into all the potential in this line, but I think it’s got a lot of good words in it. “This time” – another example of double meanings. Do I mean as in this particular time, or am I suggesting time spent together? I’m not sure what the heck I’m trying to say exactly, but this Part 25 has a flow.
Have I convinced you yet to join in the fun? Are you feeling more and more like words matter; poetry matters? Please create some poetry this month. Grab a few words and throw them out there. I approach my writing from the Whitman/Dickinson school. Just write. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to keep writing for as long as you can. As long as you have a thought, keep putting down one word after another. I promise I won’t tell anyone what you’re up to.
And please try not to spend another day, another year writing that book in your head. It took me a long time to figure out that’s actually called “thinking.” Writing is only writing if one actually “writes.” I hope you’ll grab a pen and start today.