During April, 2011, National Poetry Month provides an abundance of opportunities to connect or reconnect with words through the poetic form. I have been posting a draft poem on Twitter from snippets of dreams, from journals and notes, hashtagging through the #TMMpoetry monitored by @TellMeMoreNPR site. I’ve beem tweeting three poem parts for three days. Then I tweet as normal if time permits, and then link to this blog. Then I hope to 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.
Why it pays to keep sitting in that chair and keep pushing that thought.
I’ve been writing for about 25 or 30 years. I consider myself a beginner as I’ve only studied in mostly non-academic ways, devouring books, magazines, and journals on every subject imaginable in my quest to comment on life. Taking a few workshops with professionals I’ve admired and being accepted in a couple of publications and judged workshops is all the incentive I’ve seem to need to plow even deeper into this often infertile field.
For poetry month, picking a poetry project to work on took a little work. I had considered doing the NaNo Poetry month. Since I still have to work on the NaNoWriMo novel-writing book that I started November, 2010, I nixed that idea. A poem a day would be an impossibility to me as poetry evolves much slower for me. The ” Tell Me More” idea intrigued me. A poetic tweet a day.
You can imagine my surprise when I got the tweet that asked me to contact them as NPR, the NPR, was interested in my poetic tweet. And now I wait anxiously for when it airs as they recorded me one day last week. One of my bucket-list goals has always been to be a featured guest on an NPR show. On my you-have-got-to-be-kidding list (a slightly higher-aiming one) I want to host a featured show on NPR. For now, getting to record a tweet of poetry for Tell Me More is exciting enough and was bucket-listable if I had known about it sooner.
But “Tell Me More” on NPR would not have contacted me if I had not set a mini goal of some sort for national poetry month. NPR would not have contacted the other selected writers if they didn’t write often and fairly well. For me, none of this would have been possible if I did not tweet on a regular basis. None of this could have happened if I had not been stoking the kiln with a burning passion for writing that has been with me for my whole life.
I am not writing a book in my head. I am writing a book, albeit many varied projects at this point. I’m writing as often and as much as I can putting down one word after the other as I try to understand me and my place in the universe.
I won’t tell you which poem Tell Me More selected until after it airs.
Draft Poem (Untitled)
- How often before have you given me this leather-bound journal, scrawled script of anguished love?Again,this third body secure Part 16
- Our story evanescent bound ephemera/ a palimpsest at best. Like mayflies, overlapped fingers hover over recurrent penned notes Part 17
- Serendipity no player here. Motionless /the self-same image appears/separate but still part of the greater whole.Transfixed Part 18
A Few Notes on My Writing
Part 16 – This line actually refers to the journal in the photograph. It’s a very long story which you can read about someday if I ever get my manuscript together. For now, suffice to say that journaling plays a vital role in my existence. The third body? I cannot begin to tell you how many wonderful works there are about this. I guess my all-time favorite is Robert Bly’s, aptly named, “The Third Body.” I’ll do a post on this one of these days and list all my third-body favorites.
Part 17 – One of my followers on Twitter (I’ll call him Henry) wrote me the following:
“Had to go to a search engine to understand the meaning. “evanescent bound ephemera” At 76 such magic with words still brings a tear.”
This is what writing should be about. Henry had to look up the meaning of some words. I love Henry who’s 76 and still interested and vital and on Twitter. He knows how to party in this new social world! He knows what magic is. He believes in it, and I believe in Henry. He’s one of those people who offer me just enough encouragement to go public with my writing. He brought me a tear and I reciprocated.
From a craft standpoint – you should use the word “palimpsest” every single day. I adore that word as it describes everything about me. And I use only mayflies now since Billy Collins has decreed the use of “cicadas” as unacceptable. So you should make a note — Never use the word “cicadas” if Billy Collins is a judge. But the sound those 17-year cycle cicadas make for a few weeks are the closest you will ever be in real life to being part of a black and white movie where space ships are landing. Their whirring sound is mind-boggling and so loud that you literally hear them in your head for hours after you leave an area where they are. Mayflies with their little-short, sex-filled lives just scream poetical interpretation.
Part 18 – This is where it gets way complicated and way too deep for these shallow waters. You’ll just have to read the book when it comes out if I ever get it finished to get to the bottom of this line.
Happy writing. You had better pick up that pen and start writing. You’re younger today than you ever will be again, and you might not be here when you get old. Excuse my Yogism…but I think you know what I mean.